Volume 65, Number 3, Abstracts

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Peasants in States, Peruvian Decapitation,
Korean Blades & Panel Data

A Comparison of the Spatial Distribution of Agriculture and Craft Specialization in Five State-Level Societies

Lane F. Fargher
Department of Anthropology
Purdue University

KEY WORDS: Households, Peasants, Intensification, Diversification, Craft Specialization, Market Systems, States

Anthropological approaches to understanding regional household economic strategies in complex societies have been poorly theorized and modeled. This paper contributes to theoretical development in this area by describing a model based on intensification and diversification. Then, the model is evaluated using systematic archaeological, historical, and ethnographic data from five premodern/early modern states (Mesoamerica, England, Mediterranean Europe, China, and Thailand). The results indicate that peasant households made decisions regarding agricultural intensification and craft specialization that match theoretical expectations based on a rational-choice approach. Cross-culturally, the outcome of these choices has been the development of a spatial division of labor with agricultural intensification in areas of prime arable land and a mix of extensive agriculture and craft specialization in marginal areas, under specific demand conditions. This model provides an alternative to the traditional approaches of neoevolutionism and the Asiatic mode of production (e.g., Marx, Polanyi, Sahlins).

Walled Settlements, Buffer Zones, and Human Decapitation in the Acari Valley, Peru

Lidio M. Valdez
Department of Archaeology
University of Calgary

KEY WORDS: Central Andes, Early Intermediate period, Human decapitation, Peruvian South Coast

Severed human heads constitute one of the hallmarks of the Early Intermediate period of the Peruvian South Coast region. The ancient art of this region (including pottery and textiles) frequently portrays severed heads that are often associated with mythical beings. Actual heads, identified as trophies, have also been found in all the valleys of the region, suggesting that human decapitation and trophy head taking were important aspects of Early Intermediate period society on the South Coast. Notwithstanding the occurrence of trophies, decapitated human bodies are seldom found in the archaeological record. Recent archaeological excavations carried out at Amato, an Early Intermediate period site in the Acari Valley, resulted in the unprecedented finding of dozens of decapitated bodies buried inside a centrally located structure. In addition to the heads, several cervical bones are also absent, and the uppermost cervical vertebrae that remain often exhibit unmistakable cut marks. Victims of decapitation represent all ages and both sexes, some of whom had their wrists and ankles tied. Many of the victims exhibit parry fractures, which indicate a violent, face-to-face confrontation. The presence in Acari of several sites with constructed defensive systems (and with buffer zones between them), in conjunction with the evidence of decapitation, strongly indicate that outright violence occurred in Acari and that human decapitation likely was a direct outcome of that conflict.

Emergence of a Blade Industry and Evolution of Late Paleolithic Technology in the Republic of Korea

Chuntaek Seong
Department of History
Kyung Hee University

KEY WORDS: Korean prehistory, Lithic technology, Paleolithic, Pleistocene, Projectile technology

The origin and spread of behavioral modernity has been one of the most hotly debated paleoanthropological issues during the past two decades or so. Researchers have examined changes in technology, subsistence, and social organization. The Upper (Late) Paleolithic is traditionally characterized by the establishment of a blade industry. Patterns of lithic technology closely reflect settlement and subsistence systems, and any change can be explained in terms of interplay among various factors, including technological constraints, raw material availability, mobility, and extended social networks in changing environments. A recent increase in archaeological excavations and advances in chronology allow us to discuss Late Pleistocene cultural evolution in Korea in more detail. Two notable, seemingly contradictory features during the early Late Paleolithic are recognized: (1) some lithic assemblages are characterized by small flake artifacts made of local quartzite and vein quartz, and (2) other assemblages include new artifact types—blades and tanged points—manufactured with hitherto largely unused fine-grained materials. Late Paleolithic technological characteristics emerged ca. 40,000–30,000 BP, but not until the onset of the OIS 2 did formal artifacts, such as blades and blade tools, became predominant in lithic assemblages. This change is viewed as a slow, evolutionary process that eventually culminated in the Late Paleolithic transition.

