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Archaeology 100-D200 Ancient Peoples and Places Archaeology and the Study of Prehistory… Week 5: THE NEOLITHIC REVOLUTION; PEOPLING OF THE NEW WORLD; ANCIENT.

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Presentation on theme: "Archaeology 100-D200 Ancient Peoples and Places Archaeology and the Study of Prehistory… Week 5: THE NEOLITHIC REVOLUTION; PEOPLING OF THE NEW WORLD; ANCIENT."— Presentation transcript:

1 Archaeology 100-D200 Ancient Peoples and Places Archaeology and the Study of Prehistory… Week 5: THE NEOLITHIC REVOLUTION; PEOPLING OF THE NEW WORLD; ANCIENT PEOPLES AND PLACES IN DISTRESS! February 6 th & 8 th 2012 Dr. Alvaro Higueras Simon Fraser University, Spring 2012

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3 The Essay for February 22 th The Fourth Option Pay a visit to our SFU museum beside Renaissance Coffee. Ask yourself these questions as you visit the exhibit: 1. Who is speaking to you? (it might be an unnamed curator speaking through label text, or a recording of a voice or something else entirely) 2. How is the material in the exhibit arranged? Is it just objects or are other elements included? Is it arranged in groups of similar objects, or from oldest to youngest or in another way?

4 Agenda of Week 5 > The Neolithic Revolution and the origins of agriculture > Peopling of the Americas

5 Wright on Evolution of Complex Societies > Pre-state societies, with 2 levels of site hierarchy persisted for centuries and some never made it further along the path of complexity; > State emergence tends to occur in densely populated areas, with dispersed sites, where competition and conflict arise… not necessarily war…yet > While a 3 or 4 level hierarchy appears with the multiplication of sites, a process of aggregation and power acquisition is responsible in the formation of a paramount center...

6 …congregating neighbors or enemies, or more often the parts of the population that make the complex arrangements of a urban center… > While not necessarily at the origin of the process, there is a continuous increase in conflicts as populations grow, both at a city scale and a regional scale (raiding becoming warfare). Wright: > State formation relatively fast in such conflict; > Concentrates in the competition within and between elites, and strategies of control

7 The Mesolithic After the Magdalenian (Upper Paleolithic) This last period jumpstarted the need for refined technologies, the need for rituals, the birth of new forms of production and relationships with the environment Now, a full blown transition from foraging to farming Are there revolutions that lead this transition? Broad spectrum R + HR 3

8 Pleistocene/Holocene Transition > 10-15,000 years ago. > The last ice age (Wurm) is definitely over > Climate becoming gradually warmer > Changes in ice distribution and sea levels have significance to topography > Core borings of coral beds shows that sea levels at glacial max were 121 meters below modern levels. They rose by 20 between 15 and 10,500 years ago, then a rise of 24 meters in 1,000 years. > Bering Land Bridge disappears; North Sea flooded; Britain separated from the continent.

9 Mesolithic in Europe & the Old World > Mesolithic forest and coastal hunters and gatherers replaced tundra reindeer hunters around 13,000 BP. > Not impoverished and limited environments as earlier thought but rich in wildlife such as red and roe deer, many plant foods. > Coast, estuaries very productive. > European Mesolithic ended around 8,000 B.P. with the spread of agriculture (from the Near East).

10 Diet is more diverse > Broad Spectrum Revolution > Diet continues to change: secondary products > Patterns of the mesolithic are widespread > Find all kinds of fishing equipment > Ground-stone tools > Diverse projectile weapons from many materials > Some cultivation is apparent Cultigens are plants that are cultivated but this does not equal domestication.

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12 > Most important Holocene development > Starts the Neolithic/Formative period > Food collection and small scale cultivation to vegetable food production at a larger scale… More of it into the diet, in proportion to meat > Creation of new tasks and labor organization The origins of agriculture: models and perspectives Tomb of Sennedjem Thebes, c. 1250 BC

13 Some consequences of domestication and the achievement of increasing production Surplus & food storage stabilize food availability Constant food, more nutritious maintains a consistent level of fecundity in women in a population…growth, healthier generations But congregation of humans and animals, disease, viruses… epidemics Achieving a symbiosis in viral history between humans and animals

14 New forms of organization: Lineage / Communal Ownership Farmland, livestock as property of lineages Corporate ownership of resources Stability, predictability Conflict resolution

15 Horticulture — cultivation that makes no intensive use of land, labor, capital (or machinery) Use simple tools, field not permanently cultivated, Slash-and-burn cultivation, mixed and shifting cultivation, rain fed Agriculture — cultivation that requires more labor than horticulture: uses land intensively and continuously… fertilizer, constant water Domesticated animals, used as means of production in the process of plowing, threshing

16 Technologies

17 Dogon granaries, Mali Storage > Structures > Pottery to store > Stored food surpluses > In sedentary settings > Granaries: household, centralized areas > Craft & religious specialization > Recording contents…

18 Huánuco Pampa Inka Central Andes Crete, Minoan Palace storeroom

19 Models on the Origins of Agriculture Oasis Model Hilly Flanks Model Demographic Stress Social Models Co-evolution

20 Oasis Theory Gordon Childe, 1950s domestication began as a symbiotic relationship between humans, plants, and animals at oases during the desiccation of Southwest Asia at the end of the Pleistocene. Resource concentration (circumscription) But it was wetter at end of Pleistocene! Why this “subsistence pattern” at one particular early period? Expect many “oases”

21 Hilly Flanks Theory Robert Braidwood Jarmo, Zagros Mountains, Iraq, 1950s Lush, rich environment Population increase But why domesticate in such positive conditions? Zagros Mountains, Iraq Jarmo, Iraq

