Title

Resources Intensification, Sedentism, Storage, and Ranking: A Visual Synopsis of Pacific Northwest History and Theory

Presenter Information

James Brown
Patrick McCutcheon

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

archaeology, anthropology, history, theory, resource intensification

Abstract

Resource intensification is a theoretical concept that is used routinely to explain past human subsistence and settlement systems by identifying evidence of sedentism, storage, ranking, and hierarchy among early horticulturists and complex hunter-gatherers. Evidence for these developments in the archaeological record include: large houses, and cooking and storage features. Resource intensification, as defined, can include technology for mass capture and processing, resource extension through scheduling, logistical organization of labor, or expanding habitat use. Within the Pacific Northwest, theoretical explanations of these developments grew within three schools: evolutionary-ecology, political economy, and social agency. Our strategy is to (1) diagram the intellectual history of Northwest coast and Columbia plateau theory, and (2) trace relationships and interactions between synthetic works and archaeological studies. Given that almost all treatments of resource intensification focus on the development of households (plank houses and house pits) and larger house settlements, our review provides a critical synopsis of major directions in the archaeology of the Pacific Northwest. As possible each source we cite is assessed in our visual synopsis. We code each source according to three scientific performance criteria: dynamic sufficiency, empirical sufficiency, and tolerance limits. By evaluating each work using these performance criteria, we can begin to interpret anthropological explanations for cultural ecology and evolution, and political economy or social agency within the Pacific Northwest.

Poster Number

42

Faculty Mentor(s)

Hackenberger, Steve

Additional Mentoring Department

Anthropology and Museum Studies

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May 15th, 11:30 AM May 15th, 2:00 PM

Resources Intensification, Sedentism, Storage, and Ranking: A Visual Synopsis of Pacific Northwest History and Theory

SURC Ballroom C/D

Resource intensification is a theoretical concept that is used routinely to explain past human subsistence and settlement systems by identifying evidence of sedentism, storage, ranking, and hierarchy among early horticulturists and complex hunter-gatherers. Evidence for these developments in the archaeological record include: large houses, and cooking and storage features. Resource intensification, as defined, can include technology for mass capture and processing, resource extension through scheduling, logistical organization of labor, or expanding habitat use. Within the Pacific Northwest, theoretical explanations of these developments grew within three schools: evolutionary-ecology, political economy, and social agency. Our strategy is to (1) diagram the intellectual history of Northwest coast and Columbia plateau theory, and (2) trace relationships and interactions between synthetic works and archaeological studies. Given that almost all treatments of resource intensification focus on the development of households (plank houses and house pits) and larger house settlements, our review provides a critical synopsis of major directions in the archaeology of the Pacific Northwest. As possible each source we cite is assessed in our visual synopsis. We code each source according to three scientific performance criteria: dynamic sufficiency, empirical sufficiency, and tolerance limits. By evaluating each work using these performance criteria, we can begin to interpret anthropological explanations for cultural ecology and evolution, and political economy or social agency within the Pacific Northwest.