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Evolution of Complex Hunter-Gatherers Archaeological Evidence from the North Pacific

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ISBN-10: 0306478536

ISBN-13: 9780306478536

Edition: 2003

Authors: Ben Fitzhugh

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Complex hunter-gatherers have captivated anthropological and archaeological interest in the past two decades. Where it was once commonplace to view hunting and gathering as little more than a starting point for social evolution, today scholars appreciate great diversity in past and present hunter-gatherer societies. The challenge of explaining the development of complexity in hunter-gatherer groups breathes new life into hunter-gatherer studies, focusing not only on adaptive variation but also on evolution and history. This book makes a contribution to the developing field of complex hunter-gatherer studies with an archaeological analysis of the development of one such group. This book examines the evolution of complex hunter-gatherers on the North Pacific coast of Alaska. It strives to account for the dynamics and processes that transformed a population from low density, disaggregated, relatively mobile, and relatively egalitarian organizations into the demographically dense, sedentary, aggregated, militaristic, and ranked/stratified populations around the North Pacific by the time of ethnographic contact. To do so, this book examines seven thousand years of archaeological history on the Kodiak Archipelago - a region that 250 years ago was part of a broader phenomenon of complex hunter-gatherers ringing the North American Pacific Northwest Coast from California to the Aleutian Islands. This is one of the first books available to examine in depth the social evolution of a specific complex hunter-gatherer tradition on the North Pacific Rim. As such, it provides readers with an intimate look at archaeological evidence integrated into a problem-oriented study of emergent complex hunter-gatherers. It will be of interest to professional archaeologists, anthropologists, students of archaeology and anthropology, and general readers interested in social evolution, complex hunter-gatherers, and/or Alaskan prehistory.
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Book details

Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: Springer
Publication date: 7/31/2003
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 332
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

The Evolution of Complex Hunter-Gatherers
Social Complexity--A Definition
Complex Hunter-Gatherers--A Definition
The North Pacific Rim
Theoretical Orientation
The Kodiak Environment
The Physical Environment
Terrestrial Ecozone
Littoral Ecozone
Marine Ecozone
Riverine Ecozone
Temporal Dimensions of Environmental Variability
Seasonal Scale Variability
Subseasonal Variation
Inter-annual Scale Variation
Long Scale Variation
A Historical Framework
Ocean Bay I and II (7500-3500 BP)
Ocean Bay to Kachemak Transition
Early Kachemak/Old Kiavak (3200-2500 BP)
Late Kachemak/Three Saints Phase (2500-800 BP)
Kachemak-Koniag: Transition, Discontinuity, or Replacement?
Koniag (800-200 BP)
Alutiiq/Russian-America (AD 1784-1864)
Alutiiq/US America (AD 1867-present)
Complex Hunter-Gatherers on the Kodiak Archipelago
Feast and Famine for the Kodiak Alutiiq
Potlatch Feasting
Gender Relations
Property Ownership
Maritime Adaptation
Evidence for the Earliest Occupants of Kodiak
Estimating the Timing of Colonization
Lifeways of Early Holocene Coastal Peoples
Modeling Emergent Complexity on the North Pacific
Outline of Theoretical Orientation
Modeling Kodiak Social Evolution
Act I--A Beginning
Act II--Initial Effects of Circumscription
Act III--Eluding Malthus: Effects of Technological and Labor Intensification
Act IV--Emergence of Social Asymmetry
The Sitkalidak Archaeological Survey Project
Project Goals
Survey Strategy
Site Identification
Site Documentation
Analytical Units and Precision
Site Chronology
Radiocarbon Dating
Typological Dating
Material Analysis
Faunal Materials
Tanginak Spring Site (KOD 481)
Bear Island Site (KOD 564)
Partition Cliff Site (KOD 473)
Lighthouse Site (KOD 089)
Site Scale Analyses
Component Frequencies as a Measure of Changing Settlement Density
Site Size Measures of Population Aggregation
Site Area
Number of Houses Per Site
Site Function Variability
Site Functions from Spatial and Geographical Parameters
Artifacts Assemblage Character
Settlement Patterns
Social Inequality and Demography
House Attributes as a Measure of Social Variability
Trends in Population Change
The House/Site Area Method
The Carbon-Date Frequency Method
Reconciliation, Extension, and Implications
Interrogating the Model
Ocean Bay I: The First Act--Aftermath of Colonization
Ocean Bay II: The Second Act--Expansion to Density-Dependence
Early Kachemak: The Third Act--Density-Dependence or Near Extinction?
Late Kachemak and Koniag: The Fourth Act--Competition and Cooperation in a New World Order
Overtures to Emergent Properties
Summary and Conclusion
Appendix A
Appendix B
Appendix C
Appendix D