WAC Inter-Congress in Lódz, Poland - Abstracts PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 07 September 2007 00:00

Archaeological Invisibility & Forgotten Knowledge. Ethnoarchaeology. Hunter-gatherers. Ephemeral cultural aspects.

5-8 Sept. 2007 Lódz University

Abstracts

Evenks of the North-West Yakutia: Culture and Landscape (on materials of expeditions of 2001–2006)

 

Sardana Boyakova

The report is based on field materials assembled in 2001–2006 years among most northern in the world Evenks – Evenks, living in Anabar and Olenyok districts of Republic Sakha (Yakutia), and on archival materials and literature. The analysis of interrelation and interdependence of all branches of a traditional economy (reindeer-breeding, hunting, fishing, gathering) is submitted from the point of view of their role in life-support of the population. The features reindeer-breeding and hunting in conditions of tundra, forest-tundra and taiga are considered. By virtue of the socio-economic reasons and somewhat actions of the factors of an environment now main life-support function for the indigenous peoples of North-West Yakutia are played by the hunting. The influence on economy-cultural systems Evenks of the enterprises diamond of industry placed in region is considered also. The special attention is given to questions of adaptation of the hunters and reindeer-breeders to market conditions of post-soviet Russia.

Les amas coquilliers du delta du Saloum (Sénégal)

Par Abdoulaye CAMARA

Musée d’Art africain

Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar

Le fleuve Saloum se jette dans la mer par un delta comportant trois bras principaux : le Saloum lui-même, le Diombos et le Bandiala. Les îles de ce delta, une vingtaine environ, à 120 km de Dakar, sont constituées de chenaux remplis d’eau saumâtre appelés bolons, bordés d'une mangrove dense. Ces terrains marécageux, recouverts de palétuviers constituent un lieu idéal que des oiseaux partagent avec une faune aquatique et forestière, et que des populations de pêcheurs et d'agriculteurs fréquentent depuis la préhistoire.

Dans ce milieu insulaire, les coquillages ont constitué une part importante dans l'alimentation de ces populations riveraines de la mer. La cueillette est attestée par le nombre et la dimension d’amas de coquillages vides, consommés (traces de cuisson), formant de véritables collines artificielles. Le village de Fadiouth sur la Petite Côte est carrément construit sur un de ces amas de coquilles, île artificielle très bien située pour des pêcheurs.

Les collines de coquillages du delta du Saloum sont formées d’arches (Anadara senilis) qui vivent enfouies de quelques centimètres dans les sables des zones d'oscillation de la marée, d’huîtres de palétuviers (Crassostrea gasar) qui vivent accrochées aux racines des mangroves, de patelles (Patella safiana), de pourpres (Thais haemastoma), de murex....

Selon les documents archéologiques

L’origine humaine des amas est également attestée par des tessons de poteries, des résidus de foyers, des déchets culinaires divers, des inhumations, des perles en coquillages... En 1939, dans un article intitulé "De fameux mangeurs de coquillages", Th. Monod démontre que" les buttes à coquillages du Saloum sont artificielles", et signale que "sur les buttes sont édifiées souvent des tumuli, parfois juxtaposés en grand nombre. Ceux-ci ont fourni des armes de fer, des bracelets de cuivre, des grains d'enfilage en coquillage et des poteries funéraires splendides, à couvercle."

L'ancienneté des amas est confirmé par les gros baobabs qui ont pris pied sur leur surface. Selon F. Lafont: "les baobabs ne surgissent pas des amas, mais leurs racines rampent littéralement à leur surface où elles acquièrent un développement exceptionnel. Si l'on tente de les abattre, ces arbres n'ont pas à être arrachés car ils se renversent n'ayant aucune racine profonde. C'est là une nouvelle preuve de leur âge plus récent que les dépôts qui les portent." Cette ancienneté est confirmée aussi par les datations radiométriques qui situent les périodes d’édification des amas coquilliers entre le IV e et le XIV e siècle.

Selon les textes anciens

En dehors de l'archéologie, des textes anciens indiquent au XV e siècle la pratique sur une grande échelle de la récolte des coquillages. Valentim Fernandes rapporte : "Dans la rivière de Lagos (Diombos), il y a une région près de la mer qui s'appelle Gebandor (un ancien village de l'île de Poutaké s'appelait Diofondor). Et ils sont tous potiers et font des pots, aussi bien les hommes que les femmes et l'argile dont ils les font est mélangée avec des écailles d'huîtres pilées et des coquillages qui abondent dans cette terre et sont très grands. Et ils sont si nombreux et si grands qu'ils se lassent de les manger crus et les mangent seulement cuits. Les gens ramassent beaucoup d'huîtres et de coquillages et les mettent au feu jusqu'à ce qu'ils s'ouvrent et en retirent la chair et la sèchent au soleil. Et après les avoir séchés, on les emporte sur les marchés des autres peuples pour les vendre."

