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From the Pleistocene to the Holocene

Human Organization and Cultural Transformations in Prehistoric North America

Edited by C. Britt Bousman and Bradley J. Vierra

Publication Year: 2012

The end of the Pleistocene era brought dramatic environmental changes to small bands of humans living in North America: changes that affected subsistence, mobility, demography, technology, and social relations. The transition they made from Paleoindian (Pleistocene) to Archaic (Early Holocene) societies represents the first major cultural shift that took place solely in the Americas. From the Pleistocene to the Holocene: Human Organization and Cultural Transformations in Prehistoric North America provides an overview of the present state of knowledge regarding this crucial transformative period in Native North America.

Published by: Texas A&M University Press

Series: Texas A&M University Anthropology Series


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p. v

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p. vii

First and foremost, the editors of this volume would like to thank all of the contributors who have worked hard to provide these individual chapters. This book is only possible because of their efforts. Bousman would also like to thank the Anthropology Department and President and Provost at Texas State University for awarding...

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1. Chronology, Environmental Setting, and Views of the

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pp. 1-16

This compilation presents current views of the cultural transformations that took place across North America during the close of the Pleistocene and the ensuing Early Holocene. Most chapters began as papers for a symposium on Paleo indian–Archaic transitions in North America, given at the Society for American Archaeology...

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2. Environmental Change and

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pp. 17-36

Ideas about the Paleo indian to Archaic transition have undergone signifi - cant changes in recent years. Once characterized as a rather sudden and continent- wide transformation affecting all aspects of human life—from subsistence, mobility...

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3. The Paleo indian to Archaic Transition in the Pacifi c Northwest:

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pp. 37-66

In many parts of North America, as other chapters in this volume demonstrate, the change from Paleo indian to Archaic lifeways is demonstrably a transformation taking place within a single cultural tradition. In the southern interior of the Pacific Northwest...

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4. The Paleo - Archaic Transition in Western California, 67

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pp. 67-104

The biogeographic region known as cismontane, or western California, covers most of the modern state west of the Sierra- Cascade and Peninsular Ranges and incorporates nearly 1380 kilometers of Pacific coastline (fig. 4.1). Prehistorically, this region was one...

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5. The Emergence of the Desert Archaic in the Great Basin, 105

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pp. 105-124

The transition from Paleo indian to Archaic lifeways in the Great Basin has been portrayed as a dramatic shift in subsistence, technology, and population size, or conversely as the gradual elaboration of a generalized foraging adaptation. With more...

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6. Paleo indian and Archaic Traditions in Sonora, Mexico, 125

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pp. 125-148

Relatively few systematic archaeological investigations have been conducted within the state of Sonora, a region where even the ceramic period traditions remain vaguely defined; the Proyecto La Playa, begun in 1995, represents the first systematic...

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7. The Paleo indian to Archaic Transition:

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pp. 149-170

In the Rocky Mountains and Northwestern Plains, the beginning of the Archaic is somewhat time transgressive, but most would agree on a time of approximately 9200 calendar years B.P. (7700 14C yr B.P.). For decades, archaeologists have argued that the observed differences in the archaeology from the Paleo indian to Archaic...

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8. Late Paleoindian and Early Archaic Foragers in the Northern

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pp. 171-196

Despite a resurgence in the amount of research on the Archaic and Paleoindian periods in the American Southwest, this work has primarily focused on Folsom and Late Archaic. The relationship between Late Paleo indian and Early Archaic is still unclear, with many questions remaining unanswered. Little has been done to...

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9. The Protoarchaic in Central Texas and Surrounding Areas, 197

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pp. 197-232

Central Texas and the Southern Plains, with their prairies and woodlands, are renowned for their Paleo indian sites (fig. 9.1), but the region’s Archaic sites which densely cover the landscape are virtually anonymous to the nonregional specialist (Holliday 1997; papers in Perttula...

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10. The Ozark Highland Paleo archaic, 233

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pp. 233-252

The Ozark Highland and the Ouachita Mountains to its south are the prime, albeit eroded, mountainous region in the mid- continent of North America, about equidistant from the Rocky Mountains on the west and the Appalachian Mountains on the east...

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11. The Transition from Paleo indian

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pp. 253-272

In the past two decades there has been a growing interest in the archaeology of the earliest inhabitants of North America. This research, which includes modeling of settlement systems, subsistence strategies, and the organization of chipped stone tool...

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12. Shades of Gray Redux:

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pp. 273-318

In the following pages, we will summarize the diversity of the Paleo indian and Early Archaic periods in the Northeast and demonstrate that a broad- spectrum foraging pattern is characteristic of both of these periods. However, throughout the region, there were a variety of local and regional strategies for exploiting available resources...


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pp. 319-320


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pp. 321-327

Back Cover

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pp. 346-346

E-ISBN-13: 9781603447782
E-ISBN-10: 1603447784
Print-ISBN-13: 9781603447607
Print-ISBN-10: 1603447601

Page Count: 448
Illustrations: 1 color. 13 b&w. 22 maps. 13 line art. 51 figs. 55 tables. Bib. Index.
Publication Year: 2012

Series Title: Texas A&M University Anthropology Series
Series Editor Byline: Steele, D. Gentry See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 809313846
MUSE Marc Record: Download for From the Pleistocene to the Holocene

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Subject Headings

  • Paleo-Indians -- North America -- Congresses.
  • Indians of North America -- Antiquities -- Congresses.
  • Hunting and gathering societies -- North America -- Congresses.
  • North America -- Antiquities -- Congresses.
  • Antiquities, Prehistoric -- North America -- Congresses.
  • Pleistocene-Holocene boundary -- Congresses.
  • Paleoecology -- Pleistocene -- Congresses.
  • Paleoecology -- Holocene -- Congresses.
  • Paleoecology -- North America -- Congresses.
  • Human ecology -- North America -- Congresses.
  • Human beings -- Effect of climate on -- North America -- Congresses.
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