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Human Ecology: Biocultural Adaptations in Human Communities

Series: Ecological Studies Volume: 182

By: Holger Schutkowski

300 pages, 36 illus


Hardback | Dec 2006 | #154646 | ISBN: 3540260854
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NHBS Price: £197.50 $242/€222 approx

About this book

The human condition is composed of culturally mediated biology, and this inherently dual nature is key to our understanding of human/environment interaction. Human Ecology provides a fresh view on the interrelationship between cultural strategies and their biological outcomes. It combines for the first time an ecosystems approach with cultural anthropological, archaeological and evolutionary behavioural concepts. Taking resource use and food procurement behaviour as the starting point, the volume examines major subsistence modes, the circumstances and dynamics of large-scale subsistence change, the effect of social differentiation on resource use and the effects of subsistence behaviour on population development and regulation. It is complemented by a brief history on human ecological thought and a discussion of pertinent theoretical issues. Numerous examples from all time periods illustrate the topics and emphasise the universal nature of the interpretive framework.

From the reviews: "This volume provides a detailed and thorough synthesis of the literature regarding the interplay between human populations and the characteristics and properties of their local environments, both physical and cultural. ! The volume is to be commended for its breadth and depth of detail and debate, and the publishers are to be congratulated for the inclusion of such a good quality and explicitly human volume within a broader ecological studies series." (Sonia R. Zakrzewski, Economics & Human Biology, Vol. 5 (2), 2007) "Holger Schutkowski's important biocultural synthesis explores the duality between cultural strategies of human resource use and their biological ramifications in both past and present contexts. Indeed, Schutkowski's synthesis succeeds on a number of fronts and is an important contribution that students of human ecology and archaeology will no doubt heed for years to come. ! The book explores a wide diversity of case studies within a theoretical systems-based framework." (John Krigbaum, Journal of Archaeological Science, Vol. 35, 2008)


History, concepts, and prospects.- Subsistence modes.- Subsistence change.- Resources and social organisation.- Population development and regulation.- Synthesis: Towards a biocultural Human Ecology.- References.- Subject Index.

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