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  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. Risk, mobility or population size?: Drivers of technological richness among contact-period western North American hunter–gatherersCollard, Mark - Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B., 2013 - 3 Hypotheses

    This paper builds off previous research into the effect of population size and resource risk on complexity of subsistence technology by investigating the relationship between these independent variables and total number of material items and techniques used by various western North American hunter-gatherer groups. This tally of total technological complexity is found to be insignificantly related to population size or residential mobility; however, there is a significant correlation in the expected direction between technological complexity and one measure of resource risk (mean annual temperature during driest month). Tying this finding to previous analyses of subsistence technologies, the authors theorize that environmental risk is a pervasive driver of technological ingenuity and cultural evolution.

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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. A Cross-cultural Perspective on Upper Palaeolithic Hand Images with Missing PhalangesMcCauley, Brea - Journal of Paleolothic Archaeology, 2018 - 1 Hypotheses

    The authors use ethnographic data to try to shed light on the prevalence of missing phalanges in Upper Paleolithic cave images. Searching eHRAF World Cultures, they found evidence of finger amputation in 121 societies. These accounts cast doubt on two common theories: 1) that cave images reflect sign language or 2) counting systems. Researchers argue the intentional removal of fingers could be sorted into the 10 following categories: sacrifice (for deities), mourning (for grief), identity (for group membership), medical (to heal sickness), marriage (status marker), punishment (for deeds), veneration (for worship), offering (post mortem for deities), trophy (an enemies fingers), and talisman (assist with magic). They argue that sacrifice was the most likely reason for the missing finger images in Upper Paleolithic caves.

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