JOURNAL of 
ANTHROPOLOGICAL RESEARCH

Volume 65, Number 2, Abstracts

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SPECIAL ISSUE: The Iberian Pleistocene-Holocene Transition
Guest Editors: Steven Schmich and Sarah B. McClure


Local Actions in Global Context: The Pleistocene-Holocene Transition in Iberia

Sarah B. McClure
Department of Anthropology, Museum of Natural and Cultural History, University of Oregon

Steven Schmich
Archaeological Research Institute, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University

KEY WORDS: Iberia, Mediterranean, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Pleistocene-Holocene transition, Upper Paleolithic

The transition from Pleistocene to Holocene remodeled the world in ways strikingly similar to those noted by the frameworks convention for the Kyoto Protocol on global climate change. Hunter-gatherer and early agricultural economies balanced local variables with global environmental change. Iberia is a natural laboratory for understanding these processes. From demographic shifts in the Cantabrian refugium to relative constancy in the Mediterranean region, it is a crossroads where widespread European influences overlapped distinctive Iberian traditions. The introduction of agriculture further diversified the patchwork of subsistence strategies. Adaptation to the Holocene in Iberia forms a baseline for understanding the social and economic dynamics of local human response to global climate change.


On the Edge: Early Holocene Adaptations in Southwestern Iberia

Nuno Ferreira Bicho
FCHS-Universidade do Algarve, Faro, Portugal.

KEY WORDS: Epipaleolithic, Mesolithic, Early Neolithic, the Algarve, Southwestern Iberia, Portugal

Little is known about the final Upper Paleolithic from west of Gibraltar and south of the Tagus Valley. In contrast, data from Boreal and Atlantic times are fairly common and suggest highly diverse cultural, economic, and technological systems. Thus, there is an important hiatus for the Tardiglacial phase of human occupation in southwestern Iberia. This paper will focus on two main aspects of the Early Holocene in Iberia: the settlement and subsistence dynamics during the Mesolithic and early Neolithic of southwestern Portugal, and explanatory models for the occupational hiatus and lack of sites in the Tardiglacial and early Holocene.


Surviving the Holocene: Human Ecological Responses to the Current Interglacial in Southern Valencia, Spain

Alexandra Miller and C. Michael Barton
School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University

Oreto García and Joan Bernabeu
Departament de Prehistòria i Arqueologia, Universitat de València

KEY WORDS: Land use, Mediterranean, Paleolithic, Neolithic, Spain, Spatial analysis

For hunter-gatherer groups, the dramatic changes in climate at the end of the last glacial cycle necessitated rearrangement of land use, including shifts in mobility strategies, settlement location, and resource use. We examine these behavioral changes using lithic attribute data as well as spatial distributions of artifacts and features. Using data from intensive survey and excavation, we trace human ecological response through the onset of the current interglacial in central Mediterranean Spain, comparatively far from the margins of the north-temperate ice sheets.


El Tossal de la Roca and the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition in the Mediterranean Region of Eastern Spain

Carmen Cacho Quesada
Departamento de Prehistoria, Museo Arqueológico Nacional, Madrid, Spain.

Jesús F. Jordá Pardo
LEP, Departamento de Prehistoria y Arqueología, Madrid, Spain.

KEY WORDS: Upper Pleistocene, Holocene, Magdalenian, Epipaleolithic, Paleoenvironment, Lithic and bone technology, Iberian Peninsula
A series of marked environmental changes took place during the transition from Pleistocene to Holocene, to which the hunter-gatherers adapted by modifying their technology and subsistence practices. In parallel with these changes, territoriality increased and significant transformations in artistic expression occurred. This paper assesses the archaeological record of the Iberian Mediterranean watershed to analyze various aspects of this adaptive process, which unfolded gradually from the end of the Magdalenian to the beginning of the Neolithic.


