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For more than a century, the study of hunting and gathering societies has been central to the development of both archaeology and anthropology as academic disciplines, and has also generated widespread public interest and debate. This book provides a comprehensive review of hunter-gatherer studies, tracing histories of research and undertaking detailed regional and thematic case-studies that span the archaeology, history and anthropology of hunter gatherers,concluding with an in-depth review of the main opportunities, research questions, and moral obligations that lie ahead.
This Handbook provides a comprehensive synthesis of African archaeology, covering the entirety of the continent's past from the beginnings of human evolution to the archaeological legacy of European colonialism. It includes a mixture of key methodological and theoretical issues and debates and situates the subject's contemporary practice.
The Oxford Handbook of Mesoamerican Archaeology provides a current and comprehensive guide to the recent and on-going archaeology of Mesoamerica. Though the emphasis is on prehispanic societies, this Handbook also includes coverage of important new work by archaeologists on the Colonial and Republican periods. Unique among recent works, the text brings together in a single volume article-length regional syntheses and topical overviews written by active scholars in the field of Mesoamerican archaeology. The first section of the Handbook provides an overview of recent history and trends of Mesoamerica and articles on national archaeology programs and practice in Central America and Mexico written by archaeologists from these countries. These are followed regional syntheses organized by time period, beginning with early hunter-gatherer societies and the first farmers of Mesoamerica and concluding with a discussion of the Spanish Conquest and frontiers and peripheries of Mesoamerica. Topical and comparative articles comprise the remainder of Handbook. They cover important dimensions of prehispanic societies—from ecology, economy, and environment to social and political relations—and discuss significant methodological contributions, such as geo-chemical source studies, as well as new theories and diverse theoretical perspectives. The Handbook concludes with a section on the archaeology of the Spanish conquest and the Colonial and Republican periods to connect the prehispanic, proto-historic, and historic periods. This volume will be a must-read for students and professional archaeologists, as well as other scholars including historians, art historians, geographers, and ethnographers with an interest in Mesoamerica.
A comprehensive overview, by period and region, of the archaeology of ritual and religion. The coverage is global, and extends from the earliest prehistory to modern times. Written by over sixty renowned specialists, the Handbook presents the very best in current scholarship, and will also stimulate further research.
This volume explores 15,000 years of indigenous human history on the North American continent, drawing on the latest archaeological theories, time-honored methodologies, and rich datasets. From the Arctic south to the Mexican border and east to the Atlantic Ocean, all of the major cultural developments are covered in 53 chapters, with certain periods, places, and historical problems receiving special focus by the volume's authors. Questions like who first peopled the continent, what did it mean to have been a hunter-gatherer in the Great Basin versus the California coast, how significant were cultural exchanges between Native North Americans and Mesoamericans, and why do major historical changes seem to correspond to shifts in religion, politics, demography, and economy are brought into focus. The practice of archaeology itself is discussed as contributors wrestle with modern-day concerns with the implications of doing archaeology and its relevance for understanding ourselves today. In the end, the chapters in this book show us that the principal questions answered about human history through the archaeology of North America are central to any larger understanding of the relationships between people, cultural identities, landscapes, and the living of everyday life.
The American Southwest is one of the most important archaeological regions in the world, with many of the best-studied examples of hunter-gatherer and village-based societies. Research has been carried out in the region for well over a century, and during this time the Southwest has repeatedly stood at the forefront of the development of new archaeological methods and theories. Moreover, research in the Southwest has long been a key site of collaboration between archaeologists, ethnographers, historians, linguists, biological anthropologists, and indigenous intellectuals. This volume marks the most ambitious effort to take stock of the empirical evidence, theoretical orientations, and historical reconstructions of the American Southwest. Over seventy top scholars have joined forces to produce an unparalleled survey of state of archaeological knowledge in the region. Themed chapters on particular methods and theories are accompanied by comprehensive overviews of the culture histories of particular archaeological sequences, from the initial Paleoindian occupation, to the rise of a major ritual center in Chaco Canyon, to the onset of the Spanish and American imperial projects. The result is an essential volume for any researcher working in the region as well as any archaeologist looking to take the pulse of contemporary trends in this key research tradition.
The North American Arctic was one of the last regions on Earth to be settled by humans, due to its extreme climate, limited range of resources, and remoteness from populated areas. Despite these factors, it holds a complex and lengthy history relating to Inuit, Inupiat, Inuvialuit, Yup'ik and Aleut peoples and their ancestors. The artifacts, dwellings, and food remains of these ancient peoples are remarkably well-preserved due to cold temperatures and permafrost, allowing archaeologists to reconstruct their lifeways with great accuracy. Furthermore, the combination of modern Elders' traditional knowledge with the region's high resolution ethnographic record allows past peoples' lives to be reconstructed to a level simply not possible elsewhere. Combined, these factors yield an archaeological record of global significance--the Arctic provides ideal case studies relating to issues as diverse as the impacts of climate change on human societies, the complex process of interaction between indigenous peoples and Europeans, and the dynamic relationships between environment, economy, social organization, and ideology in hunter-gatherer societies. In the The Oxford Handbook of the Prehistoric Arctic, each arctic cultural tradition is described in detail, with up-to-date coverage of recent interpretations of all aspects of their lifeways. Additional chapters cover broad themes applicable to the full range of arctic cultures, such as trade, stone tool technology, ancient DNA research, and the relationship between archaeology and modern arctic communities. The resulting volume, written by the region's leading researchers, contains by far the most comprehensive coverage of arctic archaeology ever assembled. "

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