Indigenous Arrivals And First Peoples

Convened By
Gustavo Politis (Argentina) and Richard Fullagar (Australia)

Theme Details
This theme provides a forum to discuss initial human settlement of continents and islands, and how these first peoples explored and occupied deserts, mountains, tropical rainforest and other environmental zones. What were these arrival landscapes actually like? Dates, dispersal routes and human impacts commonly form a starting point for models of group movement into specific environments, in different parts of the world. Archaeological indicators of initial human arrival may take many forms from megafaunal extinctions to stone tool styles

It is also possible to move beyond the technological and economic side of first peoples. For example, new directions in archaeological thinking explore cognitive theory, social and political structures and indigenous perspectives. How do humans cope with new environments? How did the first people perceive these places? How do indigenous people view their origins today? Were there social or environmental limitations to certain environments?.

An important overall theme will be theoretical frontiers and results that cross regional and national boundaries. Comparisons of arrival landscapes at ecological (e.g. plateaux and plain), continental (e.g. South American and Australian deserts) or socio-economic scales (farmers, hunters and gatherers) are particularly welcome.

Studies about first people and peopling processes have been dominated by a cultural-ecological approach, creating a form of ecological determinism, and employing models often derived from biology to explain expansion of human populations. The discussion rarely takes advantage of new theory that has recently emerged from recent interpretative, hermeneutic, and neo-marxist perspectives. In this respect, the study of early people is becoming theoretically conservative. How can new theoretical approaches benefit studies of first peoples? What methodological tools do we need to develop in order to apply these ideas to empirical data? Clearly, debate on the peopling of continents, islands and specific environmental zones needs a fresh look.
Potential Session Topics

World-views, cognition and human behavior.
Environmental limitations and initial human impacts (e.g. deserts, mountains etc.)
The tempo of human expansion.
Human biology and life-history of first arrivals.
Conceptual issues for first people studies.

We are calling for session organizers and welcome suggestions for sessions or specific topics within this theme. We encourage the offer of presentations (papers, posters, other). See call for proposals.


Dr Gustavo Politis
Facultad de Ciencias Naturales, UNLP
Paseo del Bosque s/n
1900 La Plata-Argentina
Telephone: (+54) 221-423 4918
Dr. Richard Fullagar
Anthropology A14
University of Sydney
NSW 2006
Telephone: 61 2 42674547, 61 2 93512763


Peopling The Paleolithic

Organized By
Kathleen Sterling (USA) and Sebastien Lacombe (France)

Session Details
Kathleen Sterling
Department of Anthropology
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720-3710

Sébastien Lacombe
Unité Toulousaine d’Archéologie et d’Histoire
27, rue Bernard Déliciuex
31200 Toulouse France
Studies of archaeological Paleolithic societies have rarely departed from direct analyses of technology and hunting practices. This may be due to the fact that we find these cultures too different from our own to confidently interpret what may seem at times to be meagre information.
This information can indeed provide the basis for human-centered study of stone-age cultures. Space may be delineated without architecture, labour organized without agriculture, production specialized before ceramics, and community life negotiated without villages. These are just a few of the factors of daily life that influenced and were influenced by cultural practices.
This session proposes to gather archaeologists who study Paleolithic societies around the world to share how different lines of evidence and different approaches may produce accounts of these groups that discuss daily lives. This includes both new ways of analyzing the traditional data that may have been underused (stone tools, animal remains, rock art, etc.) as well as applying theoretical approaches that may not have been widely used in this area of prehistory. Some possibilities include social identities, human body approaches, landscape approaches, initiation and learning, aggregations, language, use of narrative, chaîne opératoire, and gestural approaches.

