What animals were like
DOI link for What animals were like
What animals were like book
Animals have been treated in many different ways, not only in the past millennia which are the subject of this book but also in the divergent traditions of anthropology and archaeology. When the British Early Agriculture Project, for example, was being formulated in the 1960s and renewed attention was being given to the criteria for domestication and the closeness of man-animal relationships, the overriding concern was for subsistence economics (Higgs and Jarman 1969). By this time, Lévi-Strauss’s book on totemism had been translated into English (Lévi-Strauss 1964), and British anthropologists were commenting further on the ways that animals were used in systems of thought (E. Leach 1964; Tambiah 1969; cf. Douglas 1957; 1966). That anthropological tradition continued, with little sign of crossfertilisation in archaeology, until recently. In adopting a more anthropological approach to animals, some prehistorians have given particular attention to categorisation and symbolism. It is the aim of this chapter to explore both the strengths and weaknesses of this fusion. In particular I will claim the necessity of maintaining a broad approach to animals. I argue that animals were central to the way of life under investigation; they were an inseparable part of how identities were constructed and how the world was seen, but in stressing their symbolic and conceptual importance, it is vital not to lose sight of their physicality, animality and sociality. Animals were a central part of the diversity which this book claims, and another factor in the very slow rate at which fundamental change took place.