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Encyclopedia of Prehistory: Volume 2: Arctic and Subarctic (Elgar Reference Collection)

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The Encyclopedia of Prehistory represents also defined by a somewhat different set of an attempt to provide basic information sociocultural characteristics than are eth­ on all archaeologically known cultures, nological cultures. Major traditions are covering the entire globe and the entire defined based on common subsistence prehistory of humankind. It is designed as practices, sociopolitical organization, and a tool to assist in doing comparative material industries, but language, ideology, research on the peoples of the past. Most and kinship ties play little or no part in of the entries are written by the world's their definition because they are virtually foremost experts on the particular areas unrecoverable from archaeological con­ and time periods. texts. In contrast, language, ideology, and The Encyclopedia is organized accord­ kinship ties are central to defining ethno­ ing to major traditions. A major tradition logical cultures. There are three types of entries in the is defined as a group of populations sharing Encyclopedia: the major tradition entry, similar subsistence practices, technology, and forms of sociopolitical organization, the regional subtradition entry, and the which are spatially contiguous over a rela­ site entry. Each contains different types of tively large area and which endure tempo­ information, and each is intended to be rally for a relatively long period. Minimal used in a different way.

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"These essays are well written and informative, providing a synthesis and a starting point for the non-specialist.  Particularly valuable is the detailed bibliographic information. The most informative essays are those in which authors break down the archaeological tradition into sub-traditions and important sites, providing extremely detailed and rigorously referenced information.  Many of these contributions will be very useful for teaching university-level prehistory courses." (Polar Record, 38:206)

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9781468471298: Encyclopedia of Prehistory: Volume 2: Arctic and Subarctic

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ISBN 10: 1468471295 ISBN 13: 9781468471298
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9781461511922: Encyclopedia of Prehistory: Volume 2: Arctic and Subarctic

Springer, 2011
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