Identifying post-marital residence patterns in prehistory: A phylogenetic comparative analysis of dwelling size.
ABSTRACT: Post-marital residence patterns are an important aspect of human social organization. However, identifying such patterns in prehistoric societies is challenging since they leave almost no direct traces in archaeological records. Cross-cultural researchers have attempted to identify correlates of post-marital residence through the statistical analysis of ethnographic data. Several studies have demonstrated that, in agricultural societies, large dwellings (over ca. 65 m2) are associated with matrilocality (spouse resides with or near the wife's family), whereas smaller dwellings are associated with patrilocality (spouse resides with or near the husband's family). In the present study, we tested the association between post-marital residence and dwelling size (average house floor area) using phylogenetic comparative methods and a global sample of 86 pre-industrial societies, 22 of which were matrilocal. Our analysis included the presence of agriculture, sedentism, and durability of house construction material as additional explanatory variables. The results confirm a strong association between matrilocality and dwelling size, although very large dwellings (over ca. 200 m2) were found to be associated with all types of post-marital residence. The best model combined dwelling size, post-marital residence pattern, and sedentism, the latter being the single best predictor of house size. The effect of agriculture on dwelling size becomes insignificant once the fixity of settlement is taken into account. Our results indicate that post-marital residence and house size evolve in a correlated fashion, namely that matrilocality is a predictable response to an increase in dwelling size. As such, we suggest that reliable inferences about the social organization of prehistoric societies can be made from archaeological records.
Project description:The nature of social life in human prehistory is elusive, yet knowing how kinship systems evolve is critical for understanding population history and cultural diversity. Post-marital residence rules specify sex-specific dispersal and kin association, influencing the pattern of genetic markers across populations. Cultural phylogenetics allows us to practise 'virtual archaeology' on these aspects of social life that leave no trace in the archaeological record. Here we show that early Austronesian societies practised matrilocal post-marital residence. Using a Markov-chain Monte Carlo comparative method implemented in a Bayesian phylogenetic framework, we estimated the type of residence at each ancestral node in a sample of Austronesian language trees spanning 135 Pacific societies. Matrilocal residence has been hypothesized for proto-Oceanic society (ca 3500 BP), but we find strong evidence that matrilocality was predominant in earlier Austronesian societies ca 5000-4500 BP, at the root of the language family and its early branches. Our results illuminate the divergent patterns of mtDNA and Y-chromosome markers seen in the Pacific. The analysis of present-day cross-cultural data in this way allows us to directly address cultural evolutionary and life-history processes in prehistory.
Project description:Post-marital residence of spouses is one of the architects of population genetic structure. In the present study, we tested how the place of residence of males and females in Ngazidja, Comoros Islands, has unequally channeled, by dispersal among villages, the male and female genetic diversity. Using sequences of the hypervariable segment I of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA HVS-I) and six Y-chromosome microsatellites (Y-STRs), we measured the genetic variation and male-to-female effective number of migrants ratios based on FST values and revealed a genetic structure mostly driven by male gene flow across villages. This genetic feature illustrates the uxori-matrilocality inherited from the Bantu expansion, though one exception exists in Bandamadji whose historically documented military status implied patrilocality in this locality.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Socio-economic conditions can affect the secondary sex ratio in humans. Mothers under good environmental conditions are predicted to increase the birth rates of sons according to the Trivers-Willard hypothesis (TWH). This study analyzed the effects of ownership and non-ownership of dwellings on the sex ratio at birth (SRB) on a Ugandan sample. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Our investigation included 438,640 mothers aged between 12 and 54 years. The overall average SRB was 0.5008. Mothers who live in owned dwellings gave increased births to sons (0.5019) compared to those who live in non-owned dwellings (0.458). Multivariate statistics revealed the strongest effects of dwelling ownership when controlling for demographic and social variables such as marital status, type of marriage, mothers' age, mothers' education, parity and others. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results are discussed in the framework of recent plausible models dealing with the adjustment of the sex ratio. We conclude that the aspect of dwelling status could represent an important socio-economic parameter in relation to SRB variations in humans if further studies are able to analyze it between different countries in a comparative way.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To characterize the exposure to electric fields and magnetic fields of non-ionizing radiation in the electromagnetic spectrum (15 Hz to 100 kHz) in the dwellings of children from the Spanish Environment and Childhood-"INMA" population-based birth cohort. METHODOLOGY:The study sample was drawn from the INMA-Granada cohort. Out of 300 boys participating in the 9-10 year follow-up, 123 families agreed to the exposure assessment at home and completed a specific ad hoc questionnaire gathering information on sources of non-ionizing radiation electric and magnetic fields inside the homes and on patterns of use. Long-term indoor measurements were carried out in the living room and bedroom. RESULTS:Survey data showed a low exposure in the children's homes according to reference levels of the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection but with large differences among homes in mean and maximum values. Daytime electrostatic and magnetic fields were below the quantification limit in 78.6% (92 dwellings) and 92.3% (108 dwellings) of houses, with an arithmetic mean value (± standard deviation) of 7.31±9.32 V/m and 162.30±91.16 nT, respectively. Mean magnetic field values were 1.6 lower during the night than the day. Nocturnal electrostatic values were not measured. Exposure levels were influenced by the area of residence (higher values in urban/semi-urban versus rural areas), type of dwelling, age of dwelling, floor of the dwelling, and season. CONCLUSION:Given the greater sensitivity to extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields of children and following the precautionary principle, preventive measures are warranted to reduce their exposure.