Aujourd’hui

Les populations des Îles du Saloum continuent à pratiquer la cueillette des mollusques. Une enquête menée par C. Descamps montre que la collecte des arches dans le Bas-Saloum reste une activité et une affaire de femmes faisant appel à des pratiques et des instruments traditionnels; que cette activité a subi une mutation économique car l'arche n'est plus destinée uniquement à la consommation et à l'échange, mais permet de réaliser des bénéfices intéressants; que les coquilles, autrefois délaissées, sont récupérées et deviennent une source de gains. Les coquilles vides peuvent servir à tapisser les allées dans les maisons, les ruelles des villages, à paver les routes nationales, à fabriquer de la chaux (par incinération de coquillages), à préparer des parpaings de la taille des briques (avec des coquillages bruts et du sable)…

L’utilisation des coquillages à des fins économiques crée de nombreux problèmes qui sont la cueillette intensive des mollusques ou l’augmentation des besoins toujours plus grands de coquillages à des fins de travaux d’entreprises dont l’une des conséquences est la transformation des sites archéologiques en carrières d’extraction de coquillages.

MONOD Th. (1939): De fameux mangeurs de coquillages. Notes africaines , octobre 1939, n°4, p.55.

LAFONT F., 1938: Le Gandoul et les Niominka. Bulletin du Comité d'Etudes historiques et scientifiques de l'A.O.F., juillet-septembre 1938, p.385-458.

MONOD Th., TEIXEIRA Da Mota A. et MAUNY R. (1951): Description de la côte occidentale de l'Afrique (Sénégal au Cap de Monte, Archipels) par Valentim Fernandes (1506-1510). Mém., n° 11, Centro de Estudos da Guiné port. Bissau, 223 p.

DESCAMPS C. (1989): La collecte des arches (Anadara senilis L.) dans le bas-Saloum (Sénégal): Une approche ethno-archéologique des amas coqulliers. Travaux de LAPMO, 1989 p.131-149.

 

Hunter-Gatherers of Simlipal forest range: A study

On Change and Continuity.

ASOK DATTA

Abstract

Ethno-archaeology offers direct co-relation between prehistoric society and its present ethnographic parallels. The science of ethno-archaeology has been developed to utilize ethnographic data for the interpretation of archaeological past.

India is a vast country with diverse climatic and environmental conditions. There are two types of hunter-gatherers viz. the primitive hunter-gatherers of Andaman Islands and the marginal hunter-gatherers of the mainland India. The stability and success of the self-sufficient mode of subsistence economy of the post-Pleistocene mesolithic hunter-gatherers of Mayurbhanj district of Orissa is indicated by the wide distribution of mesolithic sites in Mayurbhanj district.

Hill Kharia is one of the 22 listed marginal hunter-gatherers in India. They are distributed in Bihar, Madhyapradesh, Orissa and West-Bengal. The hill kharias of simlipal hill are autochthonous of the land. They are divided into three endogamous sub-groups viz. the Paharia/hill kharia, Dudh Kharia and Delki Kharia.Again these sub-groups are divided into a number of exogamous totemic clans. Among the sub-groups, the hill kharias are the most primitive and derive such name from their natural habitats, which are generally located in and around hilly tracts. The hill kharias belong to Proto-australoid racial stock and speak mundari language. They sustained their livelihood from self sufficient forest based hunting gathering and fishing economy. At present they occupy three distinct habitat zones in the forest and are operating from different ecological bases.

The present paper attempts to examine the nature and extent of symbiosis with the neighboring peasantry and how far it effected the traditional self-sufficient subsistence economy based on hunting-gathering and fishing and thereby to bring out the amount of change and continuity through time.

 

Megalithic Practices in Upland Bengal : An ethno-archaeological Study

RITA DATTA

The relationship between the past and the present megalithic monuments is found in the typology which remains more and less same throughout the ages. The common types are menhir, cist, cairn and dolmen which still continue in the upland Bengal with little or no modification. However, the sizes of dolmen and menhirs have been reduced nowadays. Besides, the practice of erecting cist burials have been brought into burial custom.

In respect of grave goods, the custom continue keeping in view the changing socio-economic condition. In certain cases the people switch over to cremation from megalithism due to symbiosis with the caste Hindus. Sometime ,post-cremation burials also are found in some cases. On examination it is found that cremated bones are collected and kept in earthen pots which are concealed by a cairn circle. The practice is very much prevalent among the Kharia/Ho in Parihati area of Belpahari police station .The Bhumijas on the other hand have their own burial ground where they erect stone slab over the dead.

The skeletal remains found from South Indian megalithic monuments have been identified as proto-Australoid, Mediterranean and Mongoloid (Kennedy,1989). But in our study area, the Kharia, Bhumija and Ho who still practice megalithism belong to Proto-Australoid racial stock. The present paper attempts to study the present megalithic practices among Bhumija,Kharia and Ho of upland Bengal and then try to find out the similarities between the past and present.

