Term coined by scientific illustrator Ernst Haeckel in 1858
Advanced by contributions from Darwin and Wallace
“ Moved [the] field biology to one focused on interactive processes”
From Haeckel’s Art Forms in Nature
Ecofacts - Plant and animal remains that can add to the context of an artifact
(Floatation developed in the ‘60s enhanced collection of ecofacts).
Taphonomy - Study of the decay/fossilization process of plants and animals.
U.K. versus U.S.
“ Anthropology and Archaelogy were seperated institutionally and ideologically”
Some scientists like Darryl Forde did consider ecology and influenced American anthropologists
Archaeology and Anthropology were practiced together - direct connection between things coming out of ground and culture
Also in fluenced by work on Native Americans….
Native Americans Study & Ecology
Viewed as “inextricably linked to…natural environment” - Nobel Savage
American archaeologists and anthropologist in unique situation excavating and studying Native American sites - Living record.
Considerations about how to display artifacts in secondary contexts.
Julian H. Steward (1902 -1972)
Student of Boas.
Influenced by Kroeber and Forde.
Theories of “Cultural Ecology”
and “Multilinear Evolution”
Published studies on peoples in Puetro Rico, South America, and Native American groups.
Steward coined the term in 1955
“ A methodology for examining the relationships between human groups their environment…ecological factors were important determinants of certain aspects of culture and (technology, demography, subsistence, economics) and less important in other aspects of culture (social structure, political organization, ideology).”
“ To determine the creative processes involved in the adaptation of culture to its environment.”
“ The problem of explaining man’s cultural behavior is of a different order than that of explaining his biological evolution.”
“ The objective is to ascertain the detailed processes by which hunters and gathers were converted into farmers or herdsmen and these latter into more “civilized” people…”
“ It recognizes that the cultural traditions of different areas may be wholly or partly distinctive, and it simple poses the question of whether any genuine or meaningful similarities between certain cultures exist…”