Desert Peoples: Archaeological Perspectives / Edition 1

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Desert Peoples: Archaeological Perspectives provides an issues-oriented overview of hunter-gatherer societies in desert landscapes that combines archaeological and anthropological perspectives and includes a wide range of regional and thematic case studies.

  • Brings together, for the first time, studies from deserts as diverse as the sand dunes of Australia, the U.S. Great Basin, the coastal and high altitude deserts of South America, and the core deserts of Africa
  • Examines the key concepts vital to understanding human adaptation to marginal landscapes and the behavioral and belief systems that underpin them
  • Explores the relationship among desert hunter-gatherers, herders, and pastoralists
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This is an up-to-date and theoretically broad-rangingcomparative treatment of desert hunter-gatherer archaeology andethnology that introduces a new, fresh generation of scholars andissues. Bravo!” Richard Gould, Brown University

“Desert Peoples shows how important the world’s aridhabitats have always been during the course of human evolution. Thegeographical scope of the contributions is breathtaking, theircomparative approach to dynamics and interactions compelling. Icongratulate the editors for making the desert bloom for humanprehistory.” Clive Gamble, Royal Holloway, University ofLondon

“A superb synthesis…. The authors use theopportunity to set out several probing questions that will underpinfuture research on how societies adapt to challengingenvironments.” John Dodson, Brunel University andUniversity of Western Australia

"Competent, well-written summaries of local culturehistory...several of the essays merit serious attention fromreaders of this journal." Archaeology in Oceania

"In this era of regional and topical specialisation,which often leads to perochialism, the editors of this book cantake great satisfaction in having provided a venue for looking atthe big picture."
Australian Archaeology

"Desert Peoples: Archaeological Perspectives is an essentialsource for those interested in hunting-gathering lifeways."Laurie Milne, Canadian Journal of Archaeology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405100915
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/24/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.75 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Veth is Director of Research at the AustralianInstitute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies,Canberra. He is the author of over 100 articles and books on thearchaeology of arid zone hunter-gatherers.

Mike Smith is Director of Research and Development at theNational Museum of Australia. He pioneered research into latePleistocene settlement in the Australian desert and has workedextensively across the arid zone attempting to piece together itshuman and environmental history.

Peter Hiscock is a Reader in the School of Archaeologyand Anthropology at the Australian National University.

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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors.

1. Global Deserts in Perspective: Mike Smith, Peter Veth, PeterHiscock and Lynley A. Wallis (National Museum of Australia;Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait IslanderStudies; The Australian National University; The AustralianNational University).

Part I: Frameworks:.

2. Theoretical Shifts in the Anthropology of DesertHunter-Gatherers: Thomas Widlok (University of Heidelberg).

3. Pleistocene Settlement of Deserts from an AustralianPerspective: Peter Hiscock and Lynley A. Wallis (both at TheAustralian National University).

4. Arid Paradises of Dangerous Landscapes: A Review ofExplanations for Paleolithic Assemblage Change in Arid Australiaand Africa: Peter Hiscock and Sue O’Connor (both at TheAustralian National University).

Part II: Dynamics:.

5. Evolutionary and Ecological Understandings of the Economicsof Desert Societies: Comparing the Great Basin USA and theAustralian Deserts: Douglas W. Bird and Rebecca Bliege Bird (bothat University of Maine).

6. Cycles of Aridity and Human Mobility: Risk Minimizationamongst Late Pleistocene Foragers of the Western Desert, Australia:Peter Veth (Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres StraitIslander Studies).

7. Archaic Faces to Head-Dresses: The Changing Role of Rock Artacross the Arid Zone: Jo McDonald (Jo McDonald Cultural HeritageManagement Pty Ltd).

8. The Archaeology of the Patagonia Deserts: Hunter-Gatherers ina Cold Desert: Luis Alberto Borrero (Consejo Nacional deInvestigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas and the Universidad deBuenos Aires, Argentina).

Part III: Interactions:.

9. Perspectives on Later Stone Age Hunter-Gatherer Archaeologyin Arid Southern Africa: Anne I. Thackeray (University of theWitwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa).

10. Long Term Transitions in Hunter-Gatherers of CoastalNorthwest Australia: Kathryn Przywolnik (Department of Environmentand Conservation (NSW), Sydney, Australia).

11. Hunter-Gatherers and Herders of the Kalahari during the LateHolocene: Karim Sadr (University of the Witwatersrand,Johannesburg, South Africa).

12. Desert Archaeology, Linguistic Stratigraphy, and the Spreadof the Western Desert Language: Mike Smith (National Museum ofAustralia).

13. People of the Coastal Atacama Desert: Living between SandDunes and Waves of the Pacific Ocean: Calogera M. Santoro, BernardoT. Arriaza, Vivien G. Standen, and Pablo A. Marquet (Universidad deTarapacá Arica, Chile; University of Nevada, Las Vegas;Universidad de Tarapacá Arica, Chile; Pontificia UniversidadCatólica de Chile, Santiago).

14. Desert Solitude: The Evolution of Ideologies amongstPastoralists and Hunter-Gatherers in Arid North Africa: Andrew B.Smith (University of Capetown, Rondebosch, South Africa).

15. Hunter-Gatherer Interactions with Sheep and CattlePastoralists from the Australian Arid Zone: Alistair Paterson(University of Western Australia).

16. Conclusion: Major Themes and Future Research Directions:Peter Veth (Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres StraitIslander Studies).

General Index.

Index of Archaelogical Features and Subjects

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