By the same authors

From the same journal

From the same journal

The Geography of Trust and Betrayal: Moral disputes and Late Pleistocene dispersal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Full text download(s)

Published copy (DOI)



Publication details

JournalOpen Quaternary
DatePublished - 25 Nov 2015
Issue number10
Number of pages12
Original languageEnglish


The explanations for a rapid dispersal of modern humans after 100,000 BP remain enigmatic. Populations of modern humans took new routes – crossing significant topographic and environmental barriers, including making major sea crossings, and moving into and through risky and difficult environments. Neither population increase nor ecological changes provide an adequate explanation for a pattern of rapid movement, including leaping into new regions (saltation events). Here it is argued that the structural dynamics of emotionally complex collaboration and in depth moral commitments generates regular expulsion events of founding populations. These expulsion events provide an explanation for the as yet elusive element to dispersal. Alongside cognitive and cultural complexity we should recognise the influence of emerging emotional complexity on significant behavioural changes in the Palaeolithic.

Bibliographical note

© 2015 The Authors. This content is made available by the publisher under a Creative Commons CC-BY Licence

    Research areas

  • Pleistocene Dispersal , Hyper cooperation , Trust , Moral conflicts, Evolution of emotions, Hunter-gatherers, Palaeolithic Colonisations

Discover related content

Find related publications, people, projects, datasets and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations