Desert Peoples: Archaeological Perspectives by Peter Veth, Mike Smith, Peter Hiscock

By Peter Veth, Mike Smith, Peter Hiscock

Wasteland Peoples: Archaeological views presents an outline of hunter-gatherers in barren region landscapes. Written by means of a global roster of specialists, this quantity examines the most important ideas important to knowing human edition to marginal environments and the behavioral and trust platforms that underpin those techniques. wilderness Peoples brings jointly experiences from deserts as varied because the sand dunes of Australia, the united states nice Basin, the coastal and excessive altitude deserts of South the United States, and the middle deserts of Africa. finally, wasteland Peoples’ comparative technique profiles present understandings and debates approximately cultural and ecological approaches affecting hunter-gatherer societies in deserts.

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Barnard 1983). In most cases, ‘‘desert foragers’’ is not an analytic category; instead, various desert hunter-gatherers are grouped differently within different typologies and cut across major distinctions such as that between immediate versus delayedreturn foragers (see Woodburn 1982). Therefore, there is not only a ‘‘foraging spectrum’’ (Kelly 1995) covering a diversity of hunter-gatherer groups, but there is also a spectrum of forager studies arising from the work of individual scholars which is not always easily subsumed under a single approach.

Some of the theoretical models, such as that of the patrilocal band proposed by Service and Steward, have recently been critically revisited (BirdDavid 1994) after having fallen into disuse for several decades, not least because their prime ethnographic cases turned out to be anomalous and aberrant (see Barnard 1983). ___________________________________________________________________________________ 23 _______________________________________________________________________________ T ho mas W i d l ok While the polemics of the Kalahari Debate may continue, arguing about how ‘‘deep’’ or ‘‘remote’’ the Kalahari Desert was at different points in time, it is clear that revisionism is much less of a serious challenge than was initially thought.

In other words, the mere presence of the film crew, however non-intrusive it aimed to be, may have altered the record, leaving a wrong impression about the very basic subsistence activity of digging up a bandicoot. James Woodburn, who was working with the Hadza in Tanzania in the same period, had similar questions about the effects of his presence, especially while he was shooting game for them (see Widlok 2002). Recurrent considerations of this sort are not merely a matter of anthropological ethics or of methodological concern.

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