Advertisement

Adaptive Lessons from Ancient Technologies and Cultures

  • Cameron M. SmithEmail author
Chapter
  • 297 Downloads
Part of the Space and Society book series (SPSO)

Abstract

We have seen a wide range of humanity’s adaptive tools, from biology to behavior. A significant aspect of that behavior is the making and using tools—technology—as our adaptations. The field of archaeology has over a hundred years’ history of investigating these tools, from chipped stones to the finest metalwork. The archaeological record, then, shows us material adaptations of our species for some millions of years, and we may examine that record for lessons useful to the project of permanent space settlement. We can also learn quite a bit about how our ancestors arranged themselves, socially, demographically, and culturally, as adaptively-successful (most of the time) large, bipedal primates originating in Africa but in the last 100,000 years adapting to nearly every Earth biome. Many lessons here will be of great value to those planning space settlement, as it is our ancestors who carried out humanity’s greatest project to date, becoming numerous, global and diverse.

References

  1. Bandy, M. (2005). New world settlement evidence for a two-stage Neolithic demographic transition. Current Anthropology, 45(55), S109–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bandy, M. (2007). Global patterns of early village development. In J-P. Bocquet_Appel & O. Bar-Yosef (Eds.), The Neolithic demographic transition and its consequences (pp. 333–357). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  3. Cessford, C. (2005). Estimating the Neolithic population of Çatalhöyük. In A. I. Hodder (Ed.), Inhabiting Çatalhöyük: Reports from the 1995–99 seasons. Çatalhöyük research project 4 (pp. 323–326). Cambridge/London: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research/British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara.Google Scholar
  4. Childe, V. G. (1950). The urban revolution. Town Planning Review, 21, 3–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Damp, J. E. (1984). Architecture of the early Valdivia village. American Antiquity, 49(3), 573–585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ebersbach, R., & Schade, C. (2004). Modeling the intensity of linear pottery land use: An example from the Morlener Bucht in the Wetterau Basin, Hesse, Germany. In: K. F. Ausserer, W. Borner, M. Goriany, & L. Karlhuber-Vöckl (Eds.), Enter the past: The E-way into the four dimensions of cultural heritage. CAA 2003. Conference Proceedings. BAR Int Series (Vol. 1227, pp. 337–348). Oxford: Archaeopress.Google Scholar
  7. Ehrenburg, V. (1969). The Greek State. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.Google Scholar
  8. Hassan, F. A. (1981). Demographic archaeology. In M. B. Schiffer (Ed.), Advances in archaeological method and theory: Readings from Volumes 1–4 (pp. 225–279). New York: Academic Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hawass, Z., Hassan, F. A., & Gautier, A. (1988). Chronology, sediments and subsistence at Merimda Beni Salama. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, 74, 31–38. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3821745.
  10. Hawkes, J., & Wooley, L. S. (1962). History of mankind; Cultural and scientific development: Vol. I. Prehistory and the beginnings of civilization. New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  11. Heckenberger, M. J., Petersen, J. B., & Neves, E. G. (1999). Village size and permanence in Amazonia: Two archaeological examples from Brazil. Latin American Antiquity, 10(4), 353–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Higham, C. F. W. (2003). The origins of the civilization of Angkor. Proceedings of the British Academy, 121, 41–90.Google Scholar
  13. Holley, G. R., Dalan, R. A., & Smith, P. A. (1993). Investigations in the Cahokia Site Grand Plaza. American Antiquity, 58, 306–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Howarth, I. (1978). History to 404BC. Milton Keynes: The Open University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Kohler, T. A. (1992). Field houses and the tragedy of the commons in the early Northern Anasazi Southwest. American Antiquity, 57(4), 617–635.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kujit, I. (2000). People and space in early agricultural villages: Exploring daily lives, community size and architecture in the late Pre-Pottery Neolithic. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 19, 75–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Lekson, S. H. (2004). Pueblo IV in the Chihuahuan Desert. In E. C. Adams & A. Duff (Eds.), The protohistoric Pueblo World: A.D. 1275–1600. Tucson, University of Arizona Press.Google Scholar
  18. Morgan, C. (2003). Early Greek stages beyond the Polis. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Morris, I. (2005). The growth of Greek cities in the first millennium BC. Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics. https://www.princeton.edu/~pswpc/pdfs/morris/120509.pdf.
  20. Pauketat, T. R. (2004). The economy of the moment: Cultural practices and Mississippian Chiefdoms. In G. Feinman & L. M. Nichols (Eds.), Archaeological perspectives on political economies (pp. 25–39). Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.Google Scholar
  21. Porčić, M. (2011). An exercise in archaeological demography: Estimating the population size of Late Neolithic settlements in the Central Balkans. Documenta Praehistorica, 38, 323–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Price, N. P. S. (1977). Khirokitia and the initial settlement of Cyprus. Levant, 9(1), 66–89.  https://doi.org/10.1179/lev.1977.9.1.66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Shelach, G. (2011). The earliest Neolithic cultures of Northeast China: Recent discoveries and new perspectives on the beginning of agriculture. Journal of World Prehistory, 14(4), 363–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Smith, C. M. (2013). Ancestors: An introduction to human evolution and prehistory. San Diego: National Social Sciences Press.Google Scholar
  25. Smith, C. M., & Davies, E. T. (2012). Emigrating Beyond Earth: Human Adaptation and Space Colonization. New York: SpringerGoogle Scholar
  26. Steponaitis, V. P. (1998). Population trends at Moundville. In V. J. Knight & V. P. Steponaitis (Eds.), Archaeology of the Moundville Chiefdom (pp. 26–43). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.Google Scholar
  27. Tainter, J. A. (1990). The collapse of complex societies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Trigger, B. (1992). Understanding early civilizations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Weiss, H., & Bradley, R. S. (2001). What drives societal collapse? Science, 26(291), 609–610.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Wenke, R., & Olszewski, D. I. (2006). Patterns in prehistory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Wills, W. H., & Windes, T. C. (1989). Evidence for population aggregation and dispersal during the Basketmaker III period in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. American Antiquity, 54, 347–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Wilshusen, R. H. (2002). Estimating population in the Central Mesa Verde Region. In M. D. Varien (Ed.), Seeking the center place: Archaeology and ancient communities in the Mesa Verde Region (pp. 101–122). Provo: University of Utah Press.Google Scholar
  33. Wüst, I., & Barreto, C. (1999). The ring villages of central Brazil: A challenge for Amazonian archaeology. Latin American Antiquity, 10(1), 3–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyPortland State UniversityPortlandUSA

Personalised recommendations