Scholars have debated the role of ritual power and hierarchy in the emergence of social complexity a

Scholars have debated the role of ritual power and hierarchy in the emergence of social complexity a

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Scholars have debated the role of ritual power and hierarchy in the emergence of social complexity among hunter-gatherers in the Pacific Northwest in the Plateau Pithouse Tradition (c. 4500-200 BP). You have identified a site at Keatley Creek that could help assess whether the ritual power embedded in organizations of secret societies at the site really does correlate with increased social complexity during this period. You have identified three zones, including the main core of the site with indications of numerous house pits visible on the surface, and two outlying areas that include not only a scattering of house pits but evidence of roasting pits of various sizes and other more enigmatic depressions. Archaeologists Brian Hayden and Ron Adams have suggested that the peripheral areas were the location for secret society meeting houses or cult facilities in association with feasting, but is this really the case? Were all the
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Unformatted text preview: house pits in these outlying areas domestic structures, or did some serve a more limited ritual purpose? How do they compare to house pits in the core area? Because you can't dig everything, you need a good sampling strategy to assess these questions. You will want to consider the location of the different structures in relation to natural features on the landscape, evidence for large scale food production (feasting), the correlation of rare classes of objects probably used during rituals with different parts of the site, and the abundance or rarity of artifacts, including lithics, that might indicate a general domestic pattern of use or something more specialized. You think that you could secure funding for six to eight excavation units and a large enough team to include any needed spets. But first you have to write the proposal!...
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