Lecture 12 Ch 12 - Lecture 12 Chapter 12: The Root of the...

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Lecture 12 Chapter 12: The Root of the Matter (Farming) BUT FIRST: Holocene Hunter-Gatherers (Before Farming) (but after Upper Palaeolithic in Europe and after the Palaeo-Indians in the New World)
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Pleistocene epoch (1.8 or 1.6 mya down to c. 9600 BC) - the Great Ice Age/a series of Ice Ages - dryer, cooler and more variable environment Holocene epoch (9600 BC – present) – an interglacial period – warmer, wetter and more stable environment
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c. 13,000 BC = end of main part of Würm/Wisconsin glacial period (late Pleistocene) c. 12,700 – 10,950 BC - Bølling-Allerød Interstadial ( warm spell ) c. 10,950 – 9600 BC – Younger Dryas Interval/Stadial (cold snap) (return to Pleistocene conditions) c. 9600 BC and on = warm conditions ( Holocene epoch , proper)
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Holocene epoch (9600 BC to present) post-Upper Palaeolithic in Europe = Mesolithic (‘Middle Stone Age’) (c. 8000 BC – 3500 BC) (cf. African ‘Middle Stone Age’ = African Middle Palaeolithic) post-Upper Palaeolithic in the Near East = Epipalaeolithic (as early as c. 18,000 ya)
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What are Fisher-Gatherer-Hunters? Working definition of hunting and gathering: subsistence based on hunting of wild animals, gathering of wild plant foods, and fishing, with no domestication of plants, and no domesticated animals except the dog. H-Gs = original human lifeway? Harmony with nature? – but sometimes population controls like infanticide and senecide [cf. problem with the notions that a) humans maintain pristine environments and b) that humans are separate from the environment] - Resourceful – use or manipulate nature .
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high latitudes = marked annual seasonality (usually migrating animals like salmon, caribou, whales) temporal fluctuation in intra-annual biodiversity = variable diet from season to season (where late winter may be a very lean time). In glacial times, more of the continent was colder longer (longer winters – 9-month winters on Asian steppe)
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Variation in solar radiation at different latitudes as a broad index of biodiversity and seasonality and potential diet
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annual or seasonal round small family groups = microbands (dispersed campsites) all the families making up a territory = macroband (agglomerative basecamps)
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Various raw resource procurement areas (‘patches’, quarries etc.) are required during a short-term stay at a campsite or a longer-term term stay at a basecamp
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To Lewis Binford (in his ‘Willow Smoke and Dogs’ Tails’ article in American Antiquity 1980): Foragers immediate returns (typically don’t store food), ‘map onto’ resources, often generalised toolkit (useful in many situations), often tropical latitudes , high settlement mobility, regions with spatially discontinuous resources – patchy and unpredictable ‘Classic’ mobile hunter-gatherers of the Man the Hunter Conference (Lee and Devore 1968) – called Original Affluent Society ’ - e.g. !Kung of southern Africa – 70% of food is plant food - Zen-like mentality? - Don’t have much, but don’t need much - ‘Waste not want not’
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This note was uploaded on 03/01/2011 for the course ANTHRO 1A03 taught by Professor Eveningclass during the Spring '08 term at McMaster University.

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Lecture 12 Ch 12 - Lecture 12 Chapter 12: The Root of the...

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