 

Renewing Women's Business: A Documentary.

Julie Drew

Renewing Women's Business is set in the Victoria River District at the Top End of Northern Territory, Australia. It gives us one indigenous community's views and understanding of the established customary laws of women and how these customs are passed on as part of girl's initiation into adult knowledge.

We are taken on this journey with an Aboriginal woman Lily Gin.gina. At the age of 74 she is the last senior female elder in her country with full traditional knowledge. She typifies a person who has moved from traditional Aboriginal life in her own country, to her involvement in the colonial pastoral occupation of it, then moving into town and finally returning to her homelands where she can educate her granddaughters.

Many Australian Aboriginal people continue to pass on the knowledge of cultural practices and traditions that have been in existence for possibly thousands of years. Although culture is dynamic it is an important element in the lives of these people. Today the girls who have grown up in the township of Katherine have lost the knowledge of the ancestors' traditions. Lily helps the girls at puberty to restore and understand these processes of initiation into womanhood. The question remains: Are these customs still important in a modern society?

This film embraces the richness and depth of Wardaman women's culture and demonstrates its strong connection with the rock art of Wardaman country. Popular belief is that rock paintings and engravings are men's activities and relate to male ceremonial practices. Previous archaeological excavation of the Wardaman country failed to reveal that women also use these images for teaching young girls the women's law. In the past women's business was secret and never discussed in mixed company. As an ethnographic archaeologist Julie Drew travels with these Wardaman people and records the forgotten knowledge with amazing insight that can only be gained from longstanding trust and respect for their culture.

 

Attaining visibility? The Basarwa who live in Marulamantsi, Botswana are making increasingly visible "things", yet remain relatively politically invisible

Kathy Fewster, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Wales, Lampeter.

This paper is based on the results of a longitudinal ethnoarchaeological study of a community of Basarwa who live on the outskirts of Serowe, Botswana, in a location called Marulamantsi. The study began in 1996, at a time when Basarwa were beginning to voluntarily settle more-or-less permanently at Marulamantsi. Over the last decade I have seen a number of changes in the material culture produced by those who live in Marulalmantsi; generally speaking, it has become more substantial, or more visible. Much of this change is a result of "copying" from others. For the purpose of this paper, I will concentrate on settlement architecture, and baskets, because they are indicators of interactions between the Basarwa and the agropastoralist Bamangwato who live in Serowe, and Euroamerican development initiatives respectively. Despite the fact that both categories of material culture have become more "visible" over time, the political visibility of this community of Basarwa at Marulamantsi with regard to their Bamangwato neighbours and Euroamerica has not followed the same trajectory. I will try to demonstrate that although changes in the material culture of the Basarwa indicate a level of integration into certain aspects of the Bamangwato and Euroamenrican value systems, the Basarwa have yet to attain full political and economic rights implied by those value systems. It will be shown that there are significant differences between the "copied" material culture and the originals, a duality which is perhaps both an indicator of, and a barrier to, full integration. In this study, I have turned ethnoarchaeology on its head, and found Hodder's 1990 archaeological work on nature/culture symbolism between hunter-gatherers and farmers in prehistoric Europe to be a useful analogy to a living community.

 

Bear bones with red ochre traces in the Belgian Upper Palaeolithic:

Comparison with the use of colours in ethnographic bear rituals

Mietje Germonpré & Riku Hämäläinen

Several bear bones with ochre traces were discovered in a Pleniglacial and Late Glacial context in Belgian caves. We show that the ochre was applied purposefully by Upper Palaeolithic people. We conclude that a proto bear ceremonialism existed during the Upper Palaeolithic, on the basis of two broad sets of evidence: (i) comparison with ethnographic evidence and (ii) comparison with supporting evidence from the archaeological record. We added a hitherto unconsidered factor to the discussion: namely, the intentional application of ochre traces to bear bones. There is a similarity between the Palaeolithic and ethnographic evidence, in that both the bear head and paws show a high frequency of red or black colour traces. Furthermore, the bear was an important symbolic theme in Upper Palaeolithic art. Given the positive evidence and absence of any evidence of the contrary, we are constrained, for the time being, to conclude that a proto bear ceremonialism existed during the Upper Palaeolithic.

Mietje Germonpré, Department of Palaeontology, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Vautierstraat 29, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium, mietje.germonpre@naturalsciences.be

Riku Hämäläinen, Department of Comparative Religion,, Unioninkatu 38E, FIN-00014, University of Helsinki, Finland riku.t.hamalainen@helsinki.fi

 

The spatial materialization of a cultural change. The Awá case ( Maranhão, Brazil).

Almudena Hernando (Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain)

Alfredo González Ruibal (Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain)

Gustavo Politis (Universidad del Centro de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, Olavarría, Argentina).

This paper will focus on the transformations in the sense of territoriality and the domestic space of the Awá people ( Maranhão, Brazil), as they reduce their mobility when they come to live inside protected reservations. The social construction of space will be analyze d, as well as the gradual way in which their domestic structures change in shape and design as the Awá become identified with their Western protect ors. All the features linked with these structures (raw materials, nature/culture, public/private, etc.) will be also studied in order to see how the transformation of the Awá from hunting-gathering to an agricultural way of life is materialized in space.

 

"Hyperimagery and rock art: visual imagery, perceptual ambiguities and ways of thinking."

Derek Hodgson and Patricia Helvenston

Most explanations of rock art take either an ethnographic or inferential approach to the archaeological record. One alternative line of research that has shown potential for understanding such phenomena comes from the psychology of perception, neuroscience and cognitive studies that has led to some original insights into the probable precursors involved. By taking this approach we seek, in conjunction with previous analyses that have taken a similar line, to present new evidence that will push the debate in the appropriate direction to provide a more sound footing on which to understand the manifest complexities. In order to achieve this, it is necessary to take account of how the human brain processes visual information, especially with regard to visual memory and imagery in relation to cognitive factors. This paper, therefore, seeks to present specific examples of how an approach based on neuropsychology and related disciplines can be applied to the archaeological record in ways that can supplement more conventional modes of interpretation.

 

Women's work: Skin processing in northern hunter - gatherer societies.

Mrs Torunn Klokkernes

The invisibility of women's knowledge in hunter -gatherer societies is caused by poor preservation of organic materials. This is the traditional approach, which is correct. There is however another reason and that is the lack of knowledge of what to look for in a settlement to allow us to see women's work more clearly. The richness of the knowledge and the variation of methods and materials used in skin processing technology, indicate that cutting and scraping tools found in archeological contexts, is only a fragment of the knowledge systems related to this meticulous craft. In order to understand what to look for in a settlement, it is important to recognize the principles of skin processing. It is furthermore important to be aware of the variety of methods employed to obtain specific material qualities used under various climatic conditions. A glimpse into the principles of skin processing technology in arctic and sub arctic cultures, the physical structures and manifestations associated with it, provides a starting point for this understanding.

 

In The Circle of Life And Death - Secret Dimensions of Shamanism - An Anthropological Perspective

Maria Kosko

The subject of the presentation, as indicated in the title, concerns the discovery of secret Shamanistic "philosophy" in its wider aspect, i.e. as one related both to tradition and modern ideological transformations. More specifically, the presentation touches upon the following issues:

- Magical and religious division of space resulting from local and supra local  conceptualization of the world;
- "evaluation" of space – sacred vs. profane;
- sacred dimensions in the cycle of ritual life;
- "playing with spirits" in the maze of life and death;
- boundaries of dimensions belonging to one's own and to the other (bans and orders);
- Shamanistic traditions vs. political aspects.

 

Thème: Une approche ethnoarchéologique de la poterie dans l'Atacora, au nord-ouest du Bénin:étude de cas Chabi Kouma. Sagui Tchanare. Benin

Chabi Kouma

Résumé:

Chabi Kouma est une localité constituée par des peuples multiculturels ;mais caractérisée par deux traditions dominantes, à savoir: les Bètammaribè et les Yowa .Ces deux peuples installés dans la région pendant la période pré-coloniale ont développé l'activité céramique qui a connue de modifications au fil des siècles.Cependant, il important de savoir que cette demeure incontournable cette localité malgré le déveppement trés poussé des instensiles industriels.De par ses fonctions variées et son mode de transfert qui va de mére en fille; de la potière à sa coépouse voire à l'apprentissage d'une quelconque personne, cette activité favorisé le développement de la localité dans une certaine mesure.

 

Ethnos Theory of  S.M. Shirokogoroff and Some Problems of Ethnoarhaeology

A.M. Kuznetsov

An outstanding Russian anthropologist S.M. Shirokogoroff had a good training in archaeology and physical anthropology primarily. Then he was invited  to make research of the Tungus in East Siberia and Manchuria. Shirokogoroff  made a number of archaeological and ethnographic expedition in 1910 - 1918. During this expeditions, a great number of archeological, ethnographic, anthropological, linguistic data were obtained. These data were used as a base for Shirokogoroff ethnos theory. The first version of this theory was prepared in 1922 and it was published in the next year in China (Shirokogoroff, 1923).  He is examining ethnos as a primary entirety and through its relationship with different forms of environment (natural, cultural and other ethnoses). The special role of the consciousness (and mentality) in the theory of ethnos was investigated. According to Shirokogoroff idea, the existence of ethnos is determined by the balance of its main components. Later, he brings the concept of ethnos to a new dimension (Shirokogoroff, 1935). Shirokogorov used the term 'ethnos' only to describe the processes of origination and development (crystallization), where an ethnic group determines how these processes run. The ethnic group was determined as phenomena of material culture, social organization and psycho-mental complex all form a certain well balance system, in which all the components (psycho-mental complex, material culture, social organization and endogamy) are more or less connected to each other and thus can not be interpreted independently. Recent significance of the Shirokogoroff theory may be shown in a case of the discussion on the Tungus origin.

 

Missing Hunter-Gatherers: A critical historiography of research on East Africa’s forager populations

Paul Lane, Department of Archaeology, University of York

At the time of European expansion into East Africa in the mid-nineteenth century CE, a hunter-gatherer presence was recorded in many different parts of the region. These included various groups that came to be referred to collectively as Dorobo – a Maasai term for non-farming, foraging populations without livestock; peoples such as the Wataa, Boni and Degere whose territories were centred on the dry hinterland inland from the Indian Ocean coast; the Kilii and Eyle hunter-gatherers who ranged across the arid lands of southern Somalia; forest-dwelling Batwa in Uganda and Rwanda; and the Hadza and Sandawe click-language speakers of central Tanzania. Historical and anthropological research among these different communities has been relatively uneven, with most research focused on the Hadza and various so-called Dorobo populations, such as the Okiek and Mukgogodo. Ethnoarchaeological research on East Africa’s hunter-gatherer populations has been even more restricted, both in terms of geographical and thematic coverage. An even more serious lacuna is the virtual absence of any consideration of the evidence for hunter-gatherer societies and practices in the archaeological record for the last two to three thousand years – i.e. for the period following the introduction of domestic livestock and the slightly later adoption of crop cultivation. This paper offers a critical review of this research, focusing mainly on the range of ethnoarchaeological studies that have been conducted. While these studies may have made a contribution to broader archaeological and anthropological theory, it will be argued that the concentration of research on issues of general relevance has contributed to the wider neglect of the archaeology of late Holocene hunter-gatherers in the region to the extent that many of these communities can be said to be “missing from history”. The paper will conclude with some suggestions as to how to redress this by changing research questions and agendas.

 

Is shamanism a unitary phenomenon (and can it help elucidate rock art)?

Robert Layton, Department of Anthropology, University of Durham

It is not my intention in this paper to dispute the claim that institutions resembling shamanism are widespread in small-scale societies, and I agree that there are well-documented cases of rock art in which aspects of shamanism are depicted. My criticisms are directed at two claims that characterise works such as Lewis-Williams and Dowson (1988) and Clottes and Lewis-Williams (1996):

(a) The claim that certain 'altered states of consciousness' follow a standard course, and that certain traits in rock art are therefore invariably diagnostic of shamanism,

(c) And the claim that if any institutions resembling shamanism exist in a culture, then rock art produced within that culture must necessarily be shamanistic.

I shall look at several case studies from Southern Africa, Australia and North America to exemplify my point, noting where I consider shamanism can legitimately be used to clarify the significance of motifs, and where I consider it cannot. My primary goal is to show that members of the indigenous communities that produce rock art in North America and Australia can tell us much about the engravings and paintings, thus providing a more nuanced, and culturally variable, picture than 'pan-shamanic' models provide.

 

Continuance of Neolithic Agriculture and Shifting Cultivation in Garo Hills, Meghalaya

Dr.H.C.Mahanta, Dibrugarh University, Assam,  India,  Mrs. Anjana Saramah, Dibrugarh City College, Assam, India

The traditional shifting cultivation being practice in the Garo Hills has a prehistoric base. The hoe and axe continue as the principal tools, operated exclusively by human energy. We can not say whether the people of the culture under study are the descendent of the Neolithic population, but analogy between the material cultures of the past and present should not be ignored. Chronologically the culture under study is modern, but economically Neolithic.

There are differences in the raw material of the tools. Formerly they were made of stone, at present they are iron. Such a difference does not result in a major variation in the quantity of production between past and present. The hoe and axe have inherent limitations in working capability. Such a technology, under the given ecological conditions, can support only 4 to 5 persons per square kilometre. Under the traditional agricultural system, intensification contributes little to improvement, as was the case during Neolithic times as well.

 

Ethnoarchaeological Approach to the Selknam Ritual of Hain: Consideration About Ritual in Hunter-Gatherer Societies

Estela Mansur

Centro Austral de Investigaciones Científicas (Ushuaia, Argentina)

Raquel Piqué i Huerta

Departament de Prehistòria, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain)


Ethnographical information about the Selknam of Tierra del Fuego is very exhaustive concerning the ideological aspect of this hunter-gatherer society. Among them is well documented the ceremony of initiation of young male, called Hain. This ceremony played a central role in the organization and the reproduction of selknam social system. The goal of our investigation was to seek by archaeological methods the material expression of this ceremony. On this purpose survey and excavation were undertaken in the Ewan valley region (Tierra del Fuego, Argentina), in a specific location where there was information about a hut corresponding to a Hain. The research in this location allowed recognizing two different sectors: one with a single big hut and the other with several fireplaces corresponding to smaller structures. The distribution is coherent with the ethnographic description for the space dedicated to the ritual activity (ceremonial hut) and the subsistence activities (residence). The results obtained during the investigation in both areas give important elements in order to re-think about the archaeological recognition of ritual activities in past hunter gatherer-societies.

