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Thinking Big

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Table of Contents

Preface * 1: Psychology Meets Archaeology * 2: What It Means to Be Social * 3: Ancient Social Lives * 4: Ancestors With Small Brains * 5: Building the Human Niche: Three Crucial Skills * 6: Ancestors with Large Brains * 7: Living in Big Societies

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A novel hypothesis by world-class scientists about the evolution of our social lives

About the Author

Clive Gamble is a British archaeologist and anthropologist, and Professor of Archaeology at Southampton University. He has been described as the 'UK's foremost archaeologist investigating our earliest ancestors'. John Gowlett is Professor of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology at Liverpool University. He is involved in fieldwork in eastern and southern Africa. Robin Dunbar is a British anthropologist and evolutionary psychologist specialised in primate behaviour. He is currently head of the Social and Evolutionary Neuroscience Research Group in the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford. He is best known for formulating Dunbar's number, a measurement of the 'cognitive limit to the number of individuals with whom any one person can maintain stable relationships'.


'Thinking Big is like the Big Bang: it probably isn't the total answer, but there is no doubt that it answers a large number of observable phenomena, and it will serve as the dominant model for debating and refining our ideas about the origins and evolution of human cognition for decades to come' - Society of Antiquaries Newsletter 'A delightful compendium of history, theory and fascinating experiments that will keep you engaged throughout' - BBC Focus 'You will not read a more important book this year. It could make us a little wiser about ourselves' - Minerva 'Thinking Big is destined to become a classic' - Brian Fagan, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, University of California

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