When Worlds Collide
Hunter-Gatherer World-System Change in the 19th Century Canadian Arctic
Interactions between societies are among the most powerful forces in human history. However, because they are difficult to reconstruct from archaeological data, they have often been overlooked and understudied by archaeologists. This is particularly true for hunter-gatherer societies, which are frequently seen as adapting to local conditions rather than developing in the context of large-scale networks. When Worlds Collide presents a new model for discerning interaction networks based on the archaeological record, and then applies the model to long-term change in an Arctic society. Max Friesen has adapted and expanded world-system theory in order to develop a model that explains how hunter-gatherer interaction networks, or world-systems, are structured – and why they change. He has utilized this model to better understand the development of Inuvialuit society in the western Canadian Arctic over a 500-year span, from the pre-contact period to the early twentieth century.
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