From the Mesolithic to the Neolithic on the Mediterranean Coast of the Iberian Peninsula

Oreto García Puchol

Lluís Molina Balaguer

J. Emili Aura Tortosa

Joan Bernabeu Aubán
Departament de Prehistòria i Arqueologia, Universitat de València, Spain.

KEY WORDS: Epipaleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Paleoecology, Paleoeconomy, Material Culture, Interaction

This paper summarizes early Holocene cultural sequences, economic strategies, and social dynamics on the Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula. Recent research in the central-southern regions of Valencia provides important diachronic information, particularly for discerning the nature of the shift from a hunter- gatherer lifestyle to agriculture. If biogeographic conditions played a leading role in determining exploitation strategies, then recognizing distinctive social responses is crucial for understanding the impact of the changes that occurred.


Human Behavioral Ecology and Climate Change during the Transition to Agriculture in Valencia, Eastern Spain

Sarah B. McClure
Department of Anthropology and Museum of Natural and Cultural History, University of Oregon

C. Michael Barton
School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University

Michael A. Jochim
Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara

KEY WORDS: Mediterranean Spain, Neolithic, Human behavioral ecology, Ideal free distribution, Human adaptations

Using the behavioral ecological model of ideal free distribution (IFD), McClure, Jochim, and Barton (2006) identified the tight linkage between agricultural subsistence strategies, herd management, and long-term dynamics of human land use. Missing from their discussion, however, was placing these changes into a broader environmental context. The IFD provides a useful heuristic device to illustrate cost-benefit decisions within a spatial context. This paper compares the previous interpretations of land use during the Neolithic with climatic data from the Holocene. Two main arid periods have been identified during the early and middle Holocene that correspond chronologically to Neolithic cultural horizons. Climate models recently generated for the area further suggest shifts in precipitation cycles may have exacerbated the impacts of broader climatic fluctuations on agricultural production.


Holocene Vegetation Dynamics in Mediterranean Iberia: Historical Contingency and Climate-Human Interactions

Graciela Gil-Romera
Department of Biology (Botany), Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Institute of Geography and Earth Sciences. University of Aberystwyth, Aberystwyth, UK

José S. Carrión
Department of Plant Biology, University of Murcia, Campus de Espinardo Murcia, Spain

Sarah B. McClure
Department of Anthropology, Museum of Natural and Cultural History, University of Oregon

Steven Schmich
School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University

Clive Finlayson
The Gibraltar Museum

KEY WORDS: Iberia, Holocene, Paleoecology, Pollen, Climatic change, Historical contingency, Fire, Cultural collapse

In this paper we illustrate how different internal and external forcings conditioned postglacial vegetation in southern Mediterranean areas. By comparing seven Holocene sequences, we emphasize the role of glacial refugia as postglacial vegetation dispersal centers. We also identify the importance of the system’s inertia in the time lags observed for vegetation response to climate change and human pressure. Finally, we explore the cascade of effects triggered by the human-climate interface, specifically the vegetation and the environmental feedbacks implicated in the collapse of the Argaric culture that emerged in arid southeastern Spain about 4,000 years before the present.


The Late Upper Paleolithic-Mesolithic-Neolithic Transitions in Cantabrian Spain

Lawrence Guy Straus
Department of Anthropology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque

KEY WORDS: Late Upper Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Cantabrian Spain, Human adaptations

Although broad-spectrum subsistence began during the Solutrean (ca. 20,000 14C BP) in Cantabrian Spain, and there was much continuity in technology and settlement between the Magdalenian and Azilian, there were dramatic changes in human use of the postglacial landscapes of this Atlantic region after ca. 9,000 14C BP. Interrupting a Terminal Paleolithic trend toward increased utilization of the montane interior of the region, the Mesolithic was mainly a coastal phenomenon. Although the Magdalenian-Azilian transition did include disappearance of cave art, the marked adaptive break came after the traditional end of the Pleistocene, with concentration of Mesolithic sites along the Holocene shore and emphasis on marine resource exploitation. An exception was the interior Basque Country, where there was significant human occupation of the upper Ebro Basin. While Mesolithic hunter-gatherers of that Ebro region were quick to incorporate Neolithic cultigens, domesticated animals, and ceramics into their lifeways by at least 6,500 14C BP—their coastal Cantabrian neighbors continued to exist as fisher-gatherer-hunters until as recently as ca. 5,700 14C BP, when the interior was again much used by people.