Methods for Collecting Panel Data: What Can Cultural Anthropology Learn from Other Disciplines?

by Clarence C. Gravlee
University of Florida

David P. Kennedy
RAND Corporation

Ricardo Godoy
Brandeis University


William R. Leonard
Northwestern University

KEY WORDS: Panel data, Longitudinal data, Cross-sectional data, Research methods, Surveys

In this article, we argue for the increased use of panel data in cultural anthropology. Panel data, or repeated measures from the same units of observation at different times, have proliferated across the social sciences, with the exception of anthropology. The lack of panel data in anthropology is puzzling since panel data are well-suited for analyzing continuity and change—central concerns of anthropological theory. Panel data also establish temporal order in causal analysis and potentially improve the reliability and accuracy of measurement. We review how researchers in anthropology and neighboring disciplines have dealt with the unique challenges of collecting panel data and draw lessons for minimizing the adverse consequences of measurement error, for reducing attrition, and for ensuring continuity in management, archiving, documentation, financing, and leadership. We argue that increased use of panel data has the potential to advance empirical knowledge and contribute to anthropological theory.

Book Reviews

Jane Buikstra: Advances in Human Paleopathology, Ron Pinhasi and Simon Mays, eds

Kristine M. Bovy: Zooarchaeology, second edition, by Elizabeth J. Reitz and Elizabeth S. Wing

William Andrefsky, Jr.: Scandinavian Flint: An Archaeological Perspective by Anders Högberg and Deborah Olausson

Lawrence G. Straus: El Paleolítico Medio y Superior en el Sector Central de Andalucía (Córdoba y Málaga), by Miguel Cortés Sánchez

Lawrence G. Straus: Cave Art, by Jean Clottes

Lawrence G. Straus: A Holocene Prehistoric Sequence in the Egyptian Red Sea Area: The Tree Shelter, Pierre M. Vermeersch, ed.

Peter S. Wells: Memory and Material Culture, by Andrew Jones

Peter S. Allen: Meaning and Identity in a Greek Landscape: An Archaeological Ethnography, by Hamish Forbes

Charles C. Kolb: Formation Processes and Indian Archaeology, K. Paddayya, ed.

John Fountain: Chaco Astronomy: An Ancient American Cosmology, by Anna Sofaer and contributors to The Solstice Project

Linda S. Cordell: Pottery and Practice: The Expression of Identity at Pottery Mound and Hummingbird Pueblo, by Suzanne L. Eckert

David R. Abbott: Fragile Patterns: The Archaeology of the Western Papaguería, Jeffrey H. Altschul and Adrianne G. Rankin, eds.

Wesley Bernardini: The Orayvi Split: A Hopi Transformation, by Peter M. Whiteley

Katharina Schreiber: Guide to Documentary Sources for Andean Studies, 1530–1900, Joanne Pillsbury, ed.

Leslie G. Cecil: Pottery Economics in Mesoamerica, Christopher A. Pool and George J. Bey III, eds.

Richard E. Blanton: After Monte Albán: Transformation and Negotiation in Oaxaca, Mexico, Jeffrey Blomster, ed.

Jennifer von Schwerin: Rabinal Achi: A Fifteenth-Century Maya Dynastic Drama, Alain Breton, ed.

Peter C. Haney: Where the Ox Does Not Plow: A Mexican American Ballad, by Manuel Peña

Sverker Finnström: Culture in Chaos: An Anthropology of the Social Condition in War, by Stephen C. Lubkemann

Julia Meredith Hess: Diasporas, by Stéphane Dufoix

Deborah A. Thomas: Downtown Ladies: Informal Commercial Importers, a Haitian Anthropologist and Self-Making in Jamaica, by Gina A. Ulysse

Mattison Mines: Tamil Geographies: Cultural Constructions of Space and Place in South India, Martha Ann Selby and Indira Viswanathan Peterson, eds

Brian Joseph Gilley: Imagining Transgender: An Ethnography of a Category, by David Valentine

Terence Turner: The Practice of Human Rights: Tracking Law between the Global and the Local, Mark Goodale and Sally Engle Merry, eds.

Joe Watkins: American Indian Lacrosse: Little Brother of War by Thomas Vennum

Les W. Field: Beyond Red Power: American Indian Politics and Activism since 1900, Daniel M. Cobb and Loretta Fowler, eds.

Robin Ridington: Being and Place among the Tlingit, by Thomas F. Thornton

Regna Darnell: The Autobiography of a Meskwaki Woman, a new edition and translation, and The Owl Sacred Pack, a new edition and translation of the Meskwaki Manuscript of Alfred Kiyana, by Ives Goddard

David S. Rood: A Grammar of Crow, by Randoph Graczyk

Susan Bayley: Linguistics in a Colonial World: A Story of Language, Meaning, and Power, by Joseph Errington


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