Presentation on theme: "Ancient Peoples and Places"— Presentation transcript:
1 Ancient Peoples and Places Archaeology 100-D200Ancient Peoples and PlacesArchaeology and the Study of Prehistory…Week 6: THE NEOLITHIC: NEAR EAST, THE AMERICAS AND THE WORLD. INCREASING SOCIAL COMPLEXITY WITH DOMESTICATIONFebruary 20th & 22nd 2012Dr. Alvaro Higueras Simon Fraser University, Spring 2012
2 The Middle East and the Neolithic Agenda of Week 6The Middle East and the NeolithicEarly agriculture in other parts of the worldPolitical structures and increasing complexity in human organization.
3 Those 15 points for Session 4 & 5 A. Population of the Americas.B. The Magdalenian on the way to the Mesolithic.C. "Sampling” and “sampling”.D. The sequence of political evolution.E. Differences between Chiefdom and State?F. "Qualitative" aspects of the political forms.G. What are empires for?H. The most variable stage in the evolution…?
4 I. Redistribution and its evolution. J. Decline, small vs. large scale societies.K. The Mesolithic and the environment.L. What is there to love about the Magdalenian?M. Megafauna and the evidence.N. Symbiosis of humans and animals towards domestication.O. The most important factor in the formation and consolidation of state-level societies?
5 Redistribution… in “simple” chiefdoms Other mechanisms in more “complex” ones… without R > Accumulation (then “gifts”)Concentration of power and goods, used of them in “strategic” waysChiefdom as a non-existent or short stage in some areas…Or archaeologists have not been able to document it in the archaeological record of some regions
6 > Cooperation and good teamwork, as a cluster of chiefdoms… State> Cooperation and good teamwork, as a cluster of chiefdoms…> Sustainable resources, dense population, and (further) evolution of a hierarchy> Physical environment where it controls the activities aspect of social organization such as farming, irrigation, buildings…> Resolution of Conflict/competition in densely populated societies is the factor, as the state is thereon needed for conflict resolution and management of the land.
7 The center of it all: The Fertile Crescent It is an area of Mediterranean climate characterized by dry summers and winter rains with enough precipitation to support vegetation ranging from woodlands to open park woodlandSouth and east of the Fertile Crescent, the open park woodlands give way to steppes and true desertsIt environment today is much drier that at the onset of the domestication process
8 Historical context for the development of agriculture > Spatial continuity & formation of moundsJerichoÇatalhöyük
9 Kebaran and Geometric Kebaran These sites identified by characteristic stone tools — bladeletsMost sites are remains of small camps made by highly mobile hunter-gatherersBurials at these sites are rareNo evidence of plant or animal domestication during this periodPlant remains recovered include wild grasses, fruits, nuts, and animals
10 The NatufianSedentary hunter-gatherers foraging for food such as emmer wheat, barley and almonds, and hunting gazelle, deer, cattle, horse, and wild boar.For at least part of the year, Natufian people lived in communities, some quite large, of semi-subterranean houses.These semi-circular one room structures were excavated partly into the soil and built of stone, wood and perhaps brush roofs.
12 They located their settlements at the boundaries between coastal plains and hill country, to maximize their access to a wide variety of food.They buried their dead in cemeteries, with grave goods including stone bowls and dentalium shell.The largest Natufian communities (called ‘base camps’) found to date include Jericho, Ain Mallaha, and Wadi Hammeh 27.Smaller, short-range dry season foraging camps may have been part of the settlement pattern, although evidence for them is scarce.
