Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"How the baby sling made us"

“ There has been a rash of books on human evolution in recent years […]. Now Timothy Taylor, reader in archaeology at the University of Bradford, makes a claim for technology in general and, in particular, the invention of the baby sling – not, as you may have thought, in the 1960s but more than 2m years ago. […]
Not only is our brain very large, it is proportionately enormous at birth, creating problems at delivery for narrow-hipped, upright-standing women and even more during the first years, when babies are extremely vulnerable. Factor in the African savannah 2m years ago, teeming with enormous predators, and you wonder how we are still here. For Taylor, the crucial innovation was the baby sling, which enabled proto-human mothers to carry their vulnerable babies (infant apes, of course, cling to their mothers’ hairy backs).”

Peter Forbes, How the baby sling made us. Review, Saturday Guardian, 4.9.2010, p. 9

Timothy Taylor, The artificial ape: how technology changed the course of human evolution. Palgrave Macmillan 2010.

See also

images: Mamas & Papas catalogue, autumn/winter 2010


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