NewsThe Science of Inequality

Our egalitarian Eden

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Science  23 May 2014:
Vol. 344, Issue 6186, pp. 824-825
DOI: 10.1126/science.344.6186.824

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For more than 90% of human history, our species has lived as egalitarian hunter-gatherers. How did our ancestors keep inequality in check? Research on existing hunter-gatherer societies suggests that scattered resources, few possessions, and customs such as sharing meat and exchanging arrows keep these societies equitable.