13 The Natufian toolsCharacteristic stone tool is the lunate, a crescent-shaped bladelet served as hunting tools or as parts of tools made of multiple small piecesMichael Chazan
14 Natufian settlementsPeople began the transition to village life during this periodStructures are ovals or open semicirclesStructures consist of undressed stones piled to form walls up to 1 metre highStructure floors covered with refuse—including stone tools and animal bonesThe stone walls are thought to have supported superstructures made of wood and brushNot clear what function structures served
15 Natufian burialsBurials are commonly found on Natufian sitesIn some cases, the skull has been removed prior to burialSome Natufian burials include shell necklaces and head coverings
16 Natufian subsistenceNatufians practised a broad-spectrum subsistence strategyThey exploited a wide range of wild plantsMost plant species do not show any evidence of having been domesticatedHunting focused on a single species, gazelleNo herd animals were domesticatedBurials indicate that dogs were part of human society and being domesticated
17 Early Neolithic is divided into two major periods: The Early NeolithicEarly Neolithic is divided into two major periods:Pre-Pottery Neolithic ADates between 12,000-10,800 years agoCorresponds to end of the Younger DryasThe Big Freeze, was a geologically brief (1300 ± 70 years) cold climate period between approximately 12800Pre-Pottery Neolithic BDates between 10,800-8,500 years agoCorresponds to a period of improved climate
18 The Early Neolithic technology A shift away from tools made onbladeletsThis period’s toolkit is made on blades with an emphasis on arrowheadsToolkit includes sickles, ground stone axes, and adzesGrinding stones for processing grains found in extremely large quantitiesPre-Pottery B sites exhibit highly developed use of plaster
19 Pre-pottery A Neolithic Settlement size increased during this periodFirst evidence of communal structures appearsMost impressive of these structures is Jericho tower—9 m high, made of undressed stone and mud brick, attached to the inside of a massive wallHouses continue to be circular, but settlements larger than Natufian ones
20 Pre-pottery B Neolithic Round houses give way to rectangular onesSettlement size increases significantlyRectangular houses allow sites to be more densely packed than previouslyVillages often show high degree of planningNo sense that the regular layout of the sites reflects presence of centralized authority
21 Early Neolithic Ritual Many ritual objects were hidden—in pits, under floors, in caves—their functions are unknownMost striking hidden objects are plastered skullsHuman skulls on which plaster faces have been moldedPlaster figures have been found in pitsA cache of ritual objects were found in a caveincludes a cap, a bag, beads, bone tools, arrowheads, a painted stone mask, and a human skull with a net pattern on the cranium
23 Early Neolithic Domestication Earliest evidence of plant domestication is seen in contexts from the Pre-Pottery AFarming developed during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B periodA wide range of domesticated crops is found includingCereals—emmer wheat, einkorn wheat, barleyPulses—lentils, peasLegumes—bitter vetch, chick peas
24 The Late NeolithicCharacterized by the development of pottery manufactureStone tools, expedient tools, made on local materials with minimal energy investmentCharacterized by a limited number of large sites and small dispersed hamletsLarge sites are not densely packedSymbolic artifacts tend to be stylized animal figurines
25 Late Neolithic subsistence Importance of hunting continuously declines throughout periodEvidence for animal domestication includes changes in the shape of goat hornsDespite symbolic emphasis on bulls, main source of meat was domestic goatPeople still relied on the full range of plants domesticated in the Early Neolithic
26 Tabaqat el-BumaDirected by University of Torontoarchaeology professor Ted BanningPart of the Wadi Ziqlab Project; survey of this area of Northern JordanLate Neolithic siteCharacterized by a number of dwellings that make up a small communityBanning suggests that these small, dispersed communities may have replaced the larger nucleated villages of the Early Neolithic
27 The “cereals used at the Natufian site of Mureybet The “cereals used at the Natufian site of Mureybet... may not have been growing locally [but]... may have been imported or introduced from farther north... Transport of raw materials across considerable distances is well known in the Near East, adding weight to the argument that cereals were also transported” (Willcox 2005, 539).We need not imagine this to be the result of an institutionalized market in cereal futures (Bernstein 1996) in order to ask whether microeconomic tools will help us to understand how differential valuation in zones of production and consumption, balanced against the transaction costs associated with such movements of goods, rights, and/or consumers, will further analysis and explanation.
28 Willcox’s : The distribution, natural habitats and availability of wild cereals in relation to their domestication in the Near East: multiple events, multiple centres(pattern shown as well at a world scale… plants micro adapted to initial environmental features)The proximity of a perennial water source was the main priority when choosing a settlement location, not the proximity of wild cereal stands. Settlement sites are all situated near a river, spring or lake... Due to the patchy distribution of the two wild wheat species, many sites were situated at some distance from the wild stands.
