Man the Hunter Revisited

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Man the Hunter: Revisited In 1966, a group of about fifty anthropologists met in Chicago for a conference that would later known as the “Man the Hunter” meeting. The meeting contrasted with earlier scholarship and presented a Hollywood approach to the topic of early man, one where our ancestors were strong, powerful, and in control of their environment. Anthropologists Sherwood L. Washburn and C.S. Lancaster (1968), both present at the conference claimed, “our intellect, interests, emotions, and basic social life—all are evolutionary products of the success of the hunting adaptation”. The book Man the Hunter that emerged from the conference forced a re-evaluation of human subsistence strategies and the role of the hunter in human…show more content…
Additionally, the sexual division of labor was given more attention and there was recognition of the importance of the female contribution given to sustaining early modern human society. As a result of the research, the gatherer female emerged and in many ways surpassed the male hunter as the foundation of early modern human society. The female gatherer trumped the male hunter. Ultimately, the work of the feminist anthropologists was significant because it discredited the male-centric theory of the 1960’s, emasculated the role of man, but provided a more balanced and accurate perspective regarding the role of women in early human society. Progressing into the modern era, research has again refocused the academic microscope on the once chastised ‘man the hunter’ theory. Contrasting with earlier scholarship, Michael P. Richards and Erik Trinkhaus (2009) proved Neanderthals and early modern humans relied on meat and hunting for subsistence. They did so through comparative isotopic analysis of nitrogen and carbon isotope values to compare protein consumption between early modern humans, Neanderthals, and local fauna. For example, the Oase 1 (the oldest directly dated modern human in Europe) has a nitrogen level that is 10.8% higher than the ibex and 8.0% higher than the red deer.
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