Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users, please click the view more button below to purchase a copy of this dissertation from Proquest.

(Some titles may also be available free of charge in our Open Access Dissertation Collection, so please check there first.)

Thresholds to group mobility among hunter-gatherers: An archaeological example from southern New England

Elena Louise Filios, University of Massachusetts Amherst


Social processes of production which articulate with hunter-gatherer mobility are systematically examined. Mobility is particularly crucial in the context of egalitarian social relations. Hunter-gatherers determine mobility and constitute space by manipulating production to create social relations. Production processes that are organized to promote economic interdependence, equity, and cooperative labor limit mobility and lead to situations in which autonomy is contested. A methodology is developed to make these social processes visible to the archaeologist. Data from the third millennium before the present from southern New England provide the context for exploring social processes of mobility. Viewed in this light, the archaeological record of the third millennium can be seen as the result of considerable tension in the social organization of production. By explicitly developing a set of social arguments and bringing them to bear on archaeological data, I expose variation similar to that predicted by models of resource distribution. These arguments recognize the richness, ambiguities and contradictions of the data that are an outcome and a part of human strategies of acting and interacting with material culture in the social arena. The social arguments developed here apply to and aid in understanding archaeological assemblages from other times or places.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Filios, Elena Louise, "Thresholds to group mobility among hunter-gatherers: An archaeological example from southern New England" (1990). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9110134.