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Communal Hunting Facilities as a Record of Human Cooperation

Author(s): Spencer Pelton

Year: 2017

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Communal hunting facilities such as drive walls, hunting pits, and other features, are one of archaeologists’ most direct proxies for past human cooperation. At the least, communal hunting facilities are unambiguous evidence for past cooperative effort. They are also informative of the nature of that cooperation, since variation in facility size and configuration should reflect variation in cooperative behavior. In this study, I present a model designed to understand variation in communal hunting facilities. I then test the expectations of that model by presenting a comparative analysis between communal hunting facilities in North America and Eurasia. I conclude by suggesting that communal hunting facilities inform not only the origins of cooperative behavior, but also its evolution alongside larger socio-political processes.

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Communal Hunting Facilities as a Record of Human Cooperation. Spencer Pelton. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430844)


Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15646

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