Comparative Archaeologies: A Sociological View of the Science of the Past

Springer Science & Business Media
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Archaeology, as with all of the social sciences, has always been characterized by competing theoretical propositions based on diverse bodies of locally acquired data. In order to fulfill local, regional expectations, different goals have been assigned to the practitioners of Archaeology in different regions. These goals might be entrenched in local politics, or social expectations behind cultural heritage research.

This comprehensive book explores regional archaeologies from a sociological perspective—to identify and explain regional differences in archaeological practice, as well as their existing similarities. This work covers not only the currently-dominant Anglo-American archaeological paradigm, but also Latin America, Western and Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa, all of which have developed their own unique archaeological traditions. The contributions in this work cover these "alternative archaeologies," in the context of their own geographical, political, and socio-economic settings, as well as the context of the currently accepted mainstream approaches.

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About the author

Ludomir Lozny is current managing editor of the journal Human Ecology, and an adjunct professor at Hunter College in the Department of Archaeology.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Springer Science & Business Media
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Published on
Apr 6, 2011
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Pages
852
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ISBN
9781441982254
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Ancient / General
Social Science / Anthropology / General
Social Science / Archaeology
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Up until now, mountain ecosystems have not been closely studies by social scientists as they do not offer a readily defined set of problems for human exploitation as, do for instance, tropical forests or arctic habitats. But the archaeological evidence had shown that humans have been living in this type of habitat for thousands of year.

From this evidence we can also see that mountainous regions are often frontier zones of competing polities and form refuge areas for dissident communities as they often are inherently difficult to control by centralized authorities. As a consequence they fuel or contribute disproportionately to political violence. But we are now witnessing changes and increasing vulnerability of mountain ecosystems caused by human activities.

Human adaptability to mountain ecosystems This volume presents an international and interdisciplinary account of the exploitation of--and human adaptation to--mountainous regions over time. The contributions discuss human cultural responses to key physical and cultural stressors associated with mountain ecosystems, such as aridity, quality of soils, steep slopes, low productivity, as well as transient phenomena such as changing weather patterns, deforestation and erosion, and the possible effects of climate change.

This volume will be of interest to anthropologists, ecologists and geologists as mountainous landscapes change fast and cultures disappear and they need to be recorded, and mountain regions are of interest for studies on environmental change and cultural responses of mountain populations provide clues for us all. Critical to understanding mountain adaptations is our comprehension of human decision-making and how people view short- and long-term outcomes.

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