Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 77–126

The archaeology of complex hunter-gatherers

  • Jeanne E. Arnold

DOI: 10.1007/BF02228931

Cite this article as:
Arnold, J.E. J Archaeol Method Theory (1996) 3: 77. doi:10.1007/BF02228931


Archaeologists' reconstructions of paths to complexity have all too often excluded complex hunter-gatherers. However, recent theoretical contributions and long-term field research programs in several regions of the world have now significantly advanced our understanding of complex hunter-gatherers. A discussion of definitions of complexity and a review of current models of the emergence of complexity provide a framework for analyses of complex hunter-gatherers and important cultural phenomena such as sedentism, political integration, prestige economies, feasting, and ideology.

Key words

hunter-gathererscultural complexityhierarchylaborpolitical economy

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeanne E. Arnold
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anthropology and Institute of ArchaeologyUniversity of CaliforniaLos Angeles