29 The change from gathering to cultivation was a gradual process The change from gathering to cultivation was a gradual process. Hillman suggests that it had already started on a small scale in the Natufian, and a knowledge of planting may go back even farther – Mesolithic broad spectrum experiences –During the initial stages early farmers may have been obliged to frequently replenish their seed stocks from wild stands, which would slow the domestication process. It is not until the end of the 9th millennium BC that we see the appearance of well established farmers with fully-fledged agriculture which produced conditions favourable for the selection of domestic traits
30 Microeconomic models for framing the question of agricultural origins in terms of risk, discounting, economies of scale, and transaction costs. Rather than a functional approach: productive environment or inequality function to facilitate this transformation? Causal approach: climate change, population growth, or feasting. Behavioral ecology economic concepts are applicable whatever the mode of production
31 Politics and Borders in Archaeology Politics and archaeology frequently intersect in the Middle EastArchaeology has been an important tool for change in places such as Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and SyriaHowever, Steven Rosen has shown that national borders have had a major influence on the reconstruction of the prehistory of the region
32 Problem:Modern borders affect the limits of where archaeologists work or visitIsraeli and Syrian archaeologists are unable to cross borders and visit each other’s countries for intellectual exchangeResults:Lack of communication and fragmentation of the archaeological recordDistorts our view of the past
33 Progress: > Signing of a peace agreement between Israel and Jordan has eased travel between these two countries > Outbreaks of violence keeps travel to a minimum > But ease in travel has improved understanding of the connections between Israel and Jordan in prehistory > Emphasis on understanding local archaeological developments from a global perspective is a useful counterbalance to tendencies to use archaeology to promote nationalist agendas
34 Domesticates in Europe Origins of domesticated plants and animals can be traced to the Middle East, the “wave”…No evidence of indigenous domestication of plants or animalsUnresolved questions about domestication in Europe include:> Did populations of farmers sweep across Europe bringing new crops and new lifeways with them> Did Mesolithic hunter-gatherers adopt domesticated plants and animals to forge a new way of life?
35 Sheep and goat, as well as some cereals (emmer wheat and einkorn) and pulses (lentil, pea, chick pea, and bitter vetch) had no wild ancestors in Europe during the Holocene.
37 Domestication in Africa There are 3 major regions where plants were indigenously domesticated in Africa:1. Northeast Africa—tef, finger millet, and coffee2. Central Africa—pearl millet, sorghum3. West Africa—African riceDomesticated plants introduced from the Middle East include wheat, barley, lentilsDomesticated animals introduced from the Middle East were sheep and goatsConsiderable debate surrounds the origin of domesticated cattle in Africa
38 The Sahara desertToday the Sahara desert is the most dominant feature of the North African landscapeThe current desert environment developed in the Sahara only within the last yearsBetween 14,000 and 4500 years ago there was considerably more rainfall in the SaharaExtensive human occupation of the region was possible before it became a desert
39 Hunter-gatherers villages Small villages of hunter-gatherers existed across northern Africa during the period of increased rainfall in the SaharaSuch sites resemble Natufian sites in the Middle East in several ways:Their size, the nature of the structures on them, the exploitation of a wide range of resources, the use of grinding stonesAfrican also differ from Natufian sites in significant ways:Pottery and large numbers of storage pits are commonly found on African sites—not in Natufian period
40 African pastoralistsDomesticated animals were introduced before domesticated plants in much of North AfricaCattle, sheep, and goats appear to have been incorporated into mobile hunter-gatherer societiesMobile societies with economies focused on maintaining herds of domesticated animals are called pastoral societies
41 Agriculture in New Guinea Today, agricultural societies of New Guinea emphasize the centrality of pigs and sweet potatoes for subsistence and for developing a social hierarchyThe exchange of pigs is an essential element of political powerSweet potatoes are an important part of the diet of pigs; therefore, mean political powerSurprisingly, both sweet potatoes and pigs were introduced to New Guinea fairly recently—they were domesticated elsewhere
42 New Guinea domesticates Genetic research indicates that a wide number of plants were indigenously domesticated in New GuineaThese crops include yams, bananas, taro, and possibly sugarcaneNone of these crops are cereals—no seed cropsTraditional agricultural processes in New Guinea involve transplanting suckers, cuttings, or shoots
43 The Andes environmentAndes are the second highest mountain chain in the worldThe Andean highlands are divided into four zones based on altitude above sea level:1. Quechua zone: m, where corn grows well2. Suni zone: m, where crops indigenous to the Andes are grown3. Puna zone: m, open grassland for grazing alpacas and llamas4. Cordillera zone: above 4800 m, not used for agriculture
