By Michael A. Jochim
As an archaeologist with fundamental study and coaching adventure in North American arid lands, i've got continually came across the ecu Stone Age distant and impenetrable. My preliminary creation, in the course of a survey direction on international prehis tory, demonstrated that (for me, a minimum of) it consisted of extra cultures, dates, and named device varieties than any undergraduate should need to keep in mind. i didn't comprehend a lot, yet I knew there have been larger issues i may be doing on a Saturday evening. In any occasion, after that I by no means heavily entertained any suggestion of pur suing study on Stone Age Europe-that path used to be adequate for me. that is a pity, too, simply because Paleolithic Europe-especially within the overdue Pleistocene and early Holocene-was the scene of innovative human adaptive switch. Iron ically, it all was once amenable to research utilizing exactly the similar types and analytical instruments i finished up spending the higher a part of twenty years utilizing within the nice Basin of western North the United States. again then, after all, few have been puzzling over the overdue 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 path mirrored. Jochim obviously bridled under I on the job of studying those chronotaxonomic mysteries, but he used to be keenly conscious of their limitations-in specific, their silence on how person assemblages could be attached as a part of greater neighborhood subsis tence-settlement systems.
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Extra info for A Hunter—Gatherer Landscape: Southwest Germany in the Late Paleolithic and Mesolithic
Chronological chart of archaeological and palynological periods. During the peak of the last ice age, approximately 18,000 years ago, a significant portion of this area lay under glaciers. The Alpine ice sheet extended north well into Oberschwaben and smaller glaCiers covered peaks in the southern Black Forest. Despite warm summers, the unglaciated regions were a forbidding landscape of long, dry winters , scant vegetation, and high winds (Frenzel, 1983). A lack of archaeological sites in the area for this period reflects the harsh climate and low productivity, as well, perhaps, as the poor conditions for preservation of archaeological materials.
Prestige is normally obtained through gifts and feasting, which create obligations. Habitats that are too poor and variable encourage more egalitarian sharing, higher mobility and residential flexibility, and less accumulation of food and material goods to give away. One of the primary means of acquiring prestige is through consistently successful big game hunting, by which large amounts of meat can be given to others. Mithen (1990) has suggested that this is most likely to be the case where big game are sufficiently abundant that hunting skill outweighs luck in promoting success, and where sufficient, more reliable backup foods are present to allow some individuals to concentrate on improving hunting efficiency.
Moreover, there is considerable variation in nutritional needs among people, making estimates of requirements difficult for past hunter-gatherers. Rather, we can consider nutritional adequacy to be normally embedded within food choices based on other criteria, and then examine the results of simple models, based on limited currencies, to see if they would cause nutritional imbalances. Another category of "matter" in ecological transactions is raw materials of various sorts. Included are the nonfood constituents of food resources: hides, sinew, teeth, antler, and shells.