By Michael A. Jochim
As an archaeologist with fundamental study and coaching event in North American arid lands, i've got regularly came across the eu Stone Age distant and impenetrable. My preliminary creation, in the course of a survey path on global prehis tory, validated that (for me, a minimum of) it consisted of extra cultures, dates, and named device forms than any undergraduate should need to have in mind. i didn't comprehend a lot, yet I knew there have been higher issues i'll be doing on a Saturday evening. In any occasion, after that I by no means heavily entertained any idea of pur suing examine on Stone Age Europe-that path was once adequate for me. that is a pity, too, simply because Paleolithic Europe-especially within the past due Pleistocene and early Holocene-was the scene of innovative human adaptive switch. Iron ically, it all used to be amenable to research utilizing exactly the related types and analytical instruments i finished up spending the higher a part of twenty years making use of within the nice Basin of western North the USA. again then, in fact, few have been wondering the past due Paleolithic or Me solithic in such phrases. Typology, class, and chronology have been the order of the day, because the textual content for my undergraduate direction mirrored. Jochim obviously bridled below I on the activity of learning those chronotaxonomic mysteries, but he used to be keenly conscious of their limitations-in specific, their silence on how person assemblages should be hooked up as a part of better neighborhood subsis tence-settlement systems.
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Additional resources for A Hunter—Gatherer Landscape: Southwest Germany in the Late Paleolithic and Mesolithic
By adopting an ecological perspective the investigator assumes that the most important elements in the explanation of behavior lie in the realm of the interactions with the environment. As a result, two cultural domains tend to be ignored: (1) certain areas of behavior, such as gender relations or symbolism, for which environmental influences are not obvious; and (2) nonenvironmental influences on behavior, such as history, social interaction, or psychological drives. These topics are important, not simply because they enable us to "flesh out the past" and humanize past groups, but also because they may have major impact on those topics we think we can talk about more easily-subsistence, technology, and settlement.
Any concept of "optimal" behavior must include the practice and consequences of regional exchange. Another factor too often ignored is the existence of individual differences in behavior due to age, sex, family size, or skill. Ethnographic studies of hunter-gatherers document considerable variation in individual hunting success, for example (Hawkes, 1990) , with implications for differences in diet and influence . Mithen (1990) has included such individual differences in his simulations of foraging economies, but their effects on the archaeological record are not clear, except for laying the groundwork for social inequalities.
6. Social relations are flexible and can easily respond to changing economic imperatives. 7. Any differences in social status have an economic, and ultimately ecological, foundation. These assumptions are not tested, but they may be very wrong. At the very least we need to make our assumptions explicit. Better would be for us to 28 CHAPTER 2 challenge them, to generate alternatives and examine how well they do in making sense of the past. We could tell stories with different premises. I am not abandoning a commitment to testing our interpretations, but I am urging us to broaden the basis of developing interpretations in the first place.