44 Andean domesticationDomesticated beans from Guitarrero Cave have been directly dated to 4300 BP.Quinoa seeds have been found in layers years old at Panaulauca CaveThe earliest evidence for domesticated potatoes dates to BP.Probably not the earliest domesticate potatoes because they were found along the coast, not where wild potatoes grow
45 Andean domesticationLlamas and alpacas (camelids) were domesticated beginning 10, years agoLlama as pack animal 25 kg at mostVicuña and Guanaco are still wild camelidsThe other domesticated Andean animal is the guinea pig, when domesticated unknown, but perhaps after camelids
46 Preagricultural coastal villages By 8000 BP small settled villages developed along the Peruvian coastHouses were built of reeds and grasses over a wooden structureAbout 10 families lived in a village at any given timeBurial data indicates that there were not higher status individuals
47 The Cotton PreceramicPrevalence of cotton seeds and absence of pottery on its sitesThese sites are often quite large and contain evidence of monumental architectureThe flat-topped pyramid, Huaca de los Idolos, dates to BP., the earliest known monumental architecture in the New WorldThe bulk of the Cotton Preceramic diet consisted of fish and shellfishPopulations obtained gourds, squash, chili pepper, beans, and jicima from wild plantsThe dominant crop species was cotton, also in the wild, used for making textiles and nets
49 Preagricultural coastal villages Inhabitants of these villages were hunter-gatherers who relied heavily on the rich coastal marine resourcesA wide range of wild plant resources including seeds, fruits, and tubers were exploitedCultivated gourds were domesticated; beans and squash may have been cultivated, but they were not significant parts of the diet
50 Pacific currents & society Humboldt Current: brings cool waters up from the south along the Andean coastResponsible for the wealth of marine resources that allowed villages to thrive without agricultureEl Niño: a severe reversal of the Humboldt Current; occurs every yearsWhen major El Niños occur, there is a massive decline in fish and shellfish populations on the coast
51 Pacific currents & society Also causes torrential rains that cause massive flooding and mud slidesSome argue that El Niños have only happened for about 6000 yearsThe onset of the Cotton Preceramic and El Niño seem to correlatePerhaps climactic uncertainty played a role in the development of large centres with some reliance on agriculture
52 Domestication in East Asia Rice was domesticated along the Yangtze and Huai River Valleys, China by 9000 BP.Millet was domesticated in the Yellow River Valley, China by the Peiligang culture, c BP.Dogs, pigs, and water buffalo were domesticated in southern ChinaPigs and, possibly, chickens were domesticated in northern ChinaPottery vessels from Banpo Village site, China.
53 Development of Chinese farming societies Yangshou culture developed out of the Peiligang culture of the Yellow RiverYangshou villages consisted of both round semisubterranean houses and rectangular houses built on the surfaceWild plants and animals were exploitedMillet was fully domesticated as were dogs and pigsPottery vessels were made in many forms with elaborate painted decorations
55 Mesoamerican domestication Squash (Curcurbita pepo) was the earliest plant domesticated in MesoamericaEarliest squash seeds dated to 10, BP.Ancestor of squashes eaten today including pumpkins, acorn squash, zucchini, spaghetti squash, etc.Maize was domesticated from teosinte, a wild grass found in the highlands of MexicoEarliest maize dated to 6250 and 5500 BP.
56 Mesoamerican domestication Beans were domesticated independently in Mesoamerica and in the AndesEarliest date for a Mexican bean is 2500 BP.It is very likely that beans were domesticated earlier, at the same time as maize
57 Maize in SW North America Maize and squash agriculture spread to northern Mexico and the southwestern U.S. about 3400 BP. in the Southwestern Late Archaic PeriodInitial impact of maize and squash varied across the regionIn some areas there was increased sedentismIn other areas, agriculture did not substantially alter the lives of the Late Archaic hunter-gatherers
58 The Formative periodThe introduction of pottery into the American Southwest marks the beginning of the Formative periodThe introduction of potteryoverlaps with the introduction of beansSites with pit houses are common in this periodFormative sites range in size from 1-2 houses to as many as 25-35—one village site has 60 housesRegional variation in the impact of maize continues into the Formative
59 Optimal foraging model Assumes that humans act on the basis of rational self-interest to maximize efficiency in collecting and processing resourcesArchaeologists use this theory to explain the variation in adaptation to the introduction of maize agricultureAccording to optimal foraging theory, diversity exists in the uptake of maize agriculture as the result of rational decisions about the productiveness of the landscape and the returns from maize agriculture
60 Eastern North American domesticates Late Archaic peoples of eastern North America independently domesticated a variety of plantsIncluding sunflower, marsh elder, chenopod, and squashLate Archaic peoples also narrowed their subsistence base—especially in areas with rich supplies of shellfishShell middensThe impact of domesticates on subsistence in the Late Archaic was minimalHunting and gathering continued to be the basis of Late Archaic subsistence
61 The Adena culture is found in the Ohio River Valley Adena culture corresponds to the Early Woodland period of Eastern North AmericaThe Adena culture is found in the Ohio River ValleyDuring the Adena period increasingly large burial mounds were constructed accompanied by increasingly elaborate burial practicesThe Great Serpent Mound, Ohio.
