Sustainable Lifeways: Cultural Persistence in an Ever-Changing Environment

Sustainable Lifeways: Cultural Persistence in an Ever-Changing Environment


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Sustainable Lifeways: Cultural Persistence in an Ever-Changing Environment by Naomi F. Miller

Sustainable Lifeways addresses forces of conservatism and innovation in societies dependent on the exploitation of aquatic and other wild resources, agriculture, and specialized pastoralism. The volume gathers specialists working in four areas of the world with significant archaeological and paleoenvironmental databases: West Asia, the American Southwest, East Africa, and Andean South America, and contributing to research in three broad time scales: long term (spanning millennia), medium term (archaeological time, spanning centuries or a few thousand years), and recent (ethnohistoric or ethnographic, spanning years or decades).

By bringing an archaeological eye to an examination of human response to unpredictable environmental conditions, informed by an understanding of contemporary traditional peoples, the contributors to this volume develop a more detailed picture of how societies perceive environmental risk, how they alter their behavior in the face of changing conditions, and under what challenges the most rapid and far-reaching changes in adaptation have taken place. Sustainable Lifeways enhances our understanding of both the forces of conservatism and innovation which may have been in play in major transitions in the past, such as the development of complex society, and the expansions of early empires. Studies present examples of cattle herders in East Africa, hunter-gatherers and pastoralists in the Levant, South American fisher/farmers, and farmer/hunters of the U.S. Southwest.

PMIRC, volume 3

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781934536193
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
Publication date: 09/21/2011
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

At the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Naomi F. Miller is Research Project Manager in the Near East Section, Katherine M. Moore is Consulting Scholar in the American Section, and Kathleen Ryan is Consulting Scholar in the African Section.

Table of Contents


Introduction: Sustainable Lifeways
—Naomi F Miller and Katherine M. Moore
1 "Living with a Moving Target": Long-term Climatic Variability and Environmental Risk in Dryland Regions
—Neil Roberts
2 Prehistoric Pastoralists and Social Responses to Climatic Risk in East Africa
—Fiona Marshall, Katherine Grillo, and Lee Arco
3 Spreading Risk in Risky Environments: An East African Example
—Kathleen Ryan and Karega-Munene
4 Risk and Resilience among Contemporary Pastoralists in Southwestern Iran
—Lois Beck and Julia Huang
5 Change and Stability in an Uncertain Environment: Foraging Strategies in the Levant from the Early Natufian through the Beginning of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic B
—Arlene M. Rosen
6 Explaining the Structure and Timing of Formation of Pueblo I Villages in the Northern U.S. Southwest
—Timothy A. Kohler and Charles Reed
7 Mitigating Environmental Risk in the U.S. Southwest
—Katherine A. Spielmann, Margaret Nelson, Scott Ingram, and Matthew A. Peeples
8 Farmers' Experience and Knowledge: Utilizing Soil Diversity to Mitigate Rainfall Variability on the Taraco Peninsula, Bolivia
—Maria C. Bruno
9 Grace Under Pressure: Responses to Changing Environments by Herders and Fishers in the Formative Lake Titicaca Basin, Bolivia
—Katherine M. Moore
10 Periodic Volcanism, Persistent Landscapes, and the Archaeofaunal Record in the Jama Valley of Western Ecuador
—Peter W. Stahl
11 Managing Predictable Unpredictability: Agricultural Sustainability at Gordion, Turkey
—Naomi F. Miller


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