Project description:Humans divide themselves up into separate cultures, which is a unique and ubiquitous characteristic of our species. Kinship norms are one of the defining features of such societies. Here we show how norms of marital residence can evolve as a frequency-dependent strategy, using real-world cases from southwestern China and an evolutionary game model. The process of kinship change has occurred in the past and is also occurring now in southwestern China. Our data and models show how transitions between residence types can occur both as response to changing costs and benefits of co-residence with kin, and also due to the initial frequency of the strategies adopted by others in the population: patrilocal societies can become matrilocal, and neolocal societies can become duolocal. This illustrates how frequency-dependent selection plays a role both in the maintenance of group-level cultural diversity and in cultural extinction.
Project description:The physiological maintenance of a stable internal temperature by mammals and birds - the phenomenon termed homeothermy - is well known to be energetically expensive. The annual energy requirements of free-living mammals and birds are estimated to be 15-30 times higher than those of similar-size ectothermic vertebrates like lizards. Contemporary humans also use energy to accomplish thermoregulation. They are unique, however, in having shifted thermoregulatory control from the body to the occupied environment, with most people living in cities in dwellings that are temperature-regulated by furnaces and air conditioners powered by exogenous energy sources. The energetic implications of this strategy remain poorly defined. Here we comparatively quantify energy costs in cities, dwellings, and individual human bodies. Thermoregulation persists as a major driver of energy expenditure across these three scales, resulting in energy-versus-ambient-temperature relationships remarkably similar in shape. Incredibly, despite the many and diversified uses of network-delivered energy in modern societies, the energy requirements of six North American cities are as temperature-dependent as the energy requirements of isolated, individual homeotherms. However, the annual per-person energy cost of exogenously powered thermoregulation in cities and dwellings is 9-28 times higher than the cost of endogenous, metabolic thermoregulation of the human body. Shifting the locus of thermoregulatory control from the body to the dwelling achieves climate-independent thermal comfort. However, in an era of amplifying climate change driven by the carbon footprint of humanity, we must acknowledge the energetic extravagance of contemporary, city-scale thermoregulation, which prioritizes heat production over heat conservation.
Project description:Background: Shelter and safe housing is a basic human need that brings about a sense of ownership, self-sufficiency, and citizenship. Millions of people around the world live in inadequate dwellings in unhealthy areas, such as urban slums. These dwellings may experience indoor temperatures that impact inhabitants’ health. Indoor dwelling temperatures vary depending on many factors including geographic location, such as inland versus coastal. In an era of climate change, understanding how dwelling characteristics influence indoor temperature is important, especially in low- and middle-income countries, to protect health. Objective: To assess indoor temperature in low-cost dwellings located in a coastal setting in relation to dwelling characteristics. Methods: Indoor temperature and relative humidity loggers were installed from 1 June 2017 to 15 May 2018 in 50 dwellings in two settlements in a coastal town on the east coast of South Africa. Ambient outdoor temperature data were obtained from the national weather service, indoor temperature data were converted into apparent temperature, and heat index calculations were made to consider possible heat-health risks. A household questionnaire and dwelling observation assessment were administered. A mixed-effects linear regression model was constructed to consider the impact of dwelling characteristics on indoor apparent temperature. Findings: Among 17 dwellings with all data sets, indoor temperatures were consistently higher than, and well correlated (r = 0.92) with outdoor temperatures. Average differences in indoor and outdoor temperatures were about 4°C, with statistically significant differences in percentage difference of indoor/outdoor between seasons (p < 0.001). Heat indices for indoor temperatures were exceeded mostly in summer, thereby posing possible health risks. Dwellings with cement floors were statistically significantly cooler than any other floor type across all seasons. Conclusions: Low-cost dwellings experienced temperatures indoors higher than outdoor temperatures in part due to floor type. These results help inform interventions that consider housing and human health (n = 289).