62 The HopewellIn the Ohio River Valley, the Middle Woodland period corresponds to the Hopewell—a culture that built complex earthworks and had elaborate burial ritualsSome Hopewell mounds were built over structuresMassive earthworks were created in a number of forms including circles, squares, and octagonsSome mounds were created over a variety of types of burials, other mounds had intrusive burials in them
63 The HopewellThe Hopewell exchange network moved exotic goods across huge distancesQuantities of expertly crafted objects made from exotic materials in burials indicate the status of elites
64 Evidence indicates that some earthworks were occupied Hopewell settlementAccording to the vacant centre pattern model, Hopewell earthworks served as the symbolic and ceremonial core of a community that lived across a wide areaEvidence indicates that some earthworks were occupiedAssessing the nature of Hopewell settlements is difficult because ofThe widespread modern destruction of the earthworks and their massive scaleThe low archaeological visibility of Hopewell habitation sites because of alluvial soil buildupHopewell bird claw.
65 Woodland subsistenceEarly & Middle Woodland subsistence was based heavily on the cultivation of indigenously domesticated plantsThe earliest dates for maize in eastern North America are between BP.Maize is rare in the Early/Middle Woodland and did not play a major role in the dietThroughout the Woodland period, hunting and gathering continued to be key elements of subsistence along with the cultivation of local domesticates
66 Maize Agriculture in Eastern North America By the beginning of the Late Woodland, maize is found as far north as OntarioMaize was cultivated throughout much of eastern North America by 1700 BP., howeverIsotope analysis of skeletal remains indicates that maize did not play a major role in the diet until about 1000 years agoTurkeys appear to have been domesticated during the Formative periodTurkey domestication in the Southwest and in Mesoamerica were separate events
67 Domestication: Bruce Smith’s model A coevolutionary model for the indigenous domestication of plants in eastern North AmericaSmith states that climate change led to increased permanence of human settlementsThe shift to more permanent settlements led to gradual ecological changes that resulted in the emergence of domesticated plants over a period of several thousand years
68 Domestication: Smith’s model, in 5 major stages 1 Domestication: Smith’s model, in 5 major stages 1. Garbage heaps around long-term human occupations provided an excellent ecological niche for weedy plants. In these contexts, seeds that sprouted and grew quickly had an advantage 2. People tolerated edible plants and removed unwanted plants 3. People began to encourage and systematically harvest useful plants while weeding out useless ones 4. Seeds of the best useful plants were deliberately planted every year 5. Plants that were clearly morphologically domesticated emerged
69 Domestication: Prentice’s model Guy Prentice proposed that the domestication of plants might have been the result of intentional actions by individualsPrentice argues that the introduction of domesticated squash into eastern North America was carried out by male shamans who would have used the gourds as rattles or ritual containers
70 Princess Point Complex Found in southern Ontario; dates to 650–900 A.D.Consisted of Algonkian-speaking hunter-gatherersImportant to the debate about whether maize exploitation (agriculture) moved into the area via migration from the south during this time, or whether it was adopted by local groupsPottery is believed to have started 900 A.D.; however, University of Toronto at Mississauga archaeologists David Smith and Gary Crawford have found evidence for both pottery and a degree of sedentism as early as 540 A.D. in the PPCSuggests perhaps both local adoption of agriculture and migration
71 Gender Bias and domestication Watson and Kennedy link the seeming invisibility of people in the origins of agriculture to gender bias“men are strong, dominant protectors who hunt animals; women are weaker, passive, hampered by their reproductive responsibilities, and hence, consigned to plant gathering” (Watson and Kennedy 1991:256)Smith’s domestication model is an example of the “passive” form of bias—agriculture just happened unconsciously
72 Gender Bias and domestication Prentice’s domestication model is active but, tellingly, the agent is explicitly maleWatson and Kennedy propose a model for the adoption of maize in eastern North America that emphasizes the active role of female gardenersThey propose that women, who already had extensive experience growing indigenous cultigens, actively experimented with the Midwestern 12-row maize to develop a variety that was better suited to their region
73 Gender Bias and domestication The result was the development and spread of eastern 8-row maizeIn this model, the adoption of maize in eastern North America was an achievement of the active intervention of women
74 Summing up the evidence In eastern North America, hunter-gatherer groups had domesticated a number of plant species long before the introduction of maize agricultureRegional variability continued into the Formative periodArchaeologists try to explain the pattern in terms of optimal foraging theory
75 Early and Middle Woodland Adena and Hopewell cultures Massive earthworks constructedEvidence for specialized craft manufactureLong-distance trade in high status itemsNature of settlement systems remains poorly understoodIntroduction of maize at the end of the Middle Woodland period had little impact of the diet