 

Analogical Thinking: A model from the Bampur Valley

Dr. Mehdi Mortazavi, Assistant Professor in Archaeology,

Archaeology Department, University of Sistan and Baluchestan, Zahedan, Iran.

mmor_2002@yahoo.com

The most important paradox of archaeology is that it attempts to understand the past but has only present to study. Because all archaeological sites exist in the present, in order to construct their version of the past, archaeologists have always had to rely on analogy and the replication of prehistoric behavior through experimental tool manufacture and other techniques. The earliest use of analogy in archaeology is ethnographic analogy, which really began in 19 th century, when contemporary tribes were seen as “living fossils” and thus representative of prehistoric people: northern people who exploited caribou were, for example, seen as sources of information on the reindeer-hunting people of the European Paleolithic (Bahn 1999: 294). Therefore, it is interesting to state that in this paper analogical thinking refers to a process of finding and using a known knowledge, in this case usually the present, to understand an unknown phenomenon, in this case the past.

This paper aims to discuss the analogy approach in order to understand the cultural change in the Bampur Valley. This Valley, which functioned as intermediary for long-distance trade between the Indus Valley, the Iranian Plateau settlements and Mesopotamia during the third millennium BC (Bronze Age), is located in the Iranian Baluchistan, close to the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan. There was a definite break in the ceramic tradition of the Bampur Valley in the phase 1 of period V. De Cardi positively identified this break as the introduction of a new incoming culture. She continued that the inhabitants had been forced to leave both their belongings and their home (De Cardi 1970: 247). The Author of the present paper believes that there is not enough evidence to assume that people of the Bampur Valley was invaded by newcomers. It seems that contemporary people of the so-called Kulli culture, who move from one place to another, could be seen as representative of people, who made less advanced ceramic in phase I of period V.

Keywords: cultural changes, analogy, Kulli people

 

Ethnoarchaeology in Hunter-gatherer Transformations: Theoretical and Methodological Perspectives from the Mukogodo in East Africa

Kennedy K. Mutundu (Ph.D)

School of Environmental Studies, Kenyatta University

kkmutundu@ku.ac.ke

In East Africa, the subsistence economy and adoption of herding by local hunter-gatherers remains a neglected area of archaeological research. This paper addresses issues regarding the subsistence economy and the adoption of herding by the historic Mukogodo hunter-gatherers of north central Kenya, through a study of archaeological material from Shulumai Rock-shelter (SRS). Focusing on faunal remains from the historic levels of SRS in conjunction with ethnographic and historical data, my study discusses the role of ecological and localized environmental conditions, as well as social and historical factors in the interpretation of patterns of interaction and subsequent adoption of herding by the Mukogodo. My study and similar studies straddle the boundary between archaeological data and ethnohistoric data, and makes methodological and interpretive contributions to the study of similar peoples in prehistory and today. This approach to ethnoarchaeological research will become increasingly important as contemporary hunter-gather societies take up modern ways of life, and as opportunities for the traditional observation ethnoarcheology become less available.

 

Disastrous context, Dynamic or static?

Based on Bam (south eastern Iran) disastrous context after earthquake

Authors: Leila Papoli yazdi [1] and Omran Garazhian [2]

Key words : ethno archaeology, dynamic context, static context, disastrous context, Iran, Bam 

  In archaeology, generally, context is divided into two kinds of dynamic and static. The static dead context is one in which the agents are not active and generally the material in this context is meaninglessness. Data, in this context, is the sign of past dead subjects activations. Dynamic context is a kind of context is which the living subjects effect the material; agents relations with the context in dynamic context is active and their relations can be patterned and modeled.

  These contexts division are only general ones. "Disaster ethnoarchaeology Project: Bam after earthquake" represented that another kind of context can be studied which is neither dynamic nor static. In this kind of context, the data are located in a static context but they have still meaning for the survived agents and the agents affect them by their activations. It can be assumed that this kind of context is the result of special condition after a disaster.     

  The city of Bam was destroyed by an earthquake on 26 th December, 2003.  Approximately 40,000 people died and a further 30,000 persons were injured and 100,000 people were made homeless. Mud brick villages and concrete buildings alike were all destroyed resulting in a dramatic change in the landscape. Two months after the earthquake, Bam residents returned to what had previously been their homes, cleaned up the debris and were forced to adopt new life ways in order to adapt to their altered environment . As survivors searched for bodies of dead relatives and neighbors buried beneath the tons of rubble, they attempted to reconstruct some semblance of their former lives. People sought out what remained of usable household furniture, valuables, important documents and objects of sentimental value.

