Why us & not them? Ancestral grandmothering and human evolution

Kristen Hawkes (The University of Utah)

March 21, 2023, 11:30–12:30


Room Auditorium 4 (First floor - TSE building)


Compared to our closest living evolutionary cousins, the great apes, human longevity is greater, maturation slower and yet our birth intervals are shorter. Although the hunting/paternal provisioning hypothesis is widely assumed to explain the evolution of our genus, evidence against it plus evidence consistent with a grandmother hypothesis offered an alternative view of the evolution of human life history. Now ancestral grandmothering links not only the evolution of postmenopausal longevity, slower maturation, shorter birth intervals, but also our pair bonding habits, big brains, and distinctive life-long social appetites that begin in infancy.


Kristen Hawkes (The University of Utah), Why us & not them? Ancestral grandmothering and human evolution, IAST General Seminar, Toulouse: IAST, March 21, 2023, 11:30–12:30, room Auditorium 4 (First floor - TSE building).