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Title: Fear and flames : an investigation into the landscape level affordances of the Wildfire Package and their impact on modern human attitudes to fire and related landscapes of fear
Author: Caris, A. B.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7657 9899
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2017
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Fire is an important aspect of human culture with a relatively unknown deep evolutionary history whose origins are a subject of interest for research. In this thesis it is argued that the desire to feel safe and minimise risks to a large degree determines the habitat use choices of primates. This research project approaches early hominin fire-use in an innovative way by focussing on the adaptive selective benefits of intelligent palaeoenvironmental risk management strategies and subsequent reductions to vigilance investments and stress levels. It has isolated the point that almost no work had been carried out on the testing of modern human attitudes towards fire. On the basis of field studies carried out in the UK and in Uganda using questionnaire surveys, a major new line of evidence concerning modern human attitudes to fire is presented that may be useful to the testing of early fire theories. The research has made contributions to three main areas in coming to its conclusions: the principal contribution is the first systematic cross-cultural (and cross-continental) study into the attitudes and framing of fire; with one study cohort made up of Ugandan Batwa. The results identified a strong cross-cultural awareness of the usefulness of fire and the clear correlation between a broad history of fire-use and a positive framing of fire. The second major contribution to the study of the origins of hominin fire-use is the 'Wildfire Package' concept; a novel way of viewing the very variable landscape affordances of wildfire. The third contribution is the idea of 'Fear and Flames'; a new early hominin fire-use hypothesis grounded in Landscape of Fear theory.
Supervisor: Gowlett, John Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral