14 December 2004

Settled life speeds social and religious evolution

Particularly interesting article in the New Scientist - Settled life speeds social and religious evolution.

22:00 13 December 04

NewScientist.com news service

" The shift from nomadic life to settled village life can lead to a rapid development of religious and social complexity and hierarchy, according to a detailed chronology of the Valley of Oaxaca in Mexico. Only about 1300 years separate its oldest ritual buildings - simple ‘men’s huts’ - and the first standardised temples of the Zapotec state, an archaeological study suggests.

“This is the first study to show how the co-evolution of social and religious complexity occurred, and what steps were involved,” says Joyce Marcus at the University of Michigan, US, who led the work."

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