The Winter Village Pattern on the Plateau of Northwestern North America

Anna Marie Prentiss

in The Oxford Handbook of North American Archaeology

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780195380118
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Winter Village Pattern on the Plateau of Northwestern North America

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Development of the historic Plateau cultures is not one of gradual in situ change across the millennia of the Holocene. Rather, recent evidence suggests a far more complex history involving local change, cultural extinctions, and major intra- and extraregional population expansions and contractions. This article offers a short overview of major trends in this history and considers a range of explanatory arguments, particularly focusing on the evolution of variation in Plateau villages. More specifically, it argues that Plateau archaeologists need to draw a distinction between socioeconomically “complex” communities and those designated as “sociopolitically” complex because different processes affected their respective evolution (i.e., the process of historical development that excludes any teleological assumptions).

Keywords: Northwestern North America; Plateau cultures; local change; cultural extinctions; population expansions; Plateau villages; communities

Article.  4033 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology of North America

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