Some thoughts on social versus cultural complexity
Keywords:complex hunter-gatherers, complexity theory, Mesolithic, sociocultural evolution
AbstractSocially complex hunter-gatherers are characterised by (1) inherited, permanent leadership and (2) sustained control over non-kin labour. Archaeologists have tended to infer social complexity through evidence of cultural complexity (i.e., artistic elaboration, composite tool technology, religion, etc). Complexity theory, however, indicates that patterns suggestive of social complexity can be produced through simple behavioural rules that do not necessitate social hierarchies. Therefore,evidence of cultural complexity cannot be used to infer social complexity in archaeological societies, nor should social complexity be emphasized in discussions of hunter-gatherer achievement or evolution of food production.
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How to Cite
Cvekić, R. (2009). Some thoughts on social versus cultural complexity. Documenta Praehistorica, 36, 227–245. https://doi.org/10.4312/dp.36.15
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