Animals have played a fundamental role in shaping human history, and the study of their remains from archaeological sites - zooarchaeology - has gradually been emerging as a powerful discipline and crucible for forging an understanding of our past. The Oxford Handbook of Zooarchaeology offers a cutting-edge compendium of zooarchaeology the world over that transcends environmental, economic, and social approaches, seeking instead to provide a holistic view of the roles played by animals in past human cultures. Incisive chapters written by leading scholars in the field incorporate case studies from across five continents, from Iceland to New Zealand and from Japan to Egypt and Ecuador, providing a sense of the dynamism of the discipline, the many approaches and methods adopted by different schools and traditions, and an idea of the huge range of interactions that have occurred between people and animals throughout the world and its history. Adaptations of human-animal relationships in environments as varied as the Arctic, temperate forests, deserts, the tropics, and the sea are discussed, while studies of hunter-gatherers, farmers, herders, fishermen, and even traders and urban dwellers highlight the importance that animals have had in all forms of human societies. With an introduction that clearly contextualizes the current practice of zooarchaeology in relation to both its history and the challenges and opportunities that can be expected for the future, and a methodological glossary illuminating the way in which zooarchaeologists approach the study of their material, this Handbook will be invaluable not only for specialists in the field, but for anybody who has an interest in our past and the role that animals have played in forging it.
This thought provoking collection of new research papers explores the extent of variation amongst hunting and gathering peoples past and present and the considerable analytical challenges presented by this diversity. This problem is especially important in archaeology, where increasing empirical evidence illustrates ways of life that are not easily encompassed within the range of variation recognised in the contemporary world of surviving hunter-gatherers. Put simply, how do past hunter-gatherers fit into our understandings of hunter-gatherers? Furthermore, given the inevitable archaeological reliance on analogy, it is important to ask whether conceptions of hunter-gatherers based on contemporary societies restrict our comprehension of past diversity and of how this changes over the long term. Discussion of hunter-gatherers shows them to be varied and flexible, but modelling of contemporary hunter-gatherers has not only reduced them into essential categories, but has also portrayed them as static and without history.It is often said that the study of hunter-gatherers can provide insight into past forms of social organisation and behaviour; unfortunately too often it has limited our understandings of these societies. In contrast, contributors here explore past hunter-gather diversity over time and space to provide critical perspectives on general models of ‘hunter-gatherers’ and attempt to provide new perspectives on hunter-gatherer societies from the greater diversity present in the past.
How did warfare originate? Was it human genetics? Social competition? The rise of complexity? Intensive study of the long-term hunter-gatherer past brings us closer to an answer. The original chapters in this volume examine cultural areas on five continents where there is archaeological, ethnographic, and historical evidence for hunter-gatherer conflict despite high degrees of mobility, small populations, and relatively egalitarian social structures. Their controversial conclusions will elicit interest among anthropologists, archaeologists, and those in conflict studies.
As research continues on the earliest migration of modern humans into North and South America, the current state of knowledge about these first Americans is continually evolving. Especially with recent advances in human genomic studies, both of living populations and ancient skeletal remains, new light is being shed in the ongoing quest toward understanding the full complexity and timing of prehistoric migration patterns. Paleoamerican Odyssey collects thirty-one studies presented at the 2013 conference by the same name, hosted in Santa Fe, New Mexico, by the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M University. Providing an up-to-date view of the current state of knowledge in paleoamerican studies, the research gathered in this volume, presented by leaders in the field, focuses especially on late Pleistocene Northeast Asia, Beringia, and North and South America, as well as dispersal routes, molecular genetics, and Clovis and pre-Clovis archaeology.
The Encyclopedia of Prehistory represents temporal dimension. Major traditions are an attempt to provide basic information also defined by a somewhat different set of on all archaeologically known cultures, sociocultural characteristics than are eth covering the entire globe and the entire nological cultures. Major traditions are prehistory of humankind. It is designed as defined based on common subsistence a tool to assist in doing comparative practices, sociopolitical organization, and research on the peoples of the past. Most material industries, but language, ideology, of the entries are written by the world's and kinship ties play little or no part in foremost experts on the particular areas their definition because they are virtually and time periods. unrecoverable from archaeological con The Encyclopedia is organized accord texts. In contrast, language, ideology, and ing to major traditions. A major tradition kinship ties are central to defining ethno is defined as a group of populations sharing logical cultures.
Filling the gap left by the European and methodological bias of most texts on environmental archaeology, examines sites in North and South America and the Caribbean and demonstrates how the discipline can address significant anthropological issues. Some of those issues are the systematic relationshi