ISBN: 0765317508
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tempguy9999 · 2019-07-02 · Original thread
An odd one here. 'Chimpanzee Material Culture'[0]. It's getting on a bit (pub 1992) so perhaps others can recommend a more updated study, but it's a sophisticated presentation of chimps, their culture, how they compare to human hunter-gatherers (and how difficult it can be to distinguish between crude stone tools used by one or other), how difficult it is to even phrase the right question when it comes to comparing chimps and humans, and a list of open issues. Anyone who wants to talk about limits of nonhuman should read this.

And with a sense of humour too. Not too heavy, and I found it a genuine page-turner (rather unexpected that!)

And as I mention humour I just reminded myself of 'The Innocent Anthropologist'[1] which is kind-of similar in a way but totally hilarious [1]. It's really funny, also very educational, and would make a very good complement to the first.

I suppose to continue the theme of other cultures (which fascinate me because they teach me so much about my own culture and assumptions when I read how very different other societies can be), 'Aztec'[2]. It tracks the life of a (fictional) aztec and the destruction of his culture and people as the conquistadors arrive. The author does take some historical liberties; allow for that a little. I'll call it the best book I ever read, however it is dense so it either works for you or it doesn't. But if it works, it is amazing!

[0] https://www.amazon.co.uk/Chimpanzee-Material-Culture-Implica...

[1] https://www.amazon.co.uk/Innocent-Anthropologist-Notes-Mud-H...

[2] https://www.amazon.co.uk/Aztec-Gary-Jennings/dp/0765317508

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