The emergence of new socioeconomic strategies in the middle and late holocene pacific northwest region of North America

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    Abstract

    Macroevolutionary archaeology recognizes that evolutionary forces act in complex ways on cultural entities spanning a range of scales from simple artifact-based traits to population-held emergent characters like socioeconomic strategies. Evolutionary origins of these complex characters can be difficult to identify and understand, particularly in ancient contexts lacking written records. This chapter outlines theories of emergent fitness, emergent characters, and adaptive landscapes as a step toward explanation of cultural macroevolutionary process. Case studies consider the evolution of complex hunter-gatherer societies from North America's Pacific Northwest. The study indicates that new socioeconomic strategies evolved in short-lived events resulting from fortuitous decision making by small groups in patchy, sometimes socially isolated ecological contexts. Once present, the strategies dispersed into adjacent areas probably via actual population expansion but also via cultural transmission. Study results suggest that both biological and cultural fitness may play significant roles in the emergence and dispersal of complex cultural variants when examined on macroevolutionary scales.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMacroevolution in Human Prehistory
    Subtitle of host publicationEvolutionary Theory and Processual Archaeology
    PublisherSpringer New York
    Pages111-131
    Number of pages21
    ISBN (Print)9781441906816
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 2009

    Fingerprint

    Dive into the research topics of 'The emergence of new socioeconomic strategies in the middle and late holocene pacific northwest region of North America'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this