   The authors' ethnoarchaeological project in Bam [3] was conducted in four phases of 2, 6, 17 and 27 months after earthquake. In this situation, we as researchers were encountered with a context which had both the characteristics of dynamic and static contexts. More than half of the settlers were dead but the material had still meaning to the survivors and although the houses were destroyed and in some cases abandoned, agents were responsible to them.  

  In this article, the authors will discuss about the disastrous context of Bam after earthquake in which we are encountered with static context and survived agents. It seems that archaeologists are usually encountered with this kind of context in disastrous sites.  Besides, it will be represented that archaeologists should think about more kinds of contexts, a range between zero and one, between dynamic and static.  

1- PhD candidate, prehistoric archaeology, University of Tehran, papoli@ut.ac.ir

2- PhD candidate, prehistoric archaeology, University of Tehran, garajian@ut.ac.ir

3- this article is one of "disaster ethnoarchaeology: Bam after earthquake" which is under the support of Iranian cultural heritage and tourism organization (ICHTO)" and "Bam citadel project". "

 

Ritual anatomy of preys and food taboos. An ethnoarchaeological perspective

Gustavo G. Politis*

* CONICET-Universidad Nacional del Centro de la Pcia.d e Buenos Aires y Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina.

In this presentation I will examine how food taboos influenced faunal consumption and processing patterns and how these can be traced in the archaeological record. I will present several case-studies from the Southamerican tropical rainforest which illustrate the several dimensions of animal hunting, processing and discard pattern.

Although the origin of taboos is multi-causal, I prefer to explain food taboos as a result of specific ideological and mythical beliefs that have a long tradition among indigenous peoples from the Southamerican tropical forest. Within Amazonian ontology animals have a status similar to humans, and therefore their consumption is restricted and mediated by ritual complexes. Animals are considered to be related to each other and to humans in much the same way that humans are related to one another (Ärhem 1996; Rival 1996; Storrie 1999). Within this ideational framework one can explain the existence of alimentary taboos, especially concerning animals, independently of adaptive reasons for their origin or maintenance. Food taboos and other restrictions around consumption, processing and discard developed together with the economic strategies that over time formed the diet and the hunting and processing strategies of the different hunter-gatherer groups. Throughout this process multiple elements intersected -- economic, social (especially those referring to the several dimensions of identity) and ideational -- and resulted in particular compositions of diet in time and space. Such diets, and their material derivates, were not based exclusively on nutritional considerations, although in some cases these were surely influential, and in specific cases they took apparently maladaptive courses.

This body of belief not only influence what animals, when, how, and who may eat them but also the processing strategies and the discard patterns. Its result in a ritual anatomy of preys which has profound implications in the formation of the archeological record. However, archaeologists usually have often neglected this on the basis that they can not be found “empirically.” Supposedly taboos can not be “seen” in the archaeological record.. This is unfortunate given the widespread presence of food taboos among aboriginal (non Western) societies around the world.. I this paper I will summarize and discuss these issues from an ethnoarchaelogical perspective, based on original fieldwork among tropical hunter-gatherers.

 

Prehistory of Central Asian/Siberian shamanism: Is there a place for 'prehistory of shamanism' in archaeological discourse?

Andrzej Rozwadowski
Institute of Eastern Studies
Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznań, Poland

Phenomenologically oriented 'archaeology of shamanism' naturally used to focus its attention on traces of shamanic experience to be observed in different periods and different parts of the world. It is not surprising thus that the research has particularly concentrated on rock art – visual expression of 'mind'. In some opposition to 'archaeology of shamanism' seems to be the issue of 'prehistory of shamanism', which rather than focusing on universals of the mind rises the question of antiquity of tradition. Perceiving shamanism in terms of local symbolic tradition implies thus more historical then phenomenological perspective. Following this historical path the paper considers ways of identifying shamanism in rock art of Central Asia. It suggests that key to the question of antiquity of this tradition can be an analysis of symbolic connotations of material attributes of shaman. This study traces shamanic symbolism in prehistoric rock art and demonstrates both aspects of continuity (in the sphere of symbols) and aspects of changes (in the sphere of material culture). Moreover, the analysis questions the idea of timelessness of Central Asian shamanism (which seems to be effected by treating this shamanism as most classic) and suggests that the earliest spectacular evidences of configuration of symbols crucial for Central Asian shamanism can be noted in the rock art not older then approximately the turn of third/second millennia BC.

