Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherers - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780125647502, 9781483299235

Prehistoric Hunter-Gatherers

1st Edition

The Emergence of Cultural Complexity

Authors: RABIGER
eBook ISBN: 9781483299235
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 28th January 1985
Page Count: 472
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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

Details

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

About the Author