Archaeology and Ethnoarchaeology of Mobility

Edited by Frédéric Sellet, Russell D. Greaves, and Pei-Lin Yu


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"Provides new and useful insights into the ways in which archaeologists can study the range of mobility strategies in hunter-gatherer, horticultural, and pastoral societies. The ethnoarchaeological case studies are impressive, and most go beyond mere cautionary tales to provide archaeologists with models of the material correlates of a number of distinct mobility strategies."--Mark S. Aldenderfer, University of California, Santa Barbara

"A no-nonsense book which does exactly what it says on the cover. The twelve contributions are equally divided into two sections looking at ethnoarchaeological mobility and archaeological studies of mobility, with case studies ranging from Australia to Portugal via Kazakhstan, Madagascar, and Sulawesi. . . .More than deserves a place on the shelves of anyone working on mobility."--Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

"Brings together the research of archaeologists, bioarchaeologists, and ethnoarchaeologists to explore the role of mobility among traditional people of the past and present. The studies cover mobile horticulturalists, pastoralists, and hunter-gatherers. The focus on mobility provides a strong focal point."--American Anthropologist

"A significant step forward in integrating studies of living systems with those of the archaeological record."--Journal of Human Evolution


Humans are unique in their ability to inhabit an immense range of physical habitats. This capacity partially results from the need to cope with variation in spatial and temporal distributions of critical resources. Yet factors other than the search for food often impacts relocation. Information gathering, raw material collection, social networking, trade, and mate search each present mobility needs that compete with daily food searches. While physical evidence might explain such human behavior, ethnographic information can reveal how these events interrelate, providing the missing link between human activities and the remains preserved in the archaeological record.

Frédéric Sellet is associate professor of archaeology at the University of Kansas. Russell D. Greaves is research associate of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, at Harvard University, and an adjunct associate professor of anthropology at the University of Utah. Pei-Lin Yu is an archaeologist with the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Reclamation, Pacific Northwest Regional Office, and an assistant professor at Boise State University.
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"This collection more than deserves a place on the shelves of anyone working on mobility." Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

Provides much for archaeologists to think about. The collection will be a useful addition to the library of archaeologists and cultural anthropologists who study mobile people.-- American Anthropologist

A significant step forward in integrating studies of living systems with those of the archaeological record.-- Journal of Human Evolution

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