Project description:BACKGROUND: Recent advances in automated assessment of basic vocabulary lists allow the construction of linguistic phylogenies useful for tracing dynamics of human population expansions, reconstructing ancestral cultures, and modeling transition rates of cultural traits over time. METHODS: Here we investigate the Tupi expansion, a widely-dispersed language family in lowland South America, with a distance-based phylogeny based on 40-word vocabulary lists from 48 languages. We coded 11 cultural traits across the diverse Tupi family including traditional warfare patterns, post-marital residence, corporate structure, community size, paternity beliefs, sibling terminology, presence of canoes, tattooing, shamanism, men's houses, and lip plugs. RESULTS/DISCUSSION: The linguistic phylogeny supports a Tupi homeland in west-central Brazil with subsequent major expansions across much of lowland South America. Consistently, ancestral reconstructions of cultural traits over the linguistic phylogeny suggest that social complexity has tended to decline through time, most notably in the independent emergence of several nomadic hunter-gatherer societies. Estimated rates of cultural change across the Tupi expansion are on the order of only a few changes per 10,000 years, in accord with previous cultural phylogenetic results in other language families around the world, and indicate a conservative nature to much of human culture.
Project description:As the high temperatures experienced during the summer of 2018 may become commonplace by 2050, adaptation to higher indoor temperatures while minimising the need for mechanical cooling is required. A thorough understanding of the factors that influence indoor temperatures can enable the design of healthier and safer dwellings under a warming climate. The aim of this paper is to provide further insight into the topic of indoor overheating through the analysis of the largest recent sample of English dwellings, the 2011 Energy Follow-Up Survey, comprised of 823 dwellings. Following the pre-processing stage, the indoor overheating risk of 795 living rooms and 799 bedrooms was quantified using the criteria defined within CIBSE's Technical Memorandum 59. Approximately 2.5% of the dwellings were found to exceed Criterion 1, with this figure approaching 26% when Criterion 2 was considered. Subsequently, the indoor temperatures were standardised against external weather conditions and the correlation of 11 dwelling and 9 household characteristics was examined. Factors such as the main heating system, tenure and occupant vulnerability were all found to have a statistically significant association with the indoor temperatures. Further analysis revealed multiple correlations between household and dwelling characteristics, highlighting the complexity of the indoor overheating problem. Practical application : By applying the criteria in CIBSE's TM59, 26% of the dwellings monitored during the 2011 Energy Follow-Up Survey were found to overheat. Since 2011 was a cool summer and future temperatures are expected to be warmer, even more dwellings are expected to fail these criteria in the future. Multiple dwelling and household characteristics were associated with higher indoor temperatures, including: dwellings with a SAP rating?>?70, more recently built and with communal heating. Thus, it is crucial to consider indoor overheating risk at the building design or refurbishment stage to prevent the possible consequences of uncomfortably high indoor temperatures.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Rapid reinfestation of insecticide-treated dwellings hamper the sustained elimination of Triatoma infestans, the main vector of Chagas disease in the Gran Chaco region. We conducted a seven-year longitudinal study including community-wide spraying with pyrethroid insecticides combined with periodic vector surveillance to investigate the house reinfestation process in connection with baseline pyrethroid resistance, housing quality and household mobility in a rural section of Pampa del Indio mainly inhabited by deprived indigenous people (Qom). METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:Despite evidence of moderate pyrethroid resistance in local T. infestans populations, house infestation dropped from 31.9% at baseline to 0.7% at 10 months post-spraying (MPS), with no triatomine found at 59 and 78 MPS. Household-based surveillance corroborated the rare occurrence of T. infestans and the house invasion of other four triatomine species. The annual rates of loss of initially occupied houses and of household mobility were high (4.6-8.0%). Housing improvements did not translate into a significant reduction of mud-walled houses and refuges for triatomines because most households kept the former dwelling or built new ones with mud walls. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:Our results refute the assumption that vector control actions performed in marginalized communities of the Gran Chaco are doomed to fail. The larger-than-expected impacts of the intervention program were likely associated with the combined effects of high-coverage, professional insecticide spraying followed by systematic vector surveillance-and-response, broad geographic coverage creating a buffer zone, frequent housing replacement and residential mobility. The dynamical interactions among housing quality, mobility and insecticide-based control largely affect the chances of vector elimination.