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date: 24 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Archaeologists have made frequent use of ethnographic data and observations to assist with the interpretation of traces of ancient hunter-gatherer-fisher settlements and activities. Since the mid-twentieth century, archaeologists have increasingly been involved directly in the collection of such information, giving rise to a distinct disciplinary subfield known as ‘ethnoarchaeology’, and some of the most influential ethnoarchaeological studies have been conducted among hunter-gatherers. This paper reviews the development of ethnoarchaeological research among hunter-gatherer-fishers, their strengths and limitations, the main topics of research, and the interpretive significance and value of the results of such studies. Examples are drawn from a very wide range of hunter-gatherer-fisher societies and environmental and geographical settings. In the concluding sections, processualist and post-processualist approaches are compared and contrasted, and emerging trends, research lacunae and avenues for future research are reviewed.

Keywords: ethnoarchaeology, hunter-gatherer-fishers, analogy

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