The Process of Agricultural Colonization

Michael Jochim
Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara

KEY WORDS: Colonization; Neolithic; Europe; Agriculture; Decision-making

A notable feature of the Holocene in many regions, including Iberia, is the colonization of new areas by agricultural groups. Although there is an extensive literature on migration and colonization, little of this is specific to relatively simple subsistence agricultural groups. In order to understand the process of such colonization, and perhaps ultimately to model this process, ethnographic and archaeological cases will be examined. The focus will be on the spatial and temporal patterns of the process, the criteria used for selecting new settlement locations, and the means by which these criteria are managed in decision-making. A case study from central Europe will be used to explore this process in the archaeological record.


Book Reviews

Patricia R. Pessar: Dominican-Americans and the Politics of Empowerment, by Ana Aparicio

Ben Feinberg: Extraordinary Anthropology: Transformations in the Field, Jean-Guy A. Goulet and Bruce Granville Miller, eds.

Richard Handler: Culture and Authenticity, by Charles Lindholm

Paulla A. Ebron: Writing in the San/d: Autoethnography among Indigenous Southern Africans, Keyan G. Tomaselli, ed.

Carole Nagengast: Rethinking Migration: New Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives, Alejandro Portes and Josh DeWind, eds.

Andrew Orta: The Anthropology of Christianity, Fenella Cannell, ed.

Tom Boellstorff: Will to Live: AIDS Therapies and the Politics of Survival, by João Biehl, with photographs by Torben Eskerod

C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky: Caucasus Paradigms: Anthropologies, Histories and the Making of a World Area, Bruce Grant and Lale Yalçin-Heckman, eds.

Jan Hoffman French: Religion and the Politics of Ethnic Identity in Bahia, Brazil, by Stephen Selka

Jeremy Wallach: Making Scenes: Reggae, Punk, and Death Metal in 1990s Bali, by Emma Baulch

Howard DeNike: On the Global Waterfront: The Fight to Free the Charleston 5, by Suzan Erem and E. Paul Durrenberger

Kristen Cheney: Living with Bad Surroundings: War, History, and Everyday Moments in Northern Uganda, by Sverker Finnström

Gareth Fisher: Service Encounters: Class, Gender, and the Market for Social Distinction in Urban China, by Amy Hanser

Jeremy MacClancy: Other People’s Anthropologies: Ethnographic Practice on the Margins, Aleksandar Boškovi?, ed.

Avram Bornstein: Postcolonial Disorders, by Mary-Jo DelVecchio Good, Sandra Teresa Hyde, Sarah Pinto, and Byron J. Good, eds.

Jose E. Limon: The Chicana/o Cultural Studies Forum: Critical and Ethnographic Practices, Angie Chabram-Dernersesian, ed.

Michael G. Delacorte: Chumash Ethnobotany: Plant Knowledge among the Chumash People of Southern California, by Jan Timbrook, with botanical watercolors by Chris Chapman

Dolores R. Piperno: The Origins and Spread of Domestic Plants in Southwest Asia and Europe, Sue Colledge and James Conolly, eds.

Dolores R. Piperno: Rethinking Agriculture: Archaeological and Ethnoarchaeological Perspectives, Tim Denham, José Iriarte, and Luc Vrydaghs, eds.

Osbjorn M. Pearson: Skeletal Indicators of Agricultural and Economic Intensification, Mark Nathan Cohen and Gillian M. M. Crane-Kramer, eds.



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