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Human Ecology and Lithic Technology in Late Pleistocene SE Asia: A Whole Assemblage Perspective

Author(s): Daniel Michael ; Julien Riel-Salvatore

Year: 2015

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Summary

Whole assemblage analyses have revealed that Late Pleistocene foragers in Western Eurasia show land use strategies that fall on an expedient-curated continuum of lithic organization linked to shifts between residential and logistical mobility. Here, we apply this model to reconstruct mobility strategies in tropical SE Asia to see whether it works in non-temperate settings. Data from over 42 lithic assemblages from across SE Asia indicate that they appear to reflect a distinct environmental adaption even if it broadly conforms to the expected negative relationship between retouch frequency and artifact density seen Neanderthals and AMH. These data thus show the utility of an alternative approach to address lithic variation in SE Asia that transcends some of the limits imposed by having used disparate typologies to study them in the past. They also provide a theoretical benchmark anchored in human behavioral ecology on what kinds of environmental contexts different assemblages are expected to reflect adaptations to. A brief reference is also made to the rather peculiar pattern displayed by the Liang Bua assemblages in the context of this analytical approach. The implications of these environmental expectations are also explored at length.

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Human Ecology and Lithic Technology in Late Pleistocene SE Asia: A Whole Assemblage Perspective. Daniel Michael, Julien Riel-Salvatore. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396693)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: 66.885; min lat: -8.928 ; max long: 147.568; max lat: 54.059 ;

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