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Title:Subsistence Change and Continuity in Southeast Asian Prehistory
Author(s):Thiel, Barbara Jean
Department / Program:Anthropology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Anthropology, Archaeology
Abstract:This dissertation presents a model to explain why and how subsistence patterns change, particularly the change from hunting and gathering to agriculture in Southeast Asia. The thesis of the dissertation is the following: People make changes in their subsistence pattern when they can obtain a greater, more reliable, or culturally more desirable food supply by changing their subsistence pattern. They change when they can obtain a significant advantage by doing so. They change when change presents the most viable alternative.
In Chapter 2 I present previous research that has been done on the problem of agricultural origins, and various models that have been developed. However, I find these models to be inadequate for various reasons, which is why I developed a new model. This model is presented in Chapter 3. It is based on a complex set of interacting elements that together result in changes of various kinds. These elements include cultural-environmental interactions, environmental change, resource availability, and population pressure.
In order to test the model I derived five hypotheses from it which I tested by archaeological excavations in the Philippines. The results of these excavations and the tests they provide for the hypotheses are presented in Chapter 4. There are several other excavated sites in Southeast Asia that have material that can be used to test the hypotheses. This material and the tests they provide are presented in Chapter 5.
In addition to providing a model of subsistence change, the model also presents an alternate way of interpreting Southeast Asian prehistory. The traditional way of interpreting the material is by stage frameworks. In Chapter 6 I present a survey of insular Southeast Asian prehistory to demonstrate that stage frameworks are not adequate to account for the nature of the archaeological material. I present a new developmental framework derived from my model and demonstrate how it is a more adequate way of both describing and explaining Southeast Asian prehistory. This developmental framework is based on a continuing interaction between environmental and cultural factors and results in a variety of cultural developmental patterns. It gives an ecological-developmental interpretation to the prehistoric material.
The concluding chapter presents a general discussion of the model and the tested hypotheses, and evaluates the model's adequacy and effectiveness as an explanatory framework for both Southeast Asian prehistory and for subsistence change and agricultural origins.
Issue Date:1980
Description:198 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1980.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8108685
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-14
Date Deposited:1980

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