Crop Management and Domestication in Eastern North America Inspired Both Cooperative Niche Construction and Territorial Competition
This is an abstract from the "Fifty Years of Fretwell and Lucas: Archaeological Applications of Ideal Distribution Models" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.
Much recent research has emphasized the importance of both within-group cooperation and between-group competition in the human past. We hypothesize that the shift from foraging to food production in Eastern North America provided novel ecological conditions which impacted human sociality in the region, shaping patterns of cooperation and competition. We predict that 1) successful exploitation of the Eastern Agricultural Complex required an elevated degree of cooperation leading to site aggregation, and 2) continued human population growth and aggregation inspired a shift from cooperative to competitive settlement pattern dynamics, driving declines in site suitability. Our results demonstrate that there was a shift from randomly-distributed sites in relatively lower-quality locations to significantly clustered sites in higher-quality locations coincident with crop management and domestication in the Middle and Late Holocene, but that site quality declined after the adoption of the full crop complex in the Late Holocene. As predicted, these results indicate that niche construction in the form of managing and domesticating plants strengthened a preexisting Allee effect and led to greater within-group cooperation, but was also related to the rise of territorial between-group competition in the region which forced people into less suitable habitats in the Late Holocene.
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Crop Management and Domestication in Eastern North America Inspired Both Cooperative Niche Construction and Territorial Competition. Elic Weitzel, Brian Codding, Stephen B. Carmody, David Zeanah. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 452085)
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min long: -168.574; min lat: 7.014 ; max long: -54.844; max lat: 74.683 ;
Abstract Id(s): 24613