Re: diseases and immunity

Mary Beth Williams (
28 Jun 1996 20:15:50 GMT

In <> writes:
>Philip Deitiker wrote:
>> Lets see how you like this definition...
>> Paleolithic (c. 1865)..... of or relating to the second period of
>> the stone age characterized by rough or chipped stone impliments
>> (Sorry, but NIH and other gov't funds don't provide for new
>> dictionaries.)
>> So are you saying they didn't use chipped stone impliments?
>> Or is this definition also wrong? Not that it really matters because
>> its clear that these cultures had neither entered the metal ages
>You know, there are several existing problems with the Paleolithic,
Neolithic, and
>Bronze age divisions. I would classify the majority of Native
Americans as
>late neolithic. Here's why.

:::snipping discussion of paleolithic versus neolithic:::::

>BTW - there seems to be a fundamental flaw in trying to apply a
>technology to the entire population of North and South America. There
>probably paleolithic peoples, just as there was certainly at least one
bronze age
>people in Bolivia (however short-lived).

The problem here is that Americanists have their own temporal/material
cultural designations, and trying to fit Eurasian typologies onto a
completely different line of cultural development is like sticking a
round peg in a square hole. While most North American regions
experienced a *PaleIndian* period, after that, there are numerous
different branched of development, each according to climate,
resources, etc. In the East and Midwest, the general chronology
follows a PaleoIndian --> Archaic (Early, Middle, Late and perhaps
Terminial) ----> Woodland (Early, Middle and Late) ---->
Mississippian/Owasco/Final Woodland (depending on region). In the
other areas around North and South America, completely different
chronologies have been developed, namely because cultures developed
differently. Trying to somehow *rank* these against each other as well
as against Eurasian cultures (as Philip has done in previous posts) is
a grave disservice to archaeology.

MB Williams
Dept. of Anthro., UMass-Amherst