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An Ethnoarchaeological Study of Mobility, Architectural Investment, and Food Sharing among Madagascar's Mikea
Robert L. Kelly, Lin Poyer and Bram Tucker
Vol. 107, No. 3 (Sep., 2005), pp. 403-416
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3567026
Page Count: 14
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Ethnoarchaeology is a field of study that aims to provide the information needed to draw reliable behavioral inferences from archaeological data. In this study, data from four settlement types (permanent villages, forest hamlets, seasonal hamlets, and foraging camps) of a forager--farmer population in southwestern Madagascar are examined from an archaeological perspective. Doing so shows that house size, house post diameter variability, outdoor workspace, trash disposal, and feature diversity jointly sort out settlements of different lengths of occupation. However, the relationship between mobility and material culture is not simply a product of the length of stay; it is also affected by differences in the social environments of settlements of different occupational lengths. Using the behavioral ecology of food sharing, we show that certain architectural changes that ensure privacy are expected to occur as settlements become larger and more permanent. These observations from Madagascar should be applicable to other areas.
American Anthropologist © 2005 American Anthropological Association