Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 147–179

Upper Paleolithic Net-Hunting, Small Prey Exploitation, and Women's Work Effort: A View from the Ethnographic and Ethnoarchaeological Record of the Congo Basin


DOI: 10.1023/A:1016578224794

Cite this article as:
Lupo, K.D. & Schmitt, D.N. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory (2002) 9: 147. doi:10.1023/A:1016578224794


Recent interest in Upper Paleolithic small prey acquisition focuses on the significance of fiber-based hunting technologies. Some researchers believe the advent of these technologies and presence of small faunas reflect efficient communal net-hunts driven by women's labor. We evaluate different small prey hunting techniques, using ethnographic data from foragers in the Congo Basin. These and other ethnographic data suggest that net-hunting is a high risk endeavor that often has high opportunity costs. We argue that the high costs associated with net-hunting have profound implications for human technological choice, and we evaluate the circumstances that would favor the use of different small prey hunting technologies in the Upper Paleolithic.

net-huntingsmall mammalshunting technologyUpper Paleolithicwomen's strategies

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyWashington State UniversityPullman