Archaeology of Mobility, The


Series: Cotsen Advanced Seminar 4
ISBN: 978-1-931745-50-5
Publication Date: Jul 2008
Price: Hb and eBook $55
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Hans Barnard and Willeke Wendrich

A majority of laymen, politicians and scholars consciously or subconsciously understand settled living as the highest rung on the evolutionary ladder. Accounts of people surviving and even thriving in peripheral areas are often instrumental to construct and maintain the dichotomy between 'the desert and the sown.' It is sometimes stated that mobile peoples obtain their material culture from neighboring settled populations, rather than produce their own, and that they do not leave recognizable archaeological traces apart from 'ephemeral campsites.' From the 24 chapters in this volume, however, it is clear that there is indeed an 'archaeology of mobility.'

Archaeology of Mobility

By applying specific and well-defined methods, it is eminently possible to come to a better understanding of mobile people in archaeological contexts. Such an archaeology of mobility encompasses much more than tracing ephemeral campsites. Much like any other group, mobile people produce, appear to use and discard a distinct material culture which includes functional objects, art and architecture. There have been edited books on the archaeology of nomadism in various regions, and there have been individual archaeological and anthropological monographs, but nothing with the kind of coverage provided in this volume. Its strength and importance lie in the fact that it brings together a world-wide collection of studies of the archaeology of mobility.

This book provides a ready-made reference to this world-wide phenomenon and is unique in that it tries to redefine pastoralism within a larger context by the term mobility. It presents many new ideas and thoughtful approaches, especially in the Central Asian region.The Archaeology of Mobility

Table of Contents
  • Ch. 01: The Archaeology of Mobility: Definitions and Research Approaches by Willeke Wendrich and Hans Barnard

Part I: The Past in the Present

  • Ch. 02: Things to Do with Sheep and Goats: Neolithic Hunter-Forager-Herders in North Arabia by Alison Betts 
  • Ch. 03: An Archaeology of Multisited Communities by Reinhard Bernbeck
  • Ch. 04: Archaeology and the Question of Mobile: Pastoralism in Late Prehistory by Abbas Alizadeh
  • Ch. 05: Desert Pastoral Nomadism in the Longue Durée: A Case Study from the Negev and the Southern by Levantine Deserts
  • Ch. 06: The Origin of the Tribe and of ‘Industrial’ Agropastoralism in Syro-Mesopotamia by Giorgio Buccellati
  • Ch. 07: Pastoral Nomadism in the Central Andes: A Historic Retrospective Example by David L. Browman
  • Ch. 08: Colonization, Structured Landscapes and Seasonal Mobility: An Examination of Early Paleo-Eskimo Land-Use Patterns in the Eastern Canadian Arctic by S. Brooke Milne 
  • Ch. 09: The Emergence of Cultures of Mobility in the Altai Mountains of Mongolia: Evidence from the Intersection of Rock Art and Paleoenvironment by Esther Jacobson-Tepfer
  • Ch. 10: Nomadic Sites of the South Yergueni Hills on the Eurasian Steppe: Models of Seasonal Occupation and Production by Natalia I. Shishlina, Eugeny I. Gak and Alexander V. Borisov
  • Ch. 11: Trogodytes = Blemmyes = Beja? The Misuse of Ancient Ethnography by Stanley M. Burstein
  • Ch. 12: Is the Absence of Evidence, Evidence of Absence? Problems in the Archaeology of Early Herding Societies of Southern Africa by Andrew B. Smith
  • Ch. 13: The Social and Environmental Constraints on Mobility in the Late Prehistoric Upper Great Lakes Region by Margaret B. Holman and William A. Lovis
  • Ch. 14: Nomadic Potters: Relationships Between Ceramic Technologies and Mobility by Jelmer W. Eerkens

Part II: The Present in the Future

  • Ch. 15: Mobility and Sedentism of the Iron Age Agropastoralists of Southeast Kazakhstan by Claudia Chang
  • Ch. 16: Crossing Boundaries: Nomadic Groups and Ethnic Identities by Stuart T. Smith
  • Ch. 17: Variability and Dynamic Landscapes of Mobile Pastoralism in Ethnography and Prehistory by Michael D. Frachetti
  • Ch. 18: Mobility and Sedentarization in Late Bronze Age Syria by Jeffrey J. Szuchman
  • Ch. 19: Suggestions for a Chaîne Opératoire of Nomadic Pottery Sherds by Hans Barnard
  • Ch. 20: History of the Nomadic Architecture of the Hadendowa in Northeast Sudan by Anwar A-Magid
  • Ch. 21: The Bedouin Tent: An Ethno-Archaeological Portal to Antiquity or a Modern Construct? by Benjamin A. Saidel
  • Ch. 22: Naming the Waters: New Insights into the Nomadic Use of Oases in the Libyan Desert of Egypt by Alan Roe
  • Ch. 23: From Objects to Agents: The Ababda Nomads and the Interpretation of the Past by Willeke Wendrich
  • Ch. 24: No Room to Move: Mobility, Settlement and Conflict Among Mobile Peoples by Roger L. Cribb
  • Ch. 25: NOMAD: An Agent-Based Model (ABM) of Pastoralist-Agriculturalist Interaction by Lawrence A. Kuznar and Robert Sedlmeyer