"HaGMA Hunter and Gatherers Micro-Archaeology", a seminar to be delivered by David E. Friesem (Weizmann Institute of Science) at 11h on 28th June 2013 in the seminar rooms on the 1st floor at IMF-CSIC, c/ Egipcíaques 15, 08001 - Barcelona (Spain).
The seminar will discuss HaGMA, an interdisciplinary project aiming to study the spatial deposition of the microscopic archaeological record for transitions in hunter-gatherers societies.
An ethnoarchaeological approach is suggested, by which 'state of the art' analytical instruments study microscopic remains in contemporary dwellings of hunter-gatherers in South India.
Special attention will be given to spatial sampling and mapping on the field and to analyses in the laboratories, incorporating techniques from the field of geochemistry, geology and geography.
This seminar is organized by the CaSES research group in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology at Institución Milá y Fontanals of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).
The transition of Upper Paleolithic Anatomically Modern Humans hunter-gatherers to Neolithic farmers in the end of the Pleistocene (ca. 12,000 years ago), must have involved profound changes in humans' life in various aspects such as: society, demography, ideology, spirituality, art, self identity, perceptions of the environment and more, with the emergence of a new subsistence economy being only one aspect out of many. Archaeologically this process is commonly examined through economical criteria only (i.e., whether the morphology of animals bones and plants indicate their domestication). Social anthropologists, who studied contemporary hunter-gatherers in light of profound changes in their lives due to processes of modernization and development initiatives, argue that daily domestic activities may reflect social organization and world views of the examined group, regardless of their subsistence economy. Thus, being a hunter-gatherer is far beyond the mere actions of hunting and gathering, it is a way of living and perceiving the world, which is expressed by everyday practices.
The proposed research arose from the latest developments in microarchaeological analytical methodologies and social anthropology of contemporary hunter-gatherers, in order to connect intangible insights and theories of hunter-gatherers perceptions and ways of living to the archaeological microscopic record. An ethnoarchaeological approach is suggested where 'state of the art' analytical instruments will study microscopic remains in contemporary dwellings of hunter-gatherers in South India. Special attention will be given to spatial sampling and mapping at the field and analyses in the laboratories, incorporating techniques from the field of geochemistry, geology and geography. This proposed research argue that analyses of microscopic remains spatial distribution has the potential to open a window to observe changes in social organization and world views of prehistoric societies, regardless to the presence of new domesticated morphologies of plants and animal bones.