Hidden Depths is a research project based at the University of York and funded by the John Templeton Foundation, 2016-2019. The aim of the project is to develop academic and public understanding of pro-social emotions in human evolution.
Our scientific story of human origins is often told as one in which people lack the very elements which we believe define humanity – emotional responses to each other. We know that our distant ancestors were courageous on behalf on others, showed self-control, kindness and compassion, and used tolerance and gratitude to forge links with people they differed from and rarely met, however evidence for these behaviours is rarely discussed. In this project, archaeological evidence relating to three key themes (compassion, tolerance and patience) will be brought together, analysed, and interpreted leading to an online open access volume, academic papers, and a website designed for use in schools. The project aims to influence the balance of academic and public attention, towards a fuller appreciation of a far greater record for collaboration and altruism.