hazelnuts

Corylus avellana

In his 2002 book Genes, Memes and Human History, Stephan Shennan describes how hunter-fisher-gatherer societies are often studied in an evolutionary biological context. Those societies with an agricultural subsistence base are, however, more often then not looked at from a more social and theoretical point of view. He also mentions how this division is strengthened by the divided archaeological community; one fraction focussing on foragers, the other on agricultural societies.

Obviously, this is a very undesirable situation. Richard Bradley wrote his by now well known comment (1984) that “… Neolithic farmers had social relations with one another, while their Mesolithic forager predecessors had ecological relations with hazel nuts.”

I believe we can have a social and personal archaeology, also of earlier prehistoric societies.

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  1. Pingback: St.Ursanne: middle ages and hazelnuts | hazelnut relations