Acculturation and Its Discontents: Rethinking Models of Interpopulation Interaction during the Middle-Upper Paleolithic Transition
Given how large the topic of acculturation looms in discussions of the Middle-Upper Paleolithic transition, it is surprising how little attention has been paid to defining it in order to develop operational concepts that can be tested against the archaeological record. In the specific context of the Middle-Upper Paleolithic transition, the notion of acculturation has usually been considered as a unidirectional, one-size-fits-all social mechanism to explain both the appearance of transitional industries and the disappearance of Neanderthals. However, considering the growing genetic evidence of sustained interbreeding between distinct hominin populations during the Pleistocene, it is likely that interpopulation interactions were more fluid and dynamic than often assumed under the acculturation scenario. To account for this, we present here a review of the notion of acculturation and the likely archaeological manifestations of its different forms. We then compare this against the archaeological record of Western Europe in order to demonstrate how a more nuanced and ethnographically-grounded approach to the notion of acculturation is needed in order to properly model and ultimately make sense of the full variety of human experiences in that critical moment of our evolutionary past.
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Acculturation and Its Discontents: Rethinking Models of Interpopulation Interaction during the Middle-Upper Paleolithic Transition. Julien Riel-Salvatore, Allison Parrish. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 445324)
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min long: -13.711; min lat: 35.747 ; max long: 8.965; max lat: 59.086 ;
Abstract Id(s): 21314