Environmental Archaeology and the Social Order
John G. Evans
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Presenting a wide variety of case studies, ranging from the early Palaeolithic to Post-modernity, and from Europe to the Andes, West and East Africa, and the USA, Environmental Archaeology and the Social Order deals with both the theory and method of environmental archaeology.
Including significant sections on Neanderthals, Palaeolithic mobiliary art and the origins of farming, as well as transhumance, climate as social construct, field survey and the place of documents in environmental research, Professor Evans interprets his findings in social constructionist terms, creating an important argument against the use of traditional materialist and processualist paradigms.
This original and controversial volume sets a new agenda for the study and understanding of environmental archaeology, and will prove an informative and useful purchase.
and Taylor 1991: 98). ‘Schemas facilitate what is called top-down, conceptually driven, or theory-driven processes, which simply means processes heavily inﬂuenced by one’s organized prior knowledge’ (ibid.). Schemas are recognized in cognitive psychology largely at the level of individual and smallgroup behaviour, but there are the grander embracements – or what we like to see as embracements – of ideology and social structure, which often lie at the edge of understanding, like angels between God
cultivated. Expression could now be at an increasing scale of visuality. Round barrows were becoming widespread. This was a new visuality, different from that of the Neolithic in that groups of monuments were involved. It was still a visuality of texture, only now there were clusters (or cemeteries) of barrows in which, as with inclusions in pottery, there were differences of density, type and age. The cemeteries and barrows were used in several topographical situations as seen in the Marlborough
Experiencing climate A useful entry to climate as a medium of social agency is through different temporal and spatial scales. Generally, what climate is and whether or not it has an effect on people are the same question. Climate can be understood only where it is an inﬂuence in human lives: ‘We are collectively all paleoclimatologists’ (McIntosh et al. 2000: 24). At a slightly lesser scale, climate can be drawn into people’s lives as long periods of stability and big areas of uniformity. We
seventeenth century (Manley 1974; Jones and Hulme 1997); part of the Manley curve, translated into GGDs, is shown (Figure 5.3). Finally there is the crucial stage of showing whether the cause of settlement and land abandonment was the increased risk of obtaining a successful harvest. First of all, there are no settlements or cultivation ridges above the climatic limits to cultivation in AD 1300, so that is one benchmark. Between AD 1150 to 1250, at the later nineteenth-century upper limit, the
through common lands or lands owned by other people, with the attendant opportunities that arise for social expression. But reading an article by Stephen Hodkinson (1988) on transhumance in the Classical world made me realize how diverse the practice is in terms of personnel and time–distance aspects, and how strongly the Alpine system biases our perceptions of it. Two extremes can be recognized. One involves short-distance movements in areas of sharp climatic extremes (Ch. 5, p. 100) and sharp