Download A Hunter—Gatherer Landscape: Southwest Germany in the Late by Michael A. Jochim PDF

By Michael A. Jochim

As an archaeologist with basic learn and coaching adventure in North American arid lands, i've got continually came upon the eu Stone Age distant and impenetrable. My preliminary creation, in the course of a survey direction on global prehis­ tory, verified that (for me, no less than) it consisted of extra cultures, dates, and named device forms than any undergraduate should need to be mindful. i didn't understand a lot, yet I knew there have been larger issues i'll be doing on a Saturday evening. In any occasion, after that I by no means heavily entertained any concept of pur­ suing examine on Stone Age Europe-that direction used to be sufficient for me. that is a pity, too, simply because Paleolithic Europe-especially within the overdue Pleistocene and early Holocene-was the scene of progressive human adaptive swap. Iron­ ically, it all used to be amenable to research utilizing exactly the comparable types and analytical instruments i stopped up spending the higher a part of 20 years using within the nice Basin of western North the United States. again then, after all, few have been brooding about the overdue Paleolithic or Me­ solithic in such phrases. Typology, type, and chronology have been the order of the day, because the textual content for my undergraduate path mirrored. Jochim obviously bridled lower than 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 attached as a part of higher neighborhood subsis­ tence-settlement systems.

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Additional resources for A Hunter—Gatherer Landscape: Southwest Germany in the Late Paleolithic and Mesolithic

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Agriculture predominates in the north today, gradually replaced by grazing to the southeast. The Lake Constance Basin: a large lake (roughly 10 by 60 kilometers) and its surrounding lowlands that form a warm and dry enclave (especially in the west) in the cooler and more moist morainic lowlands. Today, tropical and subtropical plants grow well on the island of Mainau in the western part of the lake. Modern land use is dominated by grain agriculture and vineyards to the west, with greater emphasis on meadows and grazing to the east, with increasing precipitation.

It is also clear from the ethnographic literature that reliability is a conscious goal in many decisions about food choice, habitat use, and camp location. In order to understand the behavior of past hunter-gatherers, we must take subsistence risk into consideration. It is no easy task, however, to construct simple models that allow us to do so. One reason for this is that the responses by hunter-gatherers to subsistence risk can take so many forms, including not only the sorts of choices mentioned earlier, but also food storage, sharing, and exchange (Kaplan, Hill, and Hurtado, 1990; Wiessner, 1982; Winterhalder, 1990).

Many of these criticisms focus on the fact that this model relied upon an indirect measure of foraging efficiency. Recent work with optimal foraging the- ory, by contrast, relies on direct measures of costs and benefits in terms of time and energy in situations where modern foragers and their technology and tactics can be observed. Certainly, this direct approach is desirable, but it simply cannot be used with prehistoric hunter-gatherers. Even direct observation of living hunters cannot tell us about the costs of resources that are not used, which is a significant problem when trying to explain this lack of use in terms of the inefficiency of pursuing these resources.

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