The Evolution of Human Co-operation
查尔斯·斯坦尼斯 Charles Stanish
(美国南佛罗里达大学 University of South Florida)
在超过50,000年的时间里，现代人生活在狩猎、采食、集食的小规模社群中。 这种生活方式是我们物种在演化历史上发展出的最成功的适应方式。语言的发生和人类独具的象征性行为使我们这一物种在全新世早期就统治了世界上绝大多数宜居的陆地生境。在人类历史的关键时期——大约11,000年前的东半球——几个地方的一些人们在生活的地方建起了纪念物。他们在架高的平台上用木头或石头建造纪念物，壁内还有精美的浮雕。 这些地方是游牧或半游牧民族时段性集会的“特殊场所”，暂时还没有更好的术语来称呼。
人类史前和历史时期最早的协作社群的本质是复杂社会起源问题中还未被解决的主要问题。我们用塞罗•德尔•蒂尔遗址的数据来检验以下假设：人们是否是从“小规模”的，本地社群中宴飨活动开始，然后随着他们本身扩展成更大的政治组织，宴飨活动也吸纳了更远的社群？又或者，是最早成功的社群在大区域内成功和更远距离的自治社群建立了联系？来自亚利桑那州立大学的凯里•努森分析了在天井发现的39个有机遗存的锶含量，包括人类遗存在内的各种有机体中87Sr / 86Sr的比率都可以说明他们的地理来源。我们发现天井中遗物的来源非常广泛，遍布在安第斯山脉中南部周围。
查尔斯·斯坦尼斯是南加州大学文化与环境高级研究所的执行主任。他曾在加州大学洛杉矶分校任教人类学，并担任扣岑考古研究所所长达20余年。他在秘鲁、玻利维亚和智利开展过广泛的工作，研究这些地区的史前社会。查尔斯毕业于宾夕法尼亚州立大学，获得学士学位，之后在芝加哥大学获得博士学位。他理论方面的研究集中在贸易、战争、仪式和劳动力组织在人类协作的演进和社会复杂化中所扮演的角色。查尔斯的主要著作包括《人类协作的演进》（2017年，剑桥）、《古代提提卡卡： 秘鲁南部和玻利维亚北部的社会复杂化》(2003年，伯克利) 、《古代安第斯山脉中的仪式和朝圣》（与B· Bauer合著，2001年，得克萨斯）和《古代安第斯政治经济》(1992年，得克萨斯) 。他还与一个可持续发展组织合作，通过小额贷款、组织直接赠款和旅游基础设施建设来保护全球文化遗产。他曾是敦巴顿橡树园研究图书馆的高级研究员，现任美国文理科学院院士院士、美国国家科学院院士。
For well over 50,000 years, modern humans lived in small groups of hunter-gatherer-forager societies. This way of life was the most successful adaptation in the history of our species. The evolution of language and the unique human capacity for symbolizing behavior allowed our species to dominate virtually all of the favorable continental habitats in the world by the early Holocene. At this critical juncture in the human career– around 11,000 years ago in the Eastern Hemisphere— a few peoples in a few places built monuments on the landscape. The monuments were built out of wood and stone. They held elaborate carvings inside walls that were built on elevated platforms. These locations were, for lack of a better term, “special places” where nomadic and seminomadic groups congregated for periods of time.
Sites such as Göbekli Tepe in Anatolia and Poverty Point in North America represent the archaeological signature of the development of “complex stateless societies.” These societies are defined as small groups with the capacity to create successful co-operative social organizations that can, among other things, construct and maintain the monumental structures in these special places. We can reasonably infer that if these groups had the capacity to organize large numbers of people to construct such monuments, they also had a complex social structure well beyond that of the small, nomadic band typical of the Late Pleistocene.
In order to understand the development of these first complex societies in any region of the world, we have to move away from the standard concept of “cultural evolution” to one of the “evolution of co-operation.” Central to this intellectual shift is the recognition that rational actor theory, the basis of economic game theory and traditional cultural evolutionary theory, is inadequate to explain sustained co-operation among intelligent, adaptive agents, particularly people living in small groups without coercive social or political institutions. Rather, the evolution of co-operation must be understood as a type of collective action problem – getting people in your group to co-operate over time for a common set of goals even if defecting from the group is in your immediate self-interest. This collective action problem in the historical sciences, in my view, has been most effectively dealt with using evolutionary game theory. The major question in my view is this: how do people living in small groups without money, markets, policing powers, bureaucracies, social classes, and other coercive mechanisms develop norms and rules of economic and social co-operation that are sustainable over time? This is, after all, precisely the context in which complex societies evolved in the Holocene.
I maintain that such co-operation is achieved by “ritualizing” the economy. These groups constructed norms, rituals, and taboos to organize their economy. These conclusions are based on a rich set of ethnographic data on stateless societies around the globe and on observations of the archaeological record. Far from being quaint and exotic customs of “primitive peoples,” the elaborate rules of economic behavior, encoded in rich ritual practices, are ingenious means of organizing a society where political coercion backed by overt or subtle force is absent. In other words, in stateless societies, the collective action problem is dealt with by ritualizing certain behaviors and providing the rewards and punishments necessary to maintain co-operation. The degree to which economic relationships between members of the co-operative group were ritualized to support that co-operation is the key to success in the competitive environment of the Holocene.
This process can be understood using concepts from evolutionary game theory and allied disciplines. I propose the concept of “anthropological game theory” to differentiate it from “evolutionary” and rational actor-based or economic game theory. Anthropological game theory allows us to understand small-group behavior where social rationality – also known as “irrational, prosocial behavior” – as opposed to economic rationality, is the dominant principle of human social interaction.
