Hunters and Gatherers

Peter Mitchell

in The Oxford Handbook of Archaeology

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780199271016
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

 Hunters and Gatherers

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  • Classical Studies
  • Prehistoric Archaeology


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This article outlines a number of themes of recurrent interest in hunter-gatherer studies worldwide. It seeks to provide some sense of how hunter-gatherers have been, and continue to be, studied by archaeologists and anthropologists alike. It discusses issues commonly associated with the study of hunter-gatherer societies, including economic intensification, technological innovation, and early farming and domestication. It investigates how far societies that engaged heavily over recent centuries in the hunting and gathering of wild plants and animals should be used as models for the deeper past and examines the degree to which hunting and gathering should be seen as inevitably leading to the development of agriculture within a unidirectional, evolutionary model of human history.

Keywords: hunter-gatherer studies; archaeologists; anthropologists; economic intensification; technological innovation; farming; domestication; agriculture

Article.  14690 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Prehistoric Archaeology

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