Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-viii

Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-xii

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Chapter One. Working with Archaeological Variability in the Twenty-First Century—Thinking about Materiality, Epistemology, and Ontology

Alan P. Sullivan III and Deborah I. Olszewski

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pp. 3-22

One inclusive view of archaeology is that the field is concerned with providing theoretically informed narratives of the cultural past that arise from unbiased engagements with the archaeological record. To achieve this lofty objective, archaeologists routinely examine their assumptions about the interpretation of archaeological variability (e.g., Schroeder 2013), as well as ideas regarding the creation, organization, and analysis of problem-specific data (e.g., Jackson 2014). This widespread, and accelerating, practice...

Section I. Advances in Interpreting Regional Archaeological Records

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Chapter Two. A Lithic Perspective on Ecological Dynamics in the Upper Pleistocene of Western Eurasia

C. Michael Barton and Julien Riel-Salvatore

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pp. 25-52

Neanderthals and their social and biological relationships to us have long been a subject of fascination spanning the scientific and lay communities. The hominins generally classified as Neanderthal are found in western Eurasia, from the Near east to Spain, and extend temporally from sometime in the late Middle Pleistocene through Oxygen Isotope Stage (OIS) 3 of the Upper Pleistocene (Finlayson et al. 2006; Harvati 2007; Klein 2003). Within this temporal and geographic range, Neanderthals almost certainly lived...

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Chapter Three. The Significance of “Persistent Places” in Shaping Regional Settlement History: The Case of the Mimbres Mogollon

Barbara J. Roth

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pp. 53-70

Research in the Mimbres Mogollon region of south-western New Mexico has documented a long period of pithouse use prior to the construction of pueblos. Many of the characteristics that we see associated with Mimbres pueblos in the Classic period (AD 1100–1150) appear to have developed during the previous Pithouse period (AD 200–1000). Continuity in material culture can be seen in a number of traits, primarily in artifacts and burial practices.

In this chapter, I argue that the continuity observed in material culture...

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Chapter Four. Reductive Technology and the Epipaleolithic of the Middle East and North Africa

Deborah I. Olszewski

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pp. 71-98

As durable material items representing hominin actions and activities over much of the past 3.3 million years, chipped-stone artifacts are one of the main lines of evidence about prehistoric behaviors. It is no surprise, then, that the classification and interpretation of chipped-stone assemblages often has taken on a life of its own, with considerable researcher investment into one paradigm or another, and lively debates between proponents of contrasting viewpoints. The well-known Old World typologies of...

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Chapter Five. Context and Complexity on the Arid Margins of Australia: Assessing Human Responses to an Unpredictable Environment

Simon J. Holdaway, Justin I. Shiner, Patricia C. Fanning, and Matthew J. Douglass

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pp. 99-124

Beginning in the final decades of the twentieth century archaeologists realized that, rather than treat artifacts as distinct entities with forms reflective of either style or function, a more materialist stance was needed in which form was seen as the outcome of the life-history of the object. Form was not simply reducible to style or function but varied according to the contexts in which artifact assemblages were located. In addition, both the nature and accessibility of raw material might affect artifact form, and assemblage...

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Chapter Six. Theoretical Implications of Artifact-Scatter Lithic Assemblage Variability for Mobility-Based Models of Technological Organization

Alan P. Sullivan III

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pp. 125-150

Although less of an exaggeration than it may have been several decades ago, it is still reasonable to claim today that archaeologists do not routinely investigate surface scatters of artifacts, often composed principally of lithic debitage. Despite persistent appeals to investigate lithic artifact scatters systematically (e.g., Chartkoff 1995; Fanning et al. 2009), these phenomena typically have been regarded as insignificant, barely preservation-worthy, and largely without research merit (Upham 1994:119). On those occasions when...

Section II. Venerable Sites Revisited

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Chapter Seven. Timelessness and the Legacy of Archaeological Cartography

Sissel Schroeder and Lynne Goldstein

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pp. 153-174

Across eastern North America in the nineteenth century, individuals with training in engineering and natural history and a keen interest in antiquities were directly involved in field surveys of earthen monuments. The maps they created from these surveys were developed with a false understanding of a shallow time depth predating the European occupation of the region and crafted with an emphasis on descriptive elements (e.g., Squier and Davis 1848; Thomas 1894). These nineteenth-century depictions of...