 

Pottery Manufacture Process:

An Ethno-archaeological Studies in Western India

Vasant Shinde

Deccan College

Post-Graduate and Research Institute

Pune/India

The most recent research carried out at Gilund in Mewar region of Rajasthan has brought to light the evidence of the beginning of pottery manufacture in the Mesolithic period dated to the fifth millennium BC and a gradual transformation to the Chalcolithic period. Mainly coarse and fine varieties were in use and different wares like Black-and-Red, Black-on-Red, plain Red, Grey and Black formed the repertoire of ceramic traditions in Western India. The ceramic traditions that began in the Mesolithic phase in Western India, continued through to the modern times. There are numerous full time potters spread all over the Western India producing a variety of pottery. Even though many studies have been carried out on the modern pottery manufacturing processes, there is very little systematic effort in using this data to reconstruct many aspects of the ancient pottery. The ethnographic data can be effectively used in reconstructing manufacture, and firing technology, functional aspects and socio-economic organizations of the ancient societies. The present paper deals the study of some of the modern potters in Western India and its application to study the aspects mentioned above in great details.

 

Anthropology, ethnography and prehistory – a hidden thread in the history of German archaeology

Ulrike Sommer
Institute of Archaeology, UCL
u.sommer@ucl.ac.uk

German archaeology before WWII is normally described as dominated by the chauvinist "culture-historical approach" of Gustaf Kossinna and his pupils, or by von Merhart's typological approach. There is another, older school of thought though, going back to Rudolf Virchow, who in 1869 founded the German Society for Anthropology, ethnology and prehistory (DAG). This remained the most influential prehistoric society in Germany right up to the First World War. The first university chairs normally combined physical anthropology/anatomy and prehistory, and often ethnology was taught as an integral part of the curriculum. I am going to look at the work of Karl Weule (1824-1926), who in 1902 became the first German chairholder in ethnology. He was also the director of the Leipzig Museum of Ethnology, where he amassed an amazing collection aiming to cover all parts of the globe. Weule was influenced by Ratzel, and, to some extent by the Viennese "Kulturkreislehre". His aim was to look at the development of human culture in general in an universal perspective. This made prehistory an integral part of ethnology. In numerous publications, Weule studied different areas of human existence – subsistence, technology, habitation, war and peace etc. and tried to trace the origin and spread of inventions. Even today, his publications remain a great source for an ethnography of materials ("Sachvolkskunde"). Weule's approach lost its attraction after WWI with the loss of Germany's colonies and an increasingly bitter revanchism, leading to racist views on Germanic superiority, which made the comparative approach of Weule's generation appear obsolete. The severed connection between archaeology and ethnology was never really overcome even after WWII, and ethnographic analogies, let alone theories remained deeply suspect.

 

Where to eat and sleep? The logic of Wik camping

Peter Sutton

Abstract:

Donald Thomson's classic 1939 paper, 'The seasonal factor in human culture' (Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 5:209-21), was preceded by Lauriston Sharp's unpublished paper on the same basic ethnoarchaeological theme: in places where the technology is largely organic and the climate tropical, there will be little left to show where and how people lived long ago. This makes it even more important that archaeologists looking for sites in such places have a well developed predictive model of likely camp locations. My own paper analyses the indigenous logic of selecting campsite locations in just such an environment (indeed in the same region), based on detailed reconstructive ethnography carried out with Aboriginal people of the Cape York Peninsula wetlands who grew up in a semi-nomadic economy in the early 20th century. My interest as an anthropologist is not so much in being able to suggest where others might dig holes, but in understanding the interplay between the key factors of seasonality, resource availability, abstract rights in places and resources, conflict resolution, defense, safety from dangerous animals, personal comfort and sociality, in building the rational and emotional logics of camping.

 

Differential faunal resources management in ritual spaces and domestic spaces in the selk'nam society (Argentina, Tierra del Fuego).

Edgard Camarós* Vanesa Parmigiani** Ester Verdún *

* Laboratori d' Arqueozoologia. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
** Universidad Nacional de La Plata (República Argentina)

The objective of this paper is to show the results of the archaeozoology analisys from the site Ewan I and Ewan II (Tierra del Fuego, Argentina). By the ethnographic information, we know that Ewan I is a ritual context, and Ewan II is a domestic context. Faunal remains should be used as a tool to make visible differences between domestic social contexts and ritual contexts. The comparison will be held on the representativity of different taxons, anatomical parts and distribution of each bone remains in each unit, in order to discuss the management of faunal resources in different social contexts.

 

How People used their space in antiquity- An ethnoarchaeological study of Shijiazhai village, Northern China

Xingcan Chen

Institute of Archaeology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, 100710)

Archaeological explanations are closely related to the person who explains. Though one’s background is nothing to do with the archaeological materials, one’s background is always reflected in one’s explanation to the archaeological materials. Through an ethnoarchaeological study of space using in a pre-modern village at Shijiazhai in Northern China, this study shows how one’s background-including one’s gender, education, age and living environment influences one’s explanations.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 13 May 2009 21:29
 
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