Micro-History and Macro Evolution: Material Geographies of Multi-Family Neolithic Households

Author(s): Ian Kuijt

Year: 2017


The Near Eastern foraging to farming transition was characterized by the emergence of more powerful nuclear family and multi family households. It remains unclear, however, how this longer-term evolutionary transition was connected to small-scale daily household decision-making. Focusing on the archaeology sites of Tell Halula and Çatalhöyük, I explore archaeological evidence for the development of Neolithic multi-family households, and how they may have been connected to seasonal collective labor, and were maintained through collective burial practices that focused on linage houses. I argue that small-scale decision making related to Neolithic household food storage and population growth created the context for the long-term evolutionary development of entrenched intra-household differentiation, and the development of multi-family households living in multiple residential buildings. Although difficult to address, the short-term control of household ritual practices may have served as a means for the development of more powerful, and larger, inter-generational households.

Cite this Record

Micro-History and Macro Evolution: Material Geographies of Multi-Family Neolithic Households. Ian Kuijt. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431628)


Geographic Keywords
West Asia

Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16786