Hunters in Transition: Mesolithic Societies of Temperate Eurasia and Their Transition to Farming

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Hunters in Transition analyses one of the crucial events in human cultural evolution: the emergence of post-glacial hunter-gatherer communities and the development of farming. Traditionally, the advantages of settled agriculture have been assumed and the transition to farming has been viewed in terms of the simple dispersal of early farming communities northwards across Europe. The contributors to this volume adopt a fresh, more subtle approach. Farming is viewed from a hunter-gatherer perspective as offering both advantages and disadvantages, organisational disruption during the period of transition and far-reaching social consequences for the existing way of life. The hunter-gatherer economy and farming in fact shared a common objective: a guaranteed food supply in a changing natural and social environment. Drawing extensively on research in eastern Europe and temperate Asia, the book argues persuasively for the essential unity of all post-glacial. adaptations whether leading to the dispersal of farming or the retention and elaboration of existing hunter-gatherer strategies.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521109574
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/20/2009
  • Series: New Directions in Archaeology Series
  • Pages: 196
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: the scope of the present volume Marek Zvelebil; Part I. The Mesolithic Context of the Transition to Farming; 1. Mesolithic prelude and Neolithic revolution Marek Zvelebil; 2. Between cave painters and crop planters: aspects of the temperate European Mesolithic Peter Rowley-Conwy; 3. The Mesolithic sandwich: ecological approaches and the archaeological record of the early post-glacial Clive Gamble; 4. The role of hunting-gathering populations in the transition to farming: a Central-European perspective Slavomil Vencl; Part II. Regional Studies: 5. The transition to food production: a Mediterranean perspective James Lewthwaite; 6. Foragers and farmers in Atlantic Europe Marek Zvelebil and Peter Rowley-Conwy; 7. Foragers of Central Europe and their acculturation Janusz K. Koztowski and Stefan K. Koztowski; 8. The late mesolithic and the transition to food production in Eastern Europe P. M. Dolukhanov; 9. Foragers and farmers in west-Central Asia P. M. Dolukhanov; 10. The Mesolithic and Neolithic in the southern Urals and Central Asia G. Matyushin; 11. Hunter-gatherer adaptations and the transition to food production in Japan Takeru Akazawa; 12. Mesolithic societies and the transition to farming: problems of time, scale and organisation Marek Zvelebil; Index.

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