Life in Neolithic Farming Communities: Social Organization, Identity, and Differentiation / Edition 1

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Drawing on both the results of recent archaeological research and anthropological theory, leading experts synthesize current thinking on the nature of and variation within Neolithic social arrangements. The authors analyze archaeological data within a range of methodological and theoretical perspectives to reconstruct key aspects of ritual practices, labor organization, and collective social identity at the scale of the household, community, and region.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The book should be required reading for anyone interested in the Neolithic."
(Antiquity, 75:289, 2001)
"The list of participants is an impressive "who's who" of research on the Neolithic Near East. This collection of articles presents a fair and clear picture of the research currently being carried out in the discipline, and it is convenient to have them together in the same volume. Scholars and students will find the data presented about various sites and the comprehensive discussions very useful."
(American Antiquity, 66:4, 2001)
"With this volume, Kuijt and his colleagues have succeeded in bringing fully into the light of academic enquiry the debate about the significance of social and symbolic elements in the Neolithic transformation. Future considerations of this episode that focus exclusively on economic and environmental issues will subsequently fall significantly short of the mark."
(Roger Matthews, Institute of Archaeology, University College London; Journal of Anthropological Research, 58, 2002)

"The editor has brought together a distinguished line-up of regional specialists. There is much here to stimulate thought." (Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 9:3)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306461224
  • Publisher: Springer US
  • Publication date: 6/30/2000
  • Series: Fundamental Issues in Archaeology Series
  • Edition description: 2000
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 348
  • Product dimensions: 0.81 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 9.21 (d)

Table of Contents

Part I: Introduction. 1. Social Configurations of the Near Eastern Neolithic: An Introduction; I. Kuijt.
Part II: Sedentism, Early Villages and Households in Transition. 2. Early Sedentism in the Near East - A Bumpy Ride to Village Life; A. Belfer-Cohen, O. Bar-Yosef. 3. Hallan Çemi and Early Village Organization in Eastern Anatolia; M. Rosenberg, R.W. Redding. 4. Households in Transition: Neolithic Social Organization within Southwest Asia; B.F. Byrd.
Part III: Organization of Social Relations: Mortuary Ritual, Social Differentiation, and Settlement Systems. 5. The Quick and the Dead: The Social Context of Aceramic Neolithic Mortuary Practices as Seen from Kfar Hahoresh; N. Goring-Morris. 6. Keeping the Peace: Ritual, Skull Caching and Community Integration in the Levantine Neolithic; I. Kuijt. 7. Ritual and Social Structure at Neolithic Ain Ghazal; G.O. Rollefson. 8. Is Size Important? Function and Hierarchy in Neolithic Settlements; F. Hole. 9. Villages on the Edge: Regional Settlement Change and the End of the Levantine Pre-Pottery Neolithic; A. Simmons.
Part IV: Social Relations and Material Culture: Symbolism and Meaning. 10. The Symbolic Foundations of the Neolithic Revolution in the Near East; J. Cauvin. 11. Çatal Hüyük in Context Ritual at Early Neolithic Sites in Central and Eastern Turkey; M.M. Voigt. 12. The Pottery Neolithic Period: Questions about Pottery Decoration, Symbolism and Meaning; E. Orrelle, A. Gopher.
Part V: Conclusion. 13. Near Eastern Neolithic Research.
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