From Activity Areas to Occupational Histories: New Methods to Document the Formation of Spatial Structure in Hunter-Gatherer Sites

  title={From Activity Areas to Occupational Histories: New Methods to Document the Formation of Spatial Structure in Hunter-Gatherer Sites},
  author={Amy E. Clark},
  journal={Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory},
  • A. Clark
  • Published 16 January 2017
  • Environmental Science
  • Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory
Over the past five decades, archaeologists have proposed a wide range of methods for the study of spatial organization within hunter-gatherer sites. Many of these methods sought to identify the spatial location of activities based on patterns of behavior observed in ethnographic contexts. While this resulted in productive observations at certain sites, many of these methods were tailored to specific situations and thus could not be applied to a wide range of sites. For example, open-air sites… 

Intra-Site Use Patterns during the Early Holocene in the Cueva Maripe Site (Santa Cruz, Argentina)

ABSTRACT In this paper, we make a quantitative analysis of spatial patterns for the earliest archaeological component (early Holocene) at Cueva Maripe, a multiple-activity site located in Santa Cruz

Occupancy and the Use of Household Space Among the Dukha

ABSTRACT Archaeologists commonly encounter the occupation surfaces of ephemeral prehistoric houses. Within those spaces, artifacts can exhibit considerable spatial structure raising the question of

Approaching daily life at Late Palaeolithic camps: The case of Lubrza 10, Western Poland

Abstract The aim of this paper is to develop a systematic approach to understanding daily life at Late Palaeolithic camps and identifying its impact on broader site formation processes. Late

Lithic refitting and intrasite artifact transport: a view from the Middle Paleolithic

The intrasite mobility of lithic artifacts is one of the most relevant issues that can be approached from the spatial study of refitting. In many sites, researchers have determined that some

Is a spatial investigation possible without long-distance refit/conjoin? Application to the MIS 11 lithic assemblage of levels E and J from La Cansaladeta site (Tarragona, Spain)

In this manuscript, we present the first systematic refitting results of the small-scale Middle Pleistocene (MIS11) rock shelter site of La Cansaladeta. The lithic materials that have been recovered

Lithic taphonomy and the use of the spatial information: assessing Palaeolithic sequence of Cova de les Cendres (Teulada-Moraira, Spain)

  • Miguel Ángel Bel
  • Environmental Science
    Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences
  • 2022
The formation processes of archaeological deposits determine the potential information that could be obtained in a site, so they influence the interpretations about past societies. This paper

Lithic refits as a tool to reinforce postdepositional analysis

Studies of archaeological assemblages recovered from palimpsests encounter difficulties related not only to their nature (the preservation of the remains), but also to the formation of the

Measuring spatial structure in time-averaged deposits insights from Roc de Marsal, France

The use of space, both at the landscape and the site level, is considered an important aspect of hominin adaptations that changed through time. At the site level, spatial analyses are typically



Time and space in the middle paleolithic: Spatial structure and occupation dynamics of seven open‐air sites

  • A. Clark
  • Environmental Science
    Evolutionary anthropology
  • 2016
This study demonstrates that spatial analysis can be a powerful tool in research on occupation dynamics and can help disentangle the many occupations that often make up an archeological assemblage.

Intrasite Spatial Analysis, Ethnoarchaeology, and Paleoindian Land-Use on the Great Plains: The Allen Site

This paper examines the way in which patterns of human occupation and geomorphic processes interacted to produce a highly structured distribution of artifacts and hearths over a period of over 3,000

Site Structure of the Orbit Inn: An Application of Ethnoarchaeology

One goal of ethnoarchaeology is to strengthen archaeological inferences about the past. A fifteenth-century hunter-gatherer, open site in Utah is used to examine ethnoarchaeological contributions

Describing and comparing archaeological spatial structures

An elaboration of the latter tactic is proposed here, that of characterizing spatial structure in terms of structural elements (or “grid cells”) and relationships among those elements, which enable the rigorous comparison of spatial structure among and between ethnoarchaeological and archaeological deposits.

Ethnoarchaeology among the Efe pygmies, Zaire: Spatial organization of campsites

The physical structure of present-day Efe Pygmy campsites is examined through study of the relationships between behavior patterns and their material residues, finding that Hut size does not correlate with either the number of occupants or their stature.

Intrasite Spatial Structure in the European Upper Paleolithic: Evidence and Patterning from the SW of France

Abstract Over the past 20 years a number of Western European Upper Paleolithic sites have been examined for internal spatial patterning by using a variety of quantitative techniques. The most

Alyawara Site Structure and Its Archaeological Implications

Ethnoarchaeological research has shown that the assumptions formerly guiding the investigation of hunter-gatherer site structure are invalid, at least as general rules. Further research is now

Geological processes and site structure: Assessing integrity at a Late Paleolithic open‐air site in northern France

The difficulty of reading the archaeological record of caves and rock shelters is becoming increasingly obvious to Paleolithic researchers. Although some open‐air sites are thought to avoid such