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Structured Worlds: The Archaeology of Hunter-Gatherer Thought and Action
This volume demonstrates the critical role of cosmology, values, and perceptions in the archaeological histories of hunter-fisher-gatherers. It serves as a complement to prevailing views of foraging cultures as closely constrained by environment and technology. Examples from Mesolithic Europe, the Natufian Levant, Jomon Japan, and the Northwest Coast,...
This volume demonstrates the critical role of cosmology, values, and perceptions in the archaeological histories of hunter-fisher-gatherers. It serves as a complement to prevailing views of foraging cultures as closely constrained by environment and technology. Examples from Mesolithic Europe, the Natufian Levant, Jomon Japan, and the Northwest Coast, northern Plains, and High Arctic of North America show the role of conceptual frameworks in the configuration of subsistence and settlement, technology, migration, demography, and social organization. They also show the structuring influence of perception and belief in shaping everyday actions and longer-term responses to change, and further illustrate how structures of thought and action mutually define one another as they shape developments over time. The volume examines cultures dating from the early Holocene to the present day and uses information drawn from archaeology, ethnoarchaeology, and ethnography to illustrate the active role of beliefs, ritual, and social values in how foragers perceive and interact with the physical and social landscape. Individual studies use the evidence of artifacts, animal bones, features, and settlement patterns to show how these remains and the systems of behaviour they represent were shaped as much by cultural conceptions as by material need and environmental opportunity.
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