The Social Correlates of Mortuary Patterning at Kaloko, North Kona, Hawaii

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Archaeology and Physical Anthropology in Oceania

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The reconstruction in the archaeological record of the social characteristics of prehistoric communities is an area of investigation which is rapidly becoming a primary focus of research. Indeed this should be so, for the study of the record of prehistoric social patterning adds a critical diachronic perspective to several areas of anthropological investigation. Furthermore, it has been correctly noted (Saxe, 1971:39) that archaeological sites are rapidly becoming our only sources of information about the pre-contact characteristics of sociocultural systems which have been drastically altered by global European expansion. But perhaps the most important benefit to be derived from studies focusing on the archaeological visibility of social organization will be a substantial increase in our ability to understand the relationships between social patterning, social change, and such variables as population demography, subsistence techniques, and environmental patterning (cf. Deetz, 1965; Hill, 1966; Longacre, 1968; Bellwood, 1971).

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