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Hunter-Gatherer Storage and Settlement: A View from the Central Sierra Nevada

Author(s): Carly Whelan

Year: 2015

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Summary

Though optimal foraging theory is useful for examining hunter-gatherer subsistence decisions, food storage falls outside the scope of traditional models, because it separates foraging effort from consumption. The time that foragers spend accumulating a surplus for storage has the potential to conflict with the time they need for other activities during seasons of abundance, creating opportunity costs to storage. Changes in settlement strategies can alter these opportunity costs and affect decisions about which foods to store. An examination of the Middle to Late Holocene archaeological record of the central Sierra Nevada indicates that a residentially mobile settlement strategy was replaced by a semi-sedentary one, prompting a shift in focus from gray pine nuts to acorns for storage. This suggests that the relationship between storage and sedentism is more complex than previously believed.

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Hunter-Gatherer Storage and Settlement: A View from the Central Sierra Nevada. Carly Whelan. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396459)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America