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By Douglas B. Bamforth

A part of a chain on interdisciplinary contributions to archaeology, the publication was once initially accomplished through the writer as a doctoral venture. integrated are sections on source constitution and human association, grassland ecology, ungulate ecology, styles of forage creation at the nice Plains, and p

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Second, as Johnson (1982:405-407) notes, large aggregations in relatively simple societies are often tied to major ceremonies. Such ceremonies generally require specific ritual paraphernalia and relatively great cooperative effort to construct special ritual facilities. The manufacture and maintenance of these sorts of items and facilities requires that sufficient time and materials be available before the time when the ceremony is to occur. As group size increases, membership in subgroups is also often Signaled by specific items of material culture (Conkey 1978; Hodder 1979), and production of such items requires investments of time and materials.

Johnson (1982) has explored situations such as this in some detail. Lacking a centralized formal authority structure, these simpler societies generally arrive at decisions by consensus, which requires faceto-face personal interaction. As decisions involve larger and larger numbers of people, such interactions become more and more difficult to maintain, because there are limits on the number of people who can effectively work together in this way that may derive from inherent limits on human information-processing abilities.

Conceiving a region as a mosaic of spatial units whose productivity depends on the number of animals in them, relative patchiness increases as herds of ungulates become larger and the average difference in productivity between a unit containing a herd and a unit without a herd increases. Such differences can be due either to differences in the number of areas suitable for occupation by a herd or by differences in ungulate adaptations causing differing degrees of aggregation. The degree of patchiness defined in this way is obviously likely to vary seasonally.

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