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Why Cultivate? Anthropological and Archaeological Approaches to Foraging-farming Transitions in Southeast Asia

Why Cultivate? Anthropological and Archaeological Approaches to Foraging-farming Transitions in Southeast Asia

Hardback McDonald Institute Monographs

Edited by Graeme Barker, Edited by Monica Janowski

$62.77

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  • Publisher: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
  • Format: Hardback | 142 pages
  • Dimensions: 213mm x 282mm x 15mm | 885g
  • Publication date: 24 June 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 1902937589
  • ISBN 13: 9781902937588
  • Illustrations note: 34 col & 11 b/w illus, 8 tables
  • Sales rank: 1,216,724

Product description

Does it make sense to understand the prehistory, history and present-day patterns of life in Southeast Asia in terms of a distinction between two ways of life: 'farming' and 'foraging'? This is the central question addressed by the anthropologists and archaeologists contributing to this volume. Inherent within the question 'Why Cultivate?' are people's relationships with the physical world: Are they primarily to do with subsistence and economics or with social and/or cultural forces? The answers given by the contributors are complex. On a practical level they argue that there is a continuum rather than a sharp break between different levels of management of the environment, but rice-growing usually represents a profound break in people's relations to their cultural and symbolic landscapes. An associated point made by the archaeologists is that the 'deep histories' of foraging-farming lifeways that are emerging in this region sit uncomfortably with the theory that foraging was replaced by farming in the mid Holocene as a result of a migration of Austronesian-speaking Neolithic farmers from southern China and Taiwan.

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