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Anth-202-fal-10-L13-Village Life

Anth-202-fal-10-L13-Village Life - Anthropology 202(500...

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Anthropology 202(500): Introduction to Archaeology (Lecture # 13, October 14, 2010) Post-Pleistocene Adaptations, Village Life, Onset of Agricultural Lifeways I. State of the post-Pleistocene planet: 14,000-10,000 B.P. (depending on setting) A. People everywhere, populations high relative to available food resources and existing technology, continuing rapid growth/packing 1. Populations move over frozen ground and across open seas 2. Increase in habitable space due to low sea levels 3. Increase in carrying capacity due to initial warming, greater biomass B. Megafauna extinction (a few exceptions, elephants, rhinos, etc.); smaller game, aquatic and plant resources must be exploited C. Overall decrease in habitable space as warming causes glaciers to recede and sea levels to rise, submerging: 1. Beringia: NE Asia-Alaska 2. Sudna: SE Asia-Java-Borneo 3. Sahal: New Guinea-Australia D. Also New Habitats in North as Ice Recedes E. Technologically competent populations as evidenced by geographic expansion 1. Open water boats to Australia by 60-40,000 years ago 2. To Solomon Islands by 30,000 B.P. 3. Open water boats by 12,000 B.P. to Melos (Mediterranean) to obsidian II. Land-Use Intensification: coping with imbalance between available food and needs A. By 15,000 B.P. perhaps 10.5 million people B. Land-use intensification conditions: 1. Population circumscription by natural physiographic conditions, presence of neighboring groups 2. Availability of intensifiable food resource: abundant, calorie-rich, capable of sustaining systematic harvest, e.g., some fish, shellfish, marine animals, nuts, seeds, roots 3. Population at/near carrying capacity given existing food getting strategies 4. Available technology for intensive exploitation a. Food getting/processing b. Storage for over-wintering or use during lean seasons (increased seasonality of Holocene) III. Land-use intensification trends/results A. Localization of adaptations to full spectrum of available habitats: more cultures in worldwide archaeological records; hunting remains very important 1
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B. Focus on r-selected food resources (many off-spring, limited investment in rearing), as opposed to k-selected
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