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Village Aggregation and Early Cultural Developments on the Canadian Plateau: a case study from Keatley Creek

Author(s): Suzanne Villeneuve

Year: 2017

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Understanding when and under what conditions aggregation into larger communities with large corporate house organizations, socioeconomic inequalities and specialized ritual structures occurred has been a central theoretical issue in various regions of archaeological investigations. Perhaps the biggest bone of contention in current theorising is whether these transitions occur when hunter/gatherers accepted claims to privilege on the part of some individuals by consensus to deal with community problems due to environmental stress or population pressure, or whether people were cajoled into participating in systems creating inequality by promises of lucre and a better life. These scenarios contrast the most in terms of the resource conditions under which early cultural developments are expected. Ritual is often invoked in this context as a means of promoting community group solidarity, or to mobilize and justify systems of inequality. Research at Keatley Creek has been investigating these issues through intensive radiocarbon dating and detailed stratigraphic analysis of large house rim midden contexts and ritual structures, combined with GIS modeling of ritual in village or tribal level societies drawing upon ethnographic and archaeological research. Results from this on-going research offer significant insight to our understanding of early cultural developments among hunter/gatherers.

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Village Aggregation and Early Cultural Developments on the Canadian Plateau: a case study from Keatley Creek. Suzanne Villeneuve. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430123)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -142.471; min lat: 42.033 ; max long: -47.725; max lat: 74.402 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16831

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