Abstract/Details

COMMUNAL HUNTS, HUMAN AGGREGATIONS, SOCIAL VARIATION, AND CLIMATIC CHANGE: BISON UTILIZATION BY PREHISTORIC INHABITANTS OF THE GREAT PLAINS


1987 1987

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

Some anthropologists have argued that communal hunts played an important role in the evolution of hominids. Variation in the frequency and timing of bison hunts on the Great Plains has been explained with the Annual, Vore, and Fat Depletion Models. According to the Annual Model, hunts were organized in the fall to obtain stores of meat for consumption during the winter. The Vore Model refines the Annual Model by proposing that larger and more frequent bison kills occurred during periods with higher precipitation, better grazing conditions, and greater numbers of bison. Different animals may be more intensively butchered and processed to obtain meat from fatter bison, even when many animals were malnourished. Expectations of the Vore and Annual Models are not supported by the analysis of dates, bison remains (dental wear and pathologies, post-cranial cortical thickness), and paleoclimatic indicators recovered from kill-sites throughout the Plains. The proportion and numbers of kill-sites are too low to represent annual events. Almost as many kills occurred in the spring and the fall. Many hunts were accomplished when the bison were in poor health and under diverse grazing and environmental conditions. Instead of being a response to subsistence and environmental problems, many communal hunts served to mediate social and political tensions by providing food and exchangeable items for human aggregations. Feasting, ceremonies, and exchanges could instill a sense of solidarity among participants and contribute to the mediation of tensions created by differences in power, wealth, gender, and age.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Archaeology
Classification
0324: Archaeology
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences, Great Plains, Paleoecology
Title
COMMUNAL HUNTS, HUMAN AGGREGATIONS, SOCIAL VARIATION, AND CLIMATIC CHANGE: BISON UTILIZATION BY PREHISTORIC INHABITANTS OF THE GREAT PLAINS
Author
FAWCETT, WILLIAM BLOYS, JR.
Number of pages
444
Publication year
1987
Degree date
1987
School code
0118
Source
DAI-A 48/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
University/institution
University of Massachusetts Amherst
University location
United States -- Massachusetts
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
8710451
ProQuest document ID
303602795
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/303602795
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.