Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherers

Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherers

The Emergence of Cultural Complexity

1st Edition - January 28, 1985

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  • Author: RABIGER
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483299235

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Description

Prehistoric Hunters–Gatherers: The Emergence of Cultural Complexity focuses on the emergence of cultural complexity among hunter–gatherers. This book presents the demographic, ecological, and social perspectives that add to the understanding of the emergence of more elaborate organization. Organized into four parts encompassing 17 chapters, this book begins with an overview of previous perspectives on cultural complexity and suggests directions in the study of change. This text then proposes a synthesis of both ecological and social approaches as a more powerful interpretative framework for the study of complexity. Other chapters consider the relationship between population and social complexity in an elaboration of major argument regarding demographic pressure and cultural change. This book provides as well an intriguing look at the regional consequences of their focus on whaling. The final chapter characterizes approaches to hunter–gatherer complexity and reiterates the significance of change in human society prior to the adoption of domesticated animals and plants. This book is a valuable resource for archeologists and anthropologists.

Table of Contents


  • Contributors

    Preface

    Acknowledgments

    Part I Theoretical Considerations

    1 Aspects of Hunter-Gatherer Complexity

    Retrospect

    Hunter—Gatherer Complexity

    Conclusions

    References

    2 Prehistoric Developments in the American Midcontinent and in Brittany, Northwest France

    Introduction: The Fallacy of "Hot" and "Cold" Societies

    Mesolithic and Archaic

    Transitions

    Neolithic and Woodland

    Conclusions: Just a Just-So Story?

    Notes

    References

    3 Complexity and Scale in the Study of Fisher-Gatherer-Hunters: An Example from the Eastern United States

    Fisher-Gatherer-Hunters: A Quindecennial Reexamination

    Advances in the Understanding of Complexity among FGH Societies

    Toward a Synthetic Processual Anthropology

    Complexity in the Shell Mound Archaic of Western Kentucky

    The “Theoretical Twilight” Zone

    Notes

    References

    4 Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherers: The Meaning of Social Complexity

    Egalitarian Structures

    Population Growth and Hunter-Gatherer Homeostasis

    Social Complexity as an Economic Buffer

    Population Density and Social Conflict

    Testing the Model

    Summary

    Notes

    References

    Part II North America

    5 Whaling as an Organizing Focus in Northwestern Alaskan Eskimo Societies

    Introduction

    The Protohistoric Baseline

    The Economic and Dietary Importance of Whaling

    The Prehistoric Situation

    Development of Complexity in a Northern Hunting Society, A.D. 800 to Contact: A Model

    Conclusion

    References

    6 Hierarchies, Stress, and Logistical Strategies Among Hunter-Gatherers in Northwestern North America

    Introduction

    Subsistence Strategies, Intensification, and Information

    Archaeological Implications

    Discussion and Conclusions

    Notes

    References

    7 Complex Hunter-Gatherers in Interior British Columbia

    Introduction

    The Middle Fraser Canyon

    Measuring Inequality

    Identifying the Sources of Inequality

    Discussion and Conclusions

    References

    8 Long-Term Trends to Sedentism and the Emergence of Complexity in the American Midwest

    Introduction

    Explanation of Sedentism

    Long-Term Change

    Cost-Benefit Arguments

    Risk-Management Practices

    The Midwest Archaeological Record

    The Challenge of the Midwest Record

    Conclusion

    References

    Part III Old World

    9 Patterns of Intensification as Seen from the Upper Paleolithic of the Central Russian Plain

    Introduction

    The Study Area

    Chronology

    Chronological Changes in Man—Land Relations

    Chronological Changes in Man—Man Relations

    Conclusion

    References

    10 The Ecological Basis of Social Complexity in the Upper Paleolithic of Southwestern France

    Introduction

    Ecological Features of the Upper Paleolithic

    The Role of Salmon in Upper Paleolithic Procurement Systems

    Demographic and Social Patterns

    Stability and Change in the Upper Paleolithic Sequence

    References

    11 Ritual Communication, Social Elaboration, and the Variable Trajectories of Paleolithic Material Culture

    Introduction

    Paleolithic Art and Sociocultural Inferences

    Ritual Communication and Social Hierarchies

    Paleolithic Art as Formalized Systems of Visual Communication

    Differential Trajectories

    Some Conclusions

    Notes

    References

    12 Mobility in the Early Mesolithic of Northwestern Europe: An Alternative Explanation

    Introduction

    The Early Mesolithic Crisis

    The Irish Evidence

    The English Evidence

    The Southern Scandinavian Evidence

    Discussion

    References

    13 Affluent Foragers of Mesolithic Southern Scandinavia

    Introduction

    Land and Sea

    Flora and Fauna

    Prehistory of Southern Scandinavia

    Aspects of Change

    Affluence and Complexity

    References

    14 Preagricultural Sedentism: The Natufian Example

    Introduction

    System Stability

    Archaeological Evidence from the Levant

    Stability in the Natufian

    Summary

    References

    15 Intensification and Australian Prehistory

    Introduction

    Static Models

    Intensification

    Archaeology

    Discussion

    Social Forces

    Summary and Wider Implications

    References

    Part IV Retrospect and Prospect

    16 "Now Let's Invent Agriculture. . .": A Critical Review of Concepts of Complexity Among Hunter-Gatherers

    Adaptational versus Transformational Explanations of Change

    What is Affluence among Hunter—Gatherers?

    How Do Hunter—Gatherers Intensify?

    Mobility Versus Sedentism

    References

    17 Complex Hunter—Gatherers: Retrospect and Prospect

    Major Themes

    Approaches to Explanation

    Prospects

    References

    Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 472
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1985
  • Published: January 28, 1985
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483299235

About the Author

RABIGER

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