Understanding Prearchaic Mobility and Settlement Patterns: The Role of Theory, Models, and Ethnographic Analogies
Most evidence suggests that Prearchaic hunter-gatherers were highly mobile, and equipped with a hunting oriented lithic technology that lacked milling equipment. Nonetheless, they acquired a broad spectrum of prey and tended to camp near wetlands rich in small game and plant resources. Archaeologists have questioned to what degree this evidence reflects an adaptation that fundamentally differed from ethnographically observed patterns in the Great Basin, as well as whether it was shaped primarily by social and political, rather than subsistence needs. We argue that the Prearchaic cannot be understood by direct analogy with ethnographic Great Basin foragers because they lived in climatic circumstances and at population densities utterly unlike those of recent times. An alternative theoretical approach informed by behavioral ecology and validated with data on global variability in hunter-gatherer mobility can yield testable expectations. Such an approach should be founded on the expectation that both social and economic incentives play critical and non-contradictory roles in structuring the settlement patterns and mobility strategies of low population density hunter-gatherers.
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Understanding Prearchaic Mobility and Settlement Patterns: The Role of Theory, Models, and Ethnographic Analogies. David Zeanah, Douglas Bird, Rebecca Bliege Bird, Brian Codding, Robert Elston. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444824)
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min long: -124.189; min lat: 31.803 ; max long: -105.469; max lat: 43.58 ;
Abstract Id(s): 21149