Colonisation Or Dispersal: Approaches To Mobility In The Palaeolithic
Lucy Grimshaw (Department of Archaeology, University of Durham, UK) Raw material procurement and exchange as social acts: the example of the Magdalenian in southwestern France
Sébastien Lacombe (Unité Toulousaine d’Archéologie et d’Histoire and University of California, Berkeley, USA)
The Negotiation Of Birth In Prehistory
Emer O’Donnell (Department of Archaeology, Flinders University, Australia) Either, Neither, More: The practice of personhood in Southern Africa now and then
Sven Ouzman (University of California, Berkeley, USA)
Living Space Exploitation Concept As An Instrument Of Prehistoric Social Culture Study
Olena V. Smyntyna (Odessa I.I. Mechnikov National University, Ukraine) Learning and the Social Production of Stone Tools
Kathleen Sterling (University of California, Berkeley, USA)
Influential Neighbours: The Middle/Upper Palaeolithic Transition In Iberia
Marta Camps i Calbet (Donald Baden-Powell Quaternary Research Centre UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD 60 Banbury Road OXFORD -OX2 6PN- England (U.K.))

Session Time
Day Monday Date 23rd June
Time 4-6PM Room Marist 208

First People In East Asia

Organized By
Huw Barton (UK)

Session Details

Neolithic Guangdong – The Interactions Among Yangzi, Southeast Asia And Pacific Islands
Man Kwong Ma (Archaeology Department Peking University, Institute of Field Archaeologists, UK) Fareastern argonauts: archaeological evidence on the initial stages of the watercraft
Andrei V.Tabarev (Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Novosibirsk, Russia)
The Problem Of Peopling Of Altai (South Siberia): The Differences Of Culture Complexes Between Caves And Open-air Sites.
A.V. Postnov (Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, SB RAS, Novosibirsk, Russia) Running along the mountains: Mousterian-Early Upper Paleolithic Peopling of South Siberia.
Dr .Eugeny P. Rybin (Department of Paleolithic, Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Russian Academy of Sciences, Siberian Branch, Russia 630090, Novosibirsk-90, Lavrentieva Ave., 17)
Absolute Chronology And Periods Of The Dispersals Of A Stone Age Man At The Coasts Of The Okhotsk And Japanese Seas
Alexander A.Vasilevski (Sakhalin State University, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk) Foraging tubers in the tropics: considering the evidence from Niah Cave, Sarawak, Malaysia
Huw Barton (University of Leicester, UK)
Hunter-gatherer Mobility In Late Palaeolithic Japan: Approach From Re-fitting Obsidian Artefacts
AMBIRU Masao and YAMASHINA Akira (Department of Archaeology, Meiji University) Initial Upper Paleolithic of Uzbekistan: intrusion of modern humans or evolved neanderthal culture?
Dr. Andrei I. Krivoshapkin (Paleolithic Department, Institute of Archaeology & Ethnography, Russian Academy of Sciences, Siberian Branch, Novosibirsk, Russia)

Session Time
Day Wednesday Date 25th June
Time 4-6PM Room Marist 208

First People In The Americas: Processes And Time

Organized By
Gustavo Politis (Argentina)

