Drawing on both the results of recent archaeological research and anthropological theory, leading experts synthesize current thinking on the nature of and variation within Neolithic social arrangements. The authors analyze archaeological data within a range of methodological and theoretical perspectives to reconstruct key aspects of ritual practices, labor organization, and collective social identity at the scale of the household, community, and region.
Going beyond traditional concerns such as wealth, status, and social hierarchy, Karina Croucher here explores a variety of new approaches to the mortuary archaeology of the Neolithic Near East. Case studies reinterpret the remarkable plastered skulls, as well as plaster statuary, headless burials, relationships between human and animal remains, food consumption and cannibalism. Topics such as human interaction with the environment, identity, personhood and gender are stressed, providing a window on a more complex, more "humanised" Near Eastern Neolithic.
This volume is the first text to focus specifically on the archaeology of domestic architecture. Covering major theoretical and methodological developments over recent decades in areas like social institutions, settlement types, gender, status, and power, this book addresses the developing understanding of where and how people in the past created and used domestic space. It will be a useful synthesis for scholars and an ideal text for advanced undergraduate and graduate courses in archaeology and architecture. The book-covers the relationship of architectural decisions of ancient peoples with our understanding of social and cultural institutions;-includes cases from every continent and all time periods-- from the Paleolithic of Europe to present-day African villages;-is ideal for the growing number of courses on household archaeology, social archaeology, and historical and vernacular architecture.
Figurines dating from prehistory have been found across the world but have never before been considered globally. The Oxford Handbook of Prehistoric Figurines is the first book to offer a comparative survey of this kind, bringing together approaches from across the landscape of contemporary research into a definitive resource in the field. The volume is comprehensive, authoritative, and accessible, with dedicated and fully illustrated chapters covering figurines from the Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australasia and the Pacific laid out by geographical location and written by the foremost scholars in figurine studies; wherever prehistoric figurines are found they have been expertly described and examined in relation to their subject matter, form, function, context, chronology, meaning, and interpretation. Specific themes that are discussed by contributors include, for example, theories of figurine interpretation, meaning in processes and contexts of figurine production, use, destruction and disposal, and the cognitive and social implications of representation. Chronologically, the coverage ranges from the Middle Palaeolithic through to areas and periods where an absence of historical sources renders figurines 'prehistoric' even though they might have been produced in the mid-2nd millennium AD, as in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. The result is a synthesis of invaluable insights into past thinking on the human body, gender, identity, and how the figurines might have been used, either practically, ritually, or even playfully.
The Mediterranean Context of Early Greek History reveals the role of the complex interaction of Mediterranean seafaring and maritime connections in the development of the ancient Greek city-states. Offers fascinating insights into the origins of urbanization in the ancient Mediterranean, including the Greek city-state Based on the most recent research on the ancient Mediterranean Features a novel approach to theories of civilization change - foregoing the traditional isolationists model of development in favor of a maritime based network Argues for cultural interactions set in motion by exchange and trade by sea
Describes the farming techniques of the early Neolithic in Greece.
The move towards a sedentary way of life had a profound effect on the human way of life: the development of complex societies can be directly attributed to the beginnings of farming in place of a nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle. When Gordon Childe coined the term 'Neolithic revolution' he meant it to reflect these vast changes that had occurred in the near east. This book extends the reach of these changes to include Cyprus, presenting new evidence that shows that the island played host to settled farming communities at the same time as the mainland, pushing its habitation back by 2000 years.
The chapters in this topically and methodologically diverse volume discuss the role food plays in the construction and maintenance of multiple levels of social identity; they also illustrate the myriad ways in which archaeologists may approach the issue. The book includes essays from archaeologists working in a wide range of time periods and areas: prehistorians and historical archaeologists, specialists in the Old World, and experts on the New World. Contributors use diverse data sets to discuss how food-procurement strategies, consumption patterns, and modes of cooking and dining are intertwined with the construction and maintenance of individual and group identities.
The second half of the seventh millennium BC saw the demise of the previously affluent and dynamic Neolithic way of life. The period is marked by significant social and economic transformations of local communities, as manifested in a new spatial organization, patterns of architecture, burial practices, and in chipped stone and pottery manufacture. This volume has three foci. The first concerns the character of these changes in different parts of the Near East with a view to placing them in a broader comparative perspective. The second concerns the social and ideological changes that took place at the end of Neolithic and the beginning of the Chalcolithic that help to explain the disintegration of constitutive principles binding the large centers, the emergence of a new social system, as well as the consequences of this process for the development of full-fledged farming communities in the region and beyond. The third concerns changes in lifeways: subsistence strategies, exploitation of the environment, and, in particular, modes of procurement, consumption, and distribution of different resources.
This book presents a new perspective on the social milieu of the Early and Middle Neolithic in Central Europe as viewed through relations between humans and animals, food acquisition and consumption, as well as refuse disposal practices. Based on animal bone assemblages from a wide range of sites from a period of over 2,000 years originating in both the North European Plain lowlands and the loess uplands, the evidence explored in the book represents the Linear Band Pottery Culture (LBK), the Lengyel Culture, and the Funnel Beaker Culture (TRB) allowing us to follow the dynamic development of early farmers from their emergence in the area north of the Carpathians up to their consolidation and stabilization in this new territory.