- List of Figures
- List of Contributors
- Questioning the Past in North America
- Hunter-Gatherer Theory in North American Archaeology
- Bone Lickers, Grave Diggers, and Other Unsavory Characters: Archaeologists, Archaeological Cultures, and the Disconnect from Native Peoples
- Historical Archaeology and Native Agency across the Spanish Borderlands
- Some Commonalities Linking North America and Mesoamerica
- The North American <i>Oikoumene</i>
- People, Plants, and Culinary Traditions
- Early Paleoindians, from Colonization to Folsom
- Pleistocene Settlement in the East
- Archaeological Histories and Cultural Processes
- Arctic and Subarctic
- The West
- Foundations for the Far West: Paleoindian Cultures on the Western Fringe of North America
- Archaeology of the Northwest Coast
- The Winter Village Pattern on the Plateau of Northwestern North America
- Great Basin Foraging Strategies
- The Evolution of Social Organization, Settlement Patterns, and Population Densities in Prehistoric Owens Valley
- Mound Building by California Hunter-Gatherers
- Diversity, Exchange, and Complexity in the California Bight
- Archaeologies of Colonial Reduction and Cultural Production in Native Northern California
- Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Seaboard
- Plains and Upper Midwest
- Midsouth and Southeast
- Greater Southwest and Northern Mexico
Abstract and Keywords
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).
Anna Marie Prentiss is Professor of Anthropology, University of Montana, Missoula.
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