Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Frontmatter

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. v-v

read more

Preface

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-vii

This book examines three interlocking topics that are central to all archaeological and anthropological inquiry: the role of technology in human existence, the reproduction of social traditions, and the factors that generate cultural diversity and change. The overall aim is to outline a new kind of approach for researching variability and transformation in human material culture; the main argument is that these technological traditions exhibit heritable continuity: they consist of information stored in human brains and then passed on to others through social learning. ...

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. viii-x

The research presented in this book has taken shape slowly, over a number of years. The work spans academic appointments in London, Sheffi eld, Aberdeen, and Groningen, as well as sabbaticals in Oslo and in Kyoto, and ethnoarchaeological fi eldwork in Northwest Siberia. All this means that I have many friends, academic colleagues, and local communities to thank for all their encouragement, advice, practical assistance, hospitality, and general support along the way. ...

Note on Data Sets

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xi-xi

read more

1. Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-63

One defi nitive feature of the human condition is reliance on highly sophisticated technological solutions. These physical objects are termed material culture and include elaborate tools for capturing, processing, and storing resources, technologies for travel, vernacular architecture, as well as all the other objects used by people in all spheres of social life. In general, however, people tend not to invent such objects and technologies for themselves through personal trial-and-error learning but predominantly acquire existing designs and cultural ideas from other people. Nor is this a relatively new phenomenon, ...

read more

2. Methodology

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 64-109

This chapter aims to build a bridge between the theoretical perspectives on human technological traditions outlined in the previous chapter and the application of these ideas and approaches to empirical research. In short, this chapter provides a methodological framework for assembling appropriate information, and then analyzing these data sets in ways that address the book’s three main themes of propagation, coherence, and historical congruence in material culture traditions. Given that ...

read more

3. Northwest Siberia

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 110-217

This chapter focuses on processes of microscale evolution in material culture traditions in Northwest Siberia. It primarily aims to examine how technological traditions are propagated within populations, exploring how individuals acquire knowledge of cultural traits through social learning, which persons they copy during their different life phases, and what factors promote them to then reproduce, adjust, or reject the traits they have acquired. It also explores how all these factors work together ...

read more

4. Pacific Northwest Coast

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 218-276

This chapter examines the extent of cultural coherence and deeper historical congruence in the material culture traditions of Coast Salish communities on the Pacifi c Northwest Coast. Macroscale cultural evolution is examined in three different traditions: housing, canoe making, and basketry/matting. The chapter opens with a general introduction to local environments, subsistence practices, and social institutions, and then examines the evolutionary dynamics of each of the three different traditions in turn ...

read more

5. Northern California

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 277-340

This chapter builds on the preceding case study and also examines general coherence and deeper historical congruence in material culture traditions, but aims develop a series of more comparative insights into the ways in which social institutions serve to structure local propagation of cultural traits in areas of higher linguistic diversity.
Macroscale cultural evolution is examined in three different material culture traditions that are practised by large numbers of different ethnolinguistic communities: ...

read more

6. Conclusions

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 341-374

This book has outlined a new approach to studying the origins of variability and change in material culture, which is one of the primary research questions in archaeology and also anthropology. In fact, the overwhelming reliance on technology and material culture in all spheres of activity—ranging from subsistence, travel, shelter and general community life—remains one of the central feature of all human existence. The key argument presented in this book is that these diverse forms of material culture are best understood as expressions of social tradition. ...

Appendix: Mantel Matrix Correlations

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 375-382

References

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 383-402

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 403-412