Cultural Persistence in an Ever-Changing Environment
Edited by Naomi F. Miller, Katherine M. Moore, and Kathleen Ryan
352 pages | 6 x 9 | 73 illus.
Cloth 2011 | ISBN 978-1-934536-19-3 | $65.00s | £42.50 | Add to cart
Ebook 2012 | ISBN 978-1-934536-32-2 | $65.00s | £42.50 | About | Add to cart
Distributed for the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
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"Required reading for anyone thinking about how society can address the immediate and long term environmental risk and uncertainty we face. . . . This is archaeology at its policy-decision-informing best."—Ethnobiology Letters
Sustainable Lifeways addresses forces of conservatism and innovation in societies dependent on the exploitation of aquatic and other wild resources, agriculture, and specialized pastoralism. The volume gathers specialists working in four areas of the world with significant archaeological and paleoenvironmental databases: West Asia, the American Southwest, East Africa, and Andean South America, and contributing to research in three broad time scales: long term (spanning millennia), medium term (archaeological time, spanning centuries or a few thousand years), and recent (ethnohistoric or ethnographic, spanning years or decades).
By bringing an archaeological eye to an examination of human response to unpredictable environmental conditions, informed by an understanding of contemporary traditional peoples, the contributors to this volume develop a more detailed picture of how societies perceive environmental risk, how they alter their behavior in the face of changing conditions, and under what challenges the most rapid and far-reaching changes in adaptation have taken place. Sustainable Lifeways enhances our understanding of both the forces of conservatism and innovation which may have been in play in major transitions in the past, such as the development of complex society, and the expansions of early empires. Studies present examples of cattle herders in East Africa, hunter-gatherers and pastoralists in the Levant, South American fisher/farmers, and farmer/hunters of the U.S. Southwest.
At the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Naomi F. Miller is Research Project Manager in the Near East Section, Katherine M. Moore is Consulting Scholar in the American Section, and Kathleen Ryan is Consulting Scholar in the African Section.