Cultural Evolution Lab

The Cultural Evolution Lab studies the evolution of social complexity and social cohesion. The massive and ground breaking Seshat: Global History Databank flagship project, founded by CEL members Peter Turchin, Harvey Whitehouse and Pieter François, covers very long timescales that run from the Neolithic age until the present day. Other, smaller projects focus on shorter timescales and specific geographic areas, including the Neolithic transition in the Levant, traditional pre-colonial societies and post-1945 civil war armed groups. The Cultural Evolution Lab also constitutes a centre of expertise on workflow and data quality issues for humanities and social science projects.

 

 

celmap

Our goal is to test rival social scientific hypotheses with historical and archaeological data

 SESHAT: GLOBAL HISTORY DATABANK ➞

Books

Featured Articles

Ritual and Social Evolution: Understanding Social Complexity Through Data
Harvey Whitehouse
International Workshop on Computational History and Data-Driven Humanities

A Macroscope for Global History: Seshat Global History Databank, a methodological overview
Pieter François, J.G. Manning, Harvey Whitehouse, Rob Brennan, Thomas Currie, Kevin Feeney, Peter Turchin.
The Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations

The Role of Ritual in the Evolution of Social Complexity: Five predictions and a drum roll
Pieter François, Harvey Whitehouse, Peter Turchin.
Social Evolution Forum
 

Journals

A Macroscope for Global History: Seshat Global History Databank, a methodological overview
Pieter Francois, J. G. Manning, Harvey Whitehouse, Rob Brennan, Thomas Currie, Kevin Feeney, and Peter Turchin (2016).
Digital Humanities Quarterly 10 (4).

The nature of religious diversity: a cultural ecosystem approach
David Sloan Wilson, Yasha Hartberg, Ian MacDonald, Jonathan A. Lanman, and Harvey Whitehouse (2016).
Religion, Brain Behavior.

The Role of Ritual in the Evolution of Social Complexity: Five Predictions and a Drum Roll

Harvey Whitehouse, Peter François, and Peter Turchin (2015). Social Evolution Forum.
Gul Deniz Salali, Harvey Whitehouse, and Michael E. Hochberg (2015). PLoS ONE 10(9): e0138496.
Thomas E. Currie, Amy Bogaard, Rudolf Cesaretti, Neil R. Edwards, Pieter François, Phillip B. Holden, Daniel Hoyer, Andrey Korotayev, Joe Manning, Juan Carlos Moreno Garcia, Oluwole K. Oyebamiji, Cameron Petrie, Peter Turchin, Harvey Whitehouse, and Alice Williams (2015). Cliodynamics: The Journal of Quantitative History and Cultural Evolution 6(1), pp. 24-56.
Peter Turchin, Rob Brennan, Thomas E. Currie, Kevin C. Feeney, Pieter François, Daniel Hoyer, J. G. Manning, Arkadiusz Marciniak, Daniel Mullins, Alessio Palmisano, Peter Peregrine, Edward A. L. Turner, and Harvey Whitehouse (2015). Cliodynamics: The Journal of Quantitative History and Cultural Evolution 6(1), pp. 77-107.

The Role of Writing and Recordkeeping in the Cultural Evolution of Human Cooperation (PDF)

Dan Mullins, Harvey Whitehouse, and Quentin Atkinson (2013). Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. Vol. 90, Supplement, June 2013: pp S141-S151.

The Role for Simulations in Theory Construction for the Social Sciences: Case Studies Concerning Divergent Modes of Religiosity (PDF)

Harvey Whitehouse, Ken Kahn, Michael E.  Hochberg, and Joanna J. Bryson. (2012). Religion, Brain, and Behavior, Vol. 2, No. 3: pp 182-201.

Peter Turchin, Harvey Whitehouse, Pieter Francois, Edward Slingerlandd Mark Collard (2012). Cliodynamics: The Journal of Theoretical and Mathematical History, Vol. 3, No. 2: pp 271 - 293.

The Cultural Morphospace of Ritual Form: Examining Modes of Religiosity Cross-Culturally (PDF)

Quentin D. Atkinson and Harvey Whitehouse (2011). Evolution and Human Behavior. Vol. 32, No.1: pp 50-62.

List of site pages