Session Details
Gustavo Politis
CONICET- Facultad de Ciencias Sociales de la Universidad Nacional del Centro, Olavarría,. Argentina.
INCUAPA. Facultad de Ciencias Sociales de la Universidad Nacional del Centro, Del Valle 5737, 7300 Olavarría,. Argentina.
Ecological Reductionism And The Initial Peopling Of South America
Cristóbal Gnecco (Departamento de Antropología, Universidad del Cauca, Popayán, Colombia) Paleo-indian or early archaic: interpreting early non Clovis bifacial assemblages in north western South America
Carlos E. Lopez (Universidad Tecnologica de Pereira/Temple University, Philadelphia) and Martha Cecilia Cano (Alfonso Realpe Universidad Tecnologica de Pereira)
La Ocupación Temprana Del Atlántico Uruguayo
José M. López Mazz (Dpto. Arqueología, Facultad de Humanidades, Universidad de la República, Montevideo,Uruguay) The end of the trip: Homo sapiens expansion into the Southern Cone of South America
Gustavo Politis (CONICET- Facultad de Ciencias Sociales de la Universidad Nacional del Centro, Olavarría, Argentina)
The Aquatic Landscapes Model And Archaeological Landscapes In The Deserts. Their Implications For Re-thinking The Arrivals Of The First South Americans
Laura Miotti (Archaeology Department of Museo de La Plata, La Plata National University,
Paseo del Bosque s/n, 1900 La Plata, Argentina) Human arrivals, ecological perception, and megamammals exploitation in the Pampean region of Argentina
María A. Gutierrez and Gustavo A. Martínez (CONICET-INCUAPA, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales (UNCPBA), Del Valle 5737, 7400 Olavarría, Argentina)
Absolute And Relative Dating In The Archaeological Region Of Central Bahia State, Brazil
Maria Beltrão, Martha Locks and Monique Amaral (National Museum, UFRJ/UB, Department of Anthropology, Sector of Archaeology and National Research Board Scholars) What can the bioarchaeological record of First Americans tell us about their patterns of dispersal, organization and cognition?
Gustavo Barrientos (CONICET-Instituto Nacional de Antropología y Pensamiento Latinoamericano, UNCPBA; UNLP, Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Variability In Paleoindian Settlement In Eastern Beringia
David R. Yesner (Professor of Anthropology, University of Alaska, Anchorage, 3211 Providence Drive, Anchorage, AK 99508, USA) The Beringian enigma: lithic assemblage variability in the earliest Alaskan archaeological record
Sergey A. Vasil’ev
Large Mammals And Large Blinders: Why Are Paleoindians Still Thought Of As Big-game Specialists? And What Are The Alternatives?
Marcel Kornfeld (George C. Frison Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, Box 3431, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, USA) An Early Ice Age bone flaking pattern in the Americas
Robson Bonnichsen (Department of Anthropology, Texas A&M University, College Station Texas, USA)
La Presencia Humana En La Cuenca De México A Partir De 12,700 Años
José C. Jiménez López (Dirección de Antropología Física, Museo Nacional de Antropología, Reforma y Gandhi S/N. Col. Polanco, México) Paleoamerican position of Baja California skulls. II Cranial-Functional analysis
Héctor Pucciarelli, Rolando González, Marina Sardi and Fernando Ramírez Rozzi (División Antropología del Museo de La Plata. Universidad Nacional de La Plata)

Session Time
Day Wednesday Date 25th June
Time 9AM-1PM Room Marist 208

The American Paleolithic

Organized By
Dennis Stanford (USA) and Ted Timreck (USA)

Session Details
This session will consist of a short film, followed by discussion with Dennis Stanford of the Smithsonian’s Anthropology Department, and the film-maker Ted Timreck. The presentation focuses on a new model for Paleolithic America. It is based on a premise that, all around the Circumpolar World at the end of the last Ice Age, human societies who were adapted to the cold environments along the edges of the receding glaciers, were more complex than we now understand.

During the 1830s, the pioneering team of Squier and Davis received the first public funding for archaeological research from the Federal government. They were asked to investigate the ruins of the “Moundbuilders” because of wide spread popular interest and debate about the identity of the country’s ancient inhabitants. Over the next 150 years, the Smithsonian Institution became the scientific force that shaped the definition of “Indian” for the rest of American society.

Today, the identity of the Native American has again become a popular issue. Western anthropology may be at the threshold of another revolution in its thinking about the development of early New World cultures.

Although the Smithsonian has always been known for its extremely conservative vision of Native history, members of the current generation of scientists from the National Museum are breaking that tradition as they explore radical new ideas about the origin of Ice Age Americans.

Dr. Stanford has given me an extraordinary opportunity to work with him, to shoot ‘over his shoulder’ through many different stages as he and his colleagues have slowly pieced together a new scientific vision of the peopling of America. This presentation is part of the record of that process as it continues.
Session Time
Day Monday Date 23rd June
Time 11.30AM-1PM Room McMahon 200