Hunter-gatherer social organization and residential mobility in North Karelia, eastern Finland 4500-3500 calBC

    Projekt: Forskningsprojekt


    Beskrivning (abstrakt)

    In my doctoral thesis, I am studying the settlement patterns and social organization of North Karelian hunter-gatherers from the period of Early Asbestos Ware to the final phase of Typical Comb Ware. My research material consists of 137 excavated and/or surveyed settelement sites with their recovered artefacts. In addition, I visited approximately third of the sites in order to give an estimate or refine the previous estimations, if possible, of the site areas. I also examined samples of the excavated material from sixteen sites and raised money for 23 new radiocarbon datings.

    One of the starting points to this research is the theory of structuration by the sociologist Anthony Giddens and especially his view of the interactive relationship of action and structure. The structure, in this case the social organization, and the action, the residential mobility, define the limits to each other. Action generates, maintains and restricts the structure and vice versa. Therefore it is not possible to significantly alter one without simultaneously remodelling the other. The social organization of hunter-gatherer communities is a challenging object for archaeological research and it has mostly been studied by analysing the value of grave offerings. In this research I wanted to test whether it is possible to gain information of the changes in the organizations by studying the action, in other words changes in the communities' settlement patterns.

    The main questions, therefore, are:

    1) Did the North Karelian hunter-gatherers considerably change their settlement pattern between 4500-3500 calBC?
    2) If they did, what caused this change?
    3) If they did, how did the members of the community re-organize their socio-political relationships?

    The settlement size is a key variable in the analyses. I shall compare the distribution of the number of different-sized settelement sites in each time phase. If the settlement pattern has changed, changes in this distribution should be expected. The results of rank-size analysis, in turn, indicate the way that the settlement sites had been administratively organized in a particular region: was their a centre of management for the combined total of settlement sites or was the system more egalitarian? By analysing the quartz artefacts, identified bone fragments and the pottery decorations I'll try to deepen our understanding of the on-site activities as well as seasonal mobility and network of contacts. Models for the social organizations are driven from anthropologists Elman Service's and Marshall Sahlins' band, tribal society and, from a subtype to the latter, later recognized complex/ non-egalitarian/ transegalitarian hunter-gatherers.
    Gällande start-/slutdatum01/03/200330/06/2013


    • Unknown funder: 7 000,00 €
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    • 615 Historia och arkeologi