Desert Peoples

Desert Peoples : Archaeological Perspectives

Edited by Peter Veth , Edited by Mike Smith , Edited by Peter Hiscock

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"Desert Peoples: Archaeological Perspectives" provides an issues-oriented overview of hunter-gatherer societies in desert landscapes that combines archaeological and anthropological perspectives and includes a wide range of regional and thematic case studies. It brings together, for the first time, studies from deserts as diverse as the sand dunes of Australia, the U.S. Great Basin, the coastal and high altitude deserts of South America, and the core deserts of Africa. It examines the key concepts vital to understanding human adaptation to marginal landscapes and the behavioral and belief systems that underpin them. It explores the relationship among desert hunter-gatherers, herders, and pastoralists.

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  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 172 x 242 x 20mm | 557.93g
  • 14 Jan 2005
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • Blackwell Publishing Ltd
  • Oxford
  • English
  • New.
  • 23
  • 1405100915
  • 9781405100915
  • 446,879

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Author Information

Peter Veth is Director of Research at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra. He is the author of over 100 articles and books on the archaeology of arid zone hunter-gatherers. Mike Smith is Director of Research and Development at the National Museum of Australia. He pioneered research into late Pleistocene settlement in the Australian desert and has worked extensively across the arid zone attempting to piece together its human and environmental history. Peter Hiscock is a Reader in the School of Archaeology and Anthropology at the Australian National University.

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Review quote

"This is an up-to-date and theoretically broad-ranging comparative treatment of desert hunter-gatherer archaeology and ethnology that introduces a new, fresh generation of scholars and issues. Bravo!" Richard Gould, Brown University "Desert Peoples shows how important the world's arid habitats have always been during the course of human evolution. The geographical scope of the contributions is breathtaking, their comparative approach to dynamics and interactions compelling. I congratulate the editors for making the desert bloom for human prehistory." Clive Gamble, Royal Holloway, University of London "A superb synthesis... The authors use the opportunity to set out several probing questions that will underpin future research on how societies adapt to challenging environments." John Dodson, Brunel University and University of Western Australia "Competent, well-written summaries of local culture history...several of the essays merit serious attention from readers of this journal." Archaeology in Oceania "In this era of regional and topical specialisation, which often leads to perochialism, the editors of this book can take great satisfaction in having provided a venue for looking at the big picture." Australian Archaeology "Desert Peoples: Archaeological Perspectives is an essential source for those interested in hunting-gathering lifeways." Laurie Milne, Canadian Journal of Archaeology

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Back cover copy

"Desert Peoples: Archaeological Perspectives" provides an overview of hunter-gatherers in desert landscapes. Written by an international roster of experts, this volumeexamines the key concepts vital to understanding human adaptation to marginal environments and the behavioral and belief systems that underpin these concepts. "Desert Peoples" brings together studies from deserts as diverse as the sand dunes of Australia, the US Great Basin, the coastal and high altitude deserts of South America, and the core deserts of Africa. Ultimately, "Desert Peoples"' comparative approach profiles current understandings and debates about cultural and ecological processes affecting hunter-gatherer societies in deserts.

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