Evolutionary theory is a powerful theoretical framework that can account for the ways in which relatedness and differential persistence of forms vary across space and through time. Evolutionary research of the archaeological research focuses on studying the relations between the structure of the environment and the measurement of patterns of inheritance and performance values of artifact classes. Incorporating processes of cultural transmission and social learning to traditional biological models, evolutionary approaches can provide information about how human populations interacted and changed over time.
Key questions in evolutionary archaeology relate to explaining patterns of stylistic change, the investigation of the co-evolutionary origins of domestication, the determination of the processes that led to group-level behavior and the emergence of complex societies.
Strengthened by strong ties to Binghamton's Evolutionary Studies Program (EVoS) directed by David Sloan Wilson and the Center for Collecitive Dynamics in Complex Systems (CoCo), Binghamton's faculty work on building testable models of human evolution that address fundamental questions about the properties of social and cultural systems in which we live. Examples of these studies range from the study of pottery technology change in Eastern North America, to the explanation of the massive moai on Easter Island, to the investigation of early ballistics and projectile point technology.