The emergence of status inequality in intermediate scale societies: A demographic and socio-economic history of the Keatley Creek site, British Columbia

Anna Marie Prentiss, Natasha Lyons, Lucille E. Harris, Melisse R.P. Burns, Terrence M. Godin

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49 Scopus citations

Abstract

Explaining the emergence of status inequality in human societies is an important priority for many anthropological archaeologists, particularly those whose research includes intermediate scale societies (complex hunter-gatherers and early agriculturalists). Yet, fine grained records of emergent inequality are still exceedingly rare. This paper outlines a fine-grained record of cultural change from the Keatley Creek site, a complex hunter-gatherer village in British Columbia, in which it is possible to recognize the emergence of inequality and its demographic and economic correlates. Results of the study suggest that status inequality emerged abruptly after an extended period of socio-economic stability in the village under conditions of adversely altered resource conditions, demographic packing, and subsistence resource diversification and extensification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-327
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Anthropological Archaeology
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2007

Keywords

  • Archaeology
  • Complex hunter-gatherers
  • Keatley Creek site
  • Plateau
  • Status inequality

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