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The Importance of Short Duration Archaeological Sites for Contextualizing Forager Organization: An Argument from the Middle and Upper Paleolithic of central Portugal

Author(s): Paul Thacker

Year: 2017

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Summary

The majority of Late Pleistocene archaeological sites in central Portugal resulted from short-term forager activities on the scale of days or weeks. This paper explores the analytical and theoretical significance of these small, ephemeral sites for understanding Middle and Upper Paleolithic organization of technology and settlement strategies. The interpretive context provided by short term site assemblages is essential for developing robust regional hypotheses of Paleolithic behavior, including the local scale of MP raw material selection, a complex Gravettian settlement strategy for the Rio Maior region, and increasingly reliable and standardized technological organization during the Magdalenian. The variability in formation processes at different activity duration scales is an often neglected line of evidence for evaluating anthropological models of prehistoric forager adaptations, an oversight that creates a large-site bias and frequently leads to erroneous archaeological conclusions.


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The Importance of Short Duration Archaeological Sites for Contextualizing Forager Organization: An Argument from the Middle and Upper Paleolithic of central Portugal. Paul Thacker. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430967)


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Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15365

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