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Mortal Rituals – What the Story of the Andes Survivors Tells Us About Human Evolution - Columbia Scholarship Online
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Mortal Rituals: What the Story of the Andes Survivors Tells Us About Human Evolution

Matt Rossano


On December 21, 1972, sixteen young survivors of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 were rescued after spending ten weeks stranded at the crash site of their plane, high in the remote Andes Mountains. The incident made international headlines and spawned several best-selling books, fueled partly by the fact that the young men had resorted to cannibalism to survive. This book examines this story from an evolutionary perspective, weaving together findings and ideas from anthropology, psychology, religion, and cognitive science. During their ordeal, these young men broke “civilized” taboos to fend of ... More

Keywords: Uruguayan Air Force, Andes Mountains, cannibalism, civilized thinking, social unity, individual sanity, emotional hardship, physical hardship, moral rituals

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780231165006
Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015 DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231165006.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Matt Rossano, author