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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.
Part I Theoretical Considerations
1 Aspects of Hunter-Gatherer Complexity
2 Prehistoric Developments in the American Midcontinent and in Brittany, Northwest France
Introduction: The Fallacy of "Hot" and "Cold" Societies
Mesolithic and Archaic
Neolithic and Woodland
Conclusions: Just a Just-So Story?
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
4 Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherers: The Meaning of Social Complexity
Population Growth and Hunter-Gatherer Homeostasis
Social Complexity as an Economic Buffer
Population Density and Social Conflict
Testing the Model
Part II North America
5 Whaling as an Organizing Focus in Northwestern Alaskan Eskimo Societies
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
6 Hierarchies, Stress, and Logistical Strategies Among Hunter-Gatherers in Northwestern North America
Subsistence Strategies, Intensification, and Information
Discussion and Conclusions
7 Complex Hunter-Gatherers in Interior British Columbia
The Middle Fraser Canyon
Identifying the Sources of Inequality
Discussion and Conclusions
8 Long-Term Trends to Sedentism and the Emergence of Complexity in the American Midwest
Explanation of Sedentism
The Midwest Archaeological Record
The Challenge of the Midwest Record
Part III Old World
9 Patterns of Intensification as Seen from the Upper Paleolithic of the Central Russian Plain
The Study Area
Chronological Changes in Man—Land Relations
Chronological Changes in Man—Man Relations
10 The Ecological Basis of Social Complexity in the Upper Paleolithic of Southwestern France
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
11 Ritual Communication, Social Elaboration, and the Variable Trajectories of Paleolithic Material Culture
Paleolithic Art and Sociocultural Inferences
Ritual Communication and Social Hierarchies
Paleolithic Art as Formalized Systems of Visual Communication
12 Mobility in the Early Mesolithic of Northwestern Europe: An Alternative Explanation
The Early Mesolithic Crisis
The Irish Evidence
The English Evidence
The Southern Scandinavian Evidence
13 Affluent Foragers of Mesolithic Southern Scandinavia
Land and Sea
Flora and Fauna
Prehistory of Southern Scandinavia
Aspects of Change
Affluence and Complexity
14 Preagricultural Sedentism: The Natufian Example
Archaeological Evidence from the Levant
Stability in the Natufian
15 Intensification and Australian Prehistory
Summary and Wider Implications
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
17 Complex Hunter—Gatherers: Retrospect and Prospect
Approaches to Explanation
- No. of pages:
- © Academic Press 1985
- 28th January 1985
- Academic Press
- eBook ISBN:
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