This volume describes the archaeological evidence for compassion in early humans from 2 milllion to 30,000 years ago. After describing the biology of compassion, the authors review archaeological evidence for compassionate care of the ill and infirm, risk taking on behalf of others, and a desire to soothe others distress within early species of human. They conclude with a model for the development of a capacity for compassion in humans.
The volume is written by a lecturer and two researchers in Early Prehistory at the University of York and builds on research published in the journal Time and Mind (2010).
All proceeds from the book sale go to the charity World Vision.
I studied my first degree and PhD at Cambridge University, specialising in Palaeolithic and Mesolithic archaeology, and my Masters degree (in GIS) at Leeds University and am now a lecturer in Early Prehistory at York Univesrity. My recent research addresses the role of autism in prehistoric societies, the evolution of emotions and the maintenance of egalitarian hunter-gatherer communities as well as more traditional fieldwork related subjects. I have published several recent books (most recently The Mesolithic In Europe, CUP, co-edited with Geoff Bailey) and journal articles (such as in Cambridge Archaeological Journal, Journal of Archaeological Science, Journal of World Prehistory, Time and Mind). Andy Needham and Holly Rutherford are research students in Early Prehistory at York and have published in Time and Mind and Internet Archaeology.
THE PREHISTORY OF COMPASSION Published November 17, 2010