22 Edge Hypothesis Lewis Binford, 1960s Demographic Stress The need for more food was initially felt at the margins of the natural habitat of the ancestors of domesticated plants and animals (population pressure) Settlements inland at end of Pleistocene Jerf el Ahmar, Syria 8000 BC, room with grinding stones and bins

23 Social Models Barbara Bender, 1980s Political alliances, trade, pressure for surpluses Agriculture before complexity? (factor of scale or quality?)… The know how… the genetic scenario Caral phenomenon? PPNB house, 6500 BC, Dja’De, middle Euphrates

24 Co-evolution / Symbiosis Charles Darwin The Variation of Plants and Animals Under Domestication David Rindos, 1980s Symbiosis between humans and plants Mutualism: cultural AND natural selection

25 Development of Agriculture > Archaeological record clearly shows that the shift to an agricultural way of life in the Middle East was a process > There was no “agricultural revolution” > The transition to agriculture can be traced through a number of stages > Starting with Magdalenian in the shift towards Mesolithic > In relationship to availability of game, diversity of plants, use of secondary products

26 > Out with one-sided intentionality… a process ignited into the genetics of plants Symbiosis or co-evolution (Rindos following Darwin) > Domestication occurs independently in different parts of the world > Except in Europe… Ex oriente lux. Grains and other staples spread from the Near East > Are any cultigens or animals domesticated in two different world regions? > Which continent has less domestication cases?

27 Cotton Sugarbeet Soybean

28 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.

29 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 woodland  South and east of the Fertile Crescent, the open park woodlands give way to steppes and true deserts

30 Process of Domestication along the centuries > No new significant domesticates since the Neolithic > In the process: narrowed resource diversity… narrowed species diversity > Potatoes: thousands of varieties, dozens in a single valley, dozens only in market > Maize=corn, regional varieties > Erosion of genetic resources, disease susceptibility > Irish famine, fungus… > Today, genetically improved plants

31 The process of domestication : path towards agriculture and pastoralism (a higher productivity in the economic realm) A combination of parallel genetic & social factors 2 views of early changes in plants and animals 1.Genetic adaptations of plants and animals to the conditions of cultivation and herding 2.Results of human selection… control of breeding In essence, it refers to human practices that lead to generic isolation from the wild populations, but there is a constant and mutual adaptation.

32 Peopling of the Americas Migration Routes Debates surround how peoples migrated into the New world. Options: Beringia—land bridge that connected Asia and North America during times of low sea level Ice-free corridor—a potential (if viable) migration route running between ice sheets for people emerging from Beringia Coastal migration—humans migrated into the Americas along the West Coast

33 The canoes of the Polynesian Voyaging Society have provided insight into the archaeology of the Pacific Islands These vessels have also served as a powerful means for local people to explore their history and identity Experimental Archaeology

34 NW Megafauna extinction > Occurred globally at the end of the Pleistocene Ice Age by 13,250-12,900 BP > 17 genera of N & S American megafauna went extinct including mastodons, mammoths, horses, and camels > At the time the first Clovis sites were formed > Many archaeologists doubt whether overhunting was cause for extinction they did so > Hunting low numbers — not enough > Clovis hunters: big game + smaller game

35 There are three models: 1. Clovis First: supporters believe that Clovis culture (13,500-12,500 BP) is the initial human occupation of the Americas. 2. Pre-Clovis: holds that human occupation of the Americas predates 13,500 BP. 3. Early Arrival: states that humans were present in the New World by 30,000 BP.

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37 Kill sites after the Clovis period  At Olsen-Chubbuck site, Colorado, remains of a massive bison kill from about 10,000 years ago was found  Hunters had stampeded a herd into an arroyo killing almost 200 bison—they then butchered them  Interestingly, despite evidence for many giant bison kill sites over time, bison did not go extinct Olsen-Chubbock site, Colorado

38 1. Clovis First model  Clovis culture, dated to 13,500 to 12,500 BP, is defined largely on the presence of Clovis spear points found across North America.  Asian populations crossed the Bering land bridge into North America, were funneled down from Alaska to the Great Plains by an ice-free corridor.  Hunted all the megafauna in the New World to extinction in about 1000 years. Clovis points from Arizona

39 2. Pre-Clovis sites in the New World Meadowcroft Rockshelter, Pennsylvania (23,000- 15,000 BP) Other sites indicate that Clovis was simply one of several regional traditions: Pedra Pintada, Brazil (13,000-11,000 BP) and Quebrada Tacahuay, Peru (12,700-12,500 BP) Pre-Clovis peoples thought to have been coastally adapted—they moved out of Beringia following the West Coast

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41 3. Early arrival model Human occupation of the Americas took place before the later stages of the last period of glacial advance, as early as 50,000 BP. Sites that appear to support early arrival are found in North and South America and widely contested They include Old Crow Basin, Canada (40,000- 30,000 BP), Monte Verde, Chile (33,000 BP), and Pedra Furada, Brazil (48,000-35,000 BP)

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45 Non calibrated dates. Top of the pit fill: all three average 9990 ± 30 years before the present (yr B.P.) [11,620 to 11,280 calendar (cal) yr B.P.]

46 The researcher concludes: “A small social group, including adult females and young children, foraged from their residential base camp in mid-summer, acquiring locally available fish, birds, and small mammals. The pit was dug within the house and functioned as a cooking hearth, cooking debris disposal area, and/or cache pit. The child died and was placed within the pit, with little evidence of disturbance after cremation. The pit was backfilled soon after burning, and the relative lack of artifacts atop the pit fill suggests immediate abandonment of the house.

47 Archaic Mesolithic


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