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  1. Causes of toolkit variation among hunter-gatherers: a test of four competing hypothesesCollard, Mark - Canadian Journal of Archaeology, 2005 - 4 Hypotheses

    This study tests four hypotheses that propose potential environmental and social predictors of toolkit size and complexity among hunter-gatherers. Hypotheses predicting relationships between population size, residential mobility, type of food resources and toolkit structure are not supported. Risk of resource failure is the only variable that is significantly associated with toolkit structure.

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  2. Risk of resource failure and toolkit variation in small-scale farmers and herdersCollard, Mark - PloS one, 2012 - 1 Hypotheses

    Prior research by Oswalt (1973, 1976) and Torrence (1983, 2001) has suggested that risk of resource failure is a significant predictor of toolkit complexity and diversity among hunter-gatherers. In this paper, the same relationship is tested among small-scale herding and farming groups. However, no significant correlation is discovered between any measure of resource risk and any measure of toolkit complexity. The researchers suggest that this absence may be the result of greater reliance on non-technological diversification methods among farmers (i.e. spatial diversification, mixed farming, intercropping), or of other unaccounted-for sources of risk (i.e. intergroup raiding and warfare).

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  3. Population size and cultural evolution in nonindustrial food-producing societiesCollard, Mark - PLOS ONE, 2013 - 1 Hypotheses

    Seeking to resolve contradictions between previous studies, these authors conduct empirical analysis on the relationship between population size and cultural evolution. Results indicate that population size influences toolkit richness and complexity, even when proxies for risk of resource failure are introduced in the regression model. Authors speculate that the association is weaker for hunter-gatherers because those societies are more affected by risk of resource failure and have institutions that facilitate cultural evolution despite smaller population size. There also may be a threshold effect in the influence of population size on toolkit structure.

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  4. Niche construction and the toolkits of hunter–gatherers and food producersCollard, Mark - Biological Theory, 2011 - 3 Hypotheses

    The researchers test the relationship between toolkit complexity and diversity as defined by Oswalt (1973) and environmental and demographic variables. Neither population size nor risk of resource failure predict toolkit characteristics among all groups in the sample. However, population size is significantly positively correlated with toolkit diversity and complexity among food-producers, whereas environmental factors indicating risk of resource failure are significantly positively correlated among hunter-gatherers. This leads the researchers to suggest that food-producers' effectiveness at niche construction is a result of their large population size, which thus has a larger effect on toolkit composition than does environmental risk relative to hunter-gatherers.

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  5. Population size as an explanation for patterns in the paleolithic archaeological record: more caution is neededCollard, Mark - Current Anthropology, 2013 - 1 Hypotheses

    Previous studies have yielded contradictory results on the relationship between population size and cultural evolution. Focusing on tool complexity these authors introduce the risk of resource failure as a possible confounding variable. They conclude that population does not predict tool kit complexity when controlling on other factors. There were significant correlations between tool kit complexity and some of the resource measures.

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  6. Comparative Study of Territoriality across Forager SocietiesMoritz, Mark - Human Ecology, 2020 - 4 Hypotheses

    Researchers investigated the variation of land tenure systems across forager societies using the economic defensibility model. The study attempted to explain the variation in tenure systems across 30 hunter-gatherer societies. Using data on defense and sharing of resources among groups, and indicators of resource density, resource predictability, and competition for resources, the researchers were unable to explain the variation. This study highlights the vast range of diversity and complexity of foragers subsistence strategies, and proposes that it may be more telling to conceptualize tenure systems among hunter-gatherer societies as assemblages of multiple property regimes. While there was no overall evidence that environmental variables of resource density and predictability explain variation in tenure systems, researchers did find that increasing population density, and greater competition for resources leads to greater territoriality.

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  7. Hunter-gatherers and human evolutionMarlowe, Frank W. - Evolutionary Anthropology, 2005 - 4 Hypotheses

    This article explores the relationships between habitat and social organization among humans and other species. Diet, technology, group size, home range, mobility, kinship, marital residence, sexual division of labor, mating system, central places, food sharing, and egalitarianism are all considered.

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  8. Drivers of geographical patterns of North American language diversityCoelho, Marco Túlio Pacheco - Proceedings Royal Society B, 2019 - 3 Hypotheses

    Researchers investigated further into why and how humans speak so many languages across the globe, and why they are spread out unevenly. Using two different path analyses, a Stationary Path analysis and a GWPath, researchers tested the effect of eight different factors on language diversity. Out of the eight variables (river density, topographic complexity, ecoregion richness, temperature and precipitation constancy, climate change velocity, population density, and carrying capacity with group size limits), population density, carrying capacity with group size limit, and ecoregion richness had the strongest direct effects. Overall, the study revealed the role of multiple different mechanisms in shaping language richness patterns. The GWPath showed that not only does the most important predictor of language diversity vary over space, but predictors can also vary in the direction of their effects in different regions. They conclude that there is no universal predictor of language richness.

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  9. Drivers of geographical patterns of North American language diversityCuelho, Mario Tulio Pacheco - Proceedings of the Royal Society, 2019 - 8 Hypotheses

    The authors examine multiple ecological variables as possible predictors of language diversity in North America using path analysis, mechanistic simulation modelling, and geographically weighted regression. They conclude that many of the variables do not predict language diversity, but rather are mediated by population density. The authors also find that the variables' ability to predict is not universal across the continent, but rather more regional.

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  10. The adoption of agriculture: some theoretical and empirical evidencePryor, Frederic L. - American Anthropologist, 1986 - 3 Hypotheses

    This article investigates the adoption of agriculture. The author tests three possible predictors: environmental richness, population density, and division of labor by gender. Minimal support is found for these variables, and the author proposes two alternative explanations, based on diminishing returns in food production and balancing the food portfolio.

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