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LATE TO TRANSITIONAL ARCHAIC EXCHANGE IN EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS

Curtiss Hoffman
Archaeology of Eastern North America
Vol. 34 (2006), pp. 91-103
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40914499
Page Count: 13
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LATE TO TRANSITIONAL ARCHAIC EXCHANGE IN EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS
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Abstract

The Late to Transitional Archaic period (ca. 5500 - 2700 B.P.) is one of the most intensively studied phases in eastern Massachusetts prehistory. Hundreds of sites have been surface-hunted and excavated, and archaeologists have developed a robust picture of the subsistence activities and, to a lesser degree, the belief systems of that phase. What we have not concentrated upon so much are the social dimensions of life during this time period. Most published studies and cultural resource management reports are either site-specific, or are attempts at broad, regional syntheses (e.g., Dincauze 1975; Thorbahn 1984). Yet there are a number of sites dating to this period which appear to have been centers for the production and/or transfer of specialized artifacts to other sites in the region. This suggests that there was some kind of system of intra-regional exchange which related these centers, both to one another and to the more common habitation sites in the region. This article will explore some evidence for this local "interaction sphere" (Struever and Houart 1972), and will attempt to situate the evidence within an understanding of the nature and functions of intercultural exchange in general.

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