Anthropology Colloquium Series
Ian Kuijt. Professor of Anthropology, University of Notre Dame
"Farming friendly property rights in the early Holocene? Neolithic food storage, surplus, and social differentiation"
Recent research has directed new attention on possible coevolution of Neolithic farming and private property rights. Clearly the ability of early Neolithic people to manipulate food, both wild and domestic, and to regularly overcome seasonal availability through good years and bad, represents a technological, social, and economic threshold. Interestingly, however, the development of late Pleistocene plant storage technology did not produce an immediate food surplus or material evidence for private property and social differentation. Rather it brought about gradual demographic increases and only later, possible material evidence for early Holocene social differentiation. It is now clear that in the Near East significant food storage preceded plant domestication and the appearance of some degree of status differences by several thousand years. Archaeological data from the Levant, however, highlights that in some ways social changes were gradual in the face of significant economic shifts and raise questions about arguments for coevolution of farming and private property.
Location and Address
3106 WWPH Anthropology Lounge