From an archaeological time scale perspective, we see a cultural transmission process in which the best strategies that promote group co-operation will be selected for, or imitated by others. I refer to this process as “strategy” selection, differentiating it from group or other kinds of multilevel selection. These successful strategies are then culturally transmitted through generations in societies without formal mechanisms of enforcement until the emergence of state societies and the simultaneous development of coercive social mechanisms.
Archaeological research over the last two generations have uncovered many of the world’s first complex societies in any region of the world. Many of these case studies illustrate this process of the evolution of human co-operation. The case study I use here comes from the south coast of Peru among the Paracas peoples circa 800-200 BCE.
In 2012, after 30 years of research in the Titicaca Basin in the high Andes, my colleague Henry Tantaleán and I started a long term archaeological research program in the valley of Chincha in the south coast of Peru. Thanks to work by previous archaeologists and our own new data, we have been able to piece together a comprehensive prehistory of the valley beginning several millennia ago. One significant period is known as Paracas, a society that peaked around 400 BCE and ultimately transformed into a different culture by AD 200. This is the time when the first complex societies developed in the region, the origin of civilization in this part of the ancient world. The data from our work provides yet another detailed case study for theorists to model the evolution of complexity in one of the rare places in the world where civilizations independently developed.
We documented a massive Paracas presence in the valley, ranging from large pyramid structures to modest villages scattered over the landscape. We also discovered that the Paracas peoples built linear geoglyphs across the hyper-arid pampa lands above the valley. Like the famous lines of Nazca but several centuries earlier, the Chincha lines were etched into the desert and lined with small field stones. We also discovered the there were five sets of lines and that these sets all concentrated on the five major Paracas sites at the edge of the pampa. We also found many small structures built in between the lines. Our research indicated that a number of these small structures and many of the lines pointed to the June solstice sunset. Previous work by our team and others throughout Peru unequivocally indicates that the pre-Columbian peoples of the Andes used the solstices to mark important events.
We concluded that these sites were the end-points of ritually-significant social events that were timed by the winter solstices and possibly other astronomical phenomena. These ritual events were strategies that fit quite well with the principles of the co-operation theory. We chose to intensively study one end-point site, called Cerro del Gentil, to assess its significance in Paracas culture and in light of our theoretical ideas. The site is a large platform mound with three levels. The base level measures 50 × 120 m at its maximum and conforms to a classic Paracas architectural pattern in the valley. There is a sunken patio in each level measuring around 12 meters on a side.
Excavations by Tantaleán and his team in one of these patios yielded a rich trove of artifacts deposited in one of the sunken patios. The artifacts recovered included textiles, food stuffs, pottery, decorated gourds, stone objects, cane, miscellaneous objects, and human offerings. We found large pottery vessels that held maize beer. We found lots of evidence of food preparation as well, though we did not find a resident population. The site contained large numbers of pottery serving vessels and evidence of termination rituals involving liquid libations poured into the patio. Cerro del Gentil, in fact, was a classic archaeological example of a very significant feasting place.
One of the unanswered questions in the origin of complex societies centers on the nature of the earliest co-operative groups in human history and prehistory. We used the Cerro del Gentil data to test the following hypotheses: Did people start out “small”, feasting within their local group and then expanding to incorporate more distant groups as they evolved into large polities? Or, did the earliest successful groups develop contacts with distant autonomous groups around a large region? Our colleague Kelly Knudson from Arizona State analyzed the strontium ratios in 39 organic objects found in the patios as offerings. The ratio of 87Sr/86Sr in any organic object, including humans, tells us from what geographical zone that object is from. We discovered that objects in the patio were from a very broad range of ecozones around the south central Andes.
This case study demonstrates that earliest successful complex societies in the south coast of Peru ca. 400 BCE involved a wide catchment of people and objects. At least in Paracas society, the optimal strategy of civilization-building involved creating widespread alliances early on and then expanding on this model over centuries. This contrasts with a strategy in which people focused on their local group and then grew incrementally over time.
The data from southern Peru demonstrate how ritual was intertwined with the evolution of complex society. Strategies of state development necessarily included highly interactive ceremonies that brought together many different peoples from across the region for social, political, economic and cultural reasons. We hypothesize a landscape in which there were many competing groups at the beginning of this process. Over time, we see that the number of sites decreases but the size of the monumental increases. This represents a process of regional consolidation of political centers which, in a few places around the world, made the evolutionary leap to fully coercive state societies.
Charles Stanish is Executive Director of the Institute for the Advanced Study of Culture and the Environment at USF. He was a professor of Anthropology and director of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA for 20 years. He has worked extensively in Peru, Bolivia, and Chile, conducting archaeological research on the prehistoric societies of the region. He earned his BA from Pennsylvania State and his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. His theoretical work focuses on the roles that trade, war, ritual, and labor organization play in the evolution of human cooperation and complex societies. His primary books include The Evolution of Human Co-operation (2017-Cambridge), Ancient Titicaca: The Evolution of Complex Society in Southern Peru and Northern Bolivia (2003-Berkeley), Ritual and Pilgrimage in the Ancient Andes (with B. Bauer, 2001-Texas) and Ancient Andean Political Economy (1992-Texas). He also works with a sustainable development group to preserve global cultural heritage through a combination of micro-lending, direct community grants, and tourist infrastructure development. He was a Senior Fellow at Dumbarton Oaks Research Library, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States.