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Chapter Eight. Sherd Cross-Joins, Ceramic Use-Wear, and Depositional History: Rethinking the Sociopolitical Aftermath of a Collapsed Bronze Age Cistern at Myrtos-Pyrgos, Crete

Emilia Oddo and Gerald Cadogan

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pp. 175-190

One of the continuing challenges of Bronze Age archaeology is determining the time relations among the massive architectural features that characterize major Minoan settlements on Crete, such as Myrtos-Pyrgos. In view of the duration of occupation of communities like Myrtos-Pyrgos, archaeologists frequently encounter complex sequences of monumental feature construction, use, destruction, and ultimately abandonment. To enable precise understandings of the nature and scale of activities at these political centers,...

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Chapter Nine. Estimating the Population Size of Casas Grandes: Empirical Issues and Theoretical Consequences

David R. Wilcox

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pp. 191-212

Casas Grandes (figure 9.1) is a site in northwestern Chihuahua, Mexico, that the priest Obregón assured the King of Spain, based on his eyewitness visit in 1565, stood then “six and seven stories” high and was a “city” (Hammond and Rey 1928:206). He said it was called “Paquimé.” Other observers later thought that parts of the main building were four to five stories high (Bandelier 1892; Brand 1933; Noguera 1930), and based on his extensive excavations, Charles Di Peso (1974; Di Peso et al. 1974), argued that the site...

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Chapter Ten. Biface Production at Tabun: Manufacture, Maintenance, and Morphological Variability

Gary O. Rollefson

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pp. 213-230

Variability in stone tools has been the focus of prehistoric archaeology since the inception of the field. A variety of typologies that have been developed as a result of perceived clustering of attribute combinations has made for effective communication among prehistorians, but only in terms of those perceived patterns, or “types.” Trouble can arise when those patterns are subjected to interpretation in terms of function, style, and time (see also Chase, chapter 13, this volume).

Initial analysis of the bifaces from Arthur Jelinek’s Tabun excavations was undertaken...

Section III. Cross-Cultural, Conceptual, and Experimental Perspectives

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Chapter Eleven. Celebrating the Dead and Recrafting Social Identity: Placing Prehistoric Mortuary Practices in Broader Social Context

Brian F. Byrd and Jeffrey Rosenthal

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pp. 233-266

Mortuary events were contexts in which ritual practices celebrated the dead and facilitated an array of social objectives. In the study of mortuary practices among prehistoric hunter-gatherers, much attention has been focused on political complexity and the identification of leaders and elites. Until recently, considerably less attention has been placed on aspects of social identity and discerning changes in social interaction as defined by attributes such as age, sex, and group membership.

Diachronic developments in funerary rituals, as depicted in the archaeological...

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Chapter Twelve. Flint from the Ancestors: Ritualized Use of Stone Tools in the Prehistoric Southwest

John C. Whittaker and Kathryn A. Kamp

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pp. 267-290

This has of course become an old archaeological joke, and a tiresome one. The most extended riff upon the theme is Macaulay’s (1979) classic Motel of the Mysteries, in which a future “Howard Carson” excavates a twentieth-century motel, interpreting all the mundane finds as ritual funerary objects. But even the cleverest lampoons, such as Motel of the Mysteries , while amusing, are also faintly irritating. They annoy because in most cases archaeologists can in fact do better. A holistic approach to the full range of evidence makes the functions of even unusual artifacts less...

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Chapter Thirteen. Form, Function, and Mental Templates in Paleolithic Archaeology

Philip G. Chase

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pp. 291-306

The term “mental template” has been used frequently by lithic analysts in recent years, especially in discussions of Lower Paleolithic biface and large-cutting-tool variability, of Middle Paleolithic stone tool typology, and of differences between Middle and Upper Paleolithic industries in Europe (e.g., Ambrose 1998; Ashton and White 2003; Barton 1990; Bisson 2001; Gowlett 1984, 1996, 2006; Marks et al....

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Chapter Fourteen. The Role of Controlled Experiments in Understanding Variation in Flake Production

Zeljko Rezek, Sam Lin, and Harold L. Dibble

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pp. 307-320

Understanding chipped-stone technology essentially comes down to understanding how a single flake is made. Even though a knapper may remove many flakes to prepare a core or shape a piece, thin it, or modify its edges, each and every one of these removals requires a certain degree of control so that particular effects are achieved. While there is currently an emphasis in lithic analysis on reconstructing the totality of various reduction sequences (e.g., see Olszewski, chapter 4, this volume; Rollefson, chapter 10, this volume), we still have much to learn about...

List of Contributors

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pp. 321-324

Index

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pp. 325-332