Project

The life and thought of northern prehistoric hunter-gatherers: ethnographical and ethnoarchaeological theory and analysis of the behavioral and material expression of the relationship between ideology and ecology

Duration
01 October 2010 → 30 September 2014
Funding
Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund, Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Humanities
    • Archaeology of Europe, the Mediterranean and the Levant
    • Archaeology of the Low countries or Belgium
    • Etnoarchaeology
    • Experimental archaeology
    • Geoarchaeology
    • Landscape archaeology
    • Material culture studies
    • Prehistoric archaeology
    • Settlement archaeology
    • Development of methods and techniques
    • Methods in archaeology
  • Natural sciences
    • Geomorphology and landscape evolution
    • Quaternary environments
Keywords
ideology ecology ethnoarchaeology northern hunter-gatherers
 
Project description

The research proposal consists of the application of the new anthropological paradigm to the study of northern European prehistoric hunter-gatherers with specific focus on the relationship between ecology - the reality of the world in which human beings must survive - and ideology - the human cognition and perception of that world. The new anthropological paradigm sees ecology and ideology as dynamic and dialectic entities, whose relationship with each other and other aspects of human life is reflected in the central operational system of human activities or the human behavioral strategy. Ethnographic analysis of the behavioral strategy of contemporary northern hunter-gatherers, with emphasis on ecological analogy between present and past, native conceptualisations of the world as at once spiritual and material and expression of ideological and ecological relations in material culture, shows that using the new anthropological paradigm as a guiding principle could significantly increase our understanding of archaeological contexts. Through confrontation of the anthropological theory with the prehistoric data we aim to develop a new interpretative framework for the study of the life and thought of northern prehistoric hunter-gatherers.