Life and death in the ancient city of Teotihuacan: a modern paleodemographic synthesis


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New York: Cambridge University Press, This book proposes that provisioning changed chimpanzee behavior so that current perceptions of natural behavior are inaccu- rate. The author makes comparisons between chimpanzee behavior and human behavior from studies by Woodburn and Turnbull. The author uses the chimpanzee studies of Jane Goodall at Gombe before and of Nishida and co-workers at Mahale before , in- cluding early artificial feeding of bananas re- ferred to as naturalistic by the author but excluding when provisioning a t Gombe changed to using controlled boxes.

The author argues that at this time the chimpanzees be- came deeply frustrated at human control over food supply and that this frustration caused major changes in chimpanzee behav- ior. Thus, the author argues that chimpanzees are not the aggressive, dominance-seeking, and fiercely territorial animals portrayed in current thinking, but are mutually dependent egalitarians. I found this to be a very frustrating book. The initial premise is interesting, but this book is not a scientific analysis of the impact of provisioning.

The interpretation of current primatological thinking is, at best, out of date. Margaret Power implies that there is a fixed species-typical social organization.


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There is no discussion of the wide variation in chim- panzee behavior, both among sites and even within a single study population. My impres- sion is that this book is based on an idea formed about 12 years ago from reports from Gombe, and this idea has been expanded de- spite the fact that it flies in the face of current evidence from major long-term studies, in- cluding provisioned, past-provisioned, and.

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It is not that all recent results were simply not avail- able to the author, but that only the recent re- sults that support the argument are included. There is a note dismissing the recent work of Basuta, Wrangham, and Chapman at Kibale, Uganda, because overcrowding produced by deforestation has resulted in Gombe-like frus- tration-an interpretation presented with no real data. The studies of nonprovisioned chimpanzees in the Tai Forest, Ivory Coast, are not discussed, even though Boesch and Boesch report behaviors that the author clas- sifies as artificially produced, such as male de- fense of ranges and dominance hierarchies.

Power even implies that, before frustration, male and female transfer was the norm. Power presents a restricted selection of the writings and impressions of some authors e. Ghiglieri saw behaviors at Kibale, Uganda, that were consistent with a male-bonded community de- fense, but is severely chided for the unscien- tific irresponsibility p. Power should listen to this advice. Many of the sweeping statements that certain behaviors are the aberrations of frustrated chimpanzees are based on the fact they were not seen, nor reported, in brief studies of unhabituated chimpanzees.

This is not proof. There is no consideration of changes in behaviors with levels of habituation, degree of recognition of individuals, length of field study, or use of ar- tificial feeding to aid observation. Power discusses p.

The arguments are, however, heavily based on group-selection principles. For ex- ample, males have evolved food calls, not to attract potential mates, but to take care of the population, especially the old or infirm. Al- though Power claims that she does not wish to portray undisturbed chimpanzees in the sen- timental noble savage tradition p.

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I cannot recommend this book, especially not to anyone unfamiliar with studies and lit- erature on chimpanzee social organization. It may, however, be useful to critique it in a. Rebecca Storey. Tuscaloosa: Univer- sity ofAlabama Press, Storeys paleodemographic and paleopath- ological analysis of human remains from Teo- tihuacan is a welcome contribution to a grow- ing and increasingly sophisticated bioarcheol- ogy literature. The literature on assessments of prehistoric diet, nutrition, disease, and death via skeletal remains generally includes adequate reviews and s6ort case studies, but few detailed, integrated case studies.

Storeys book, a fine synthesis ofpaleodemography and paleopathology, helps fill this void; it is espe- cially timely as the analysis of human remains is being challenged as irrelevant. Storeys unique contributions stem from her focus on demogaphics and the archeological context of the material. Analysis is based on skeletons recovered from Tlajinga 33, a lower- class artisans residence compound of Teoti- huacan, occupied for about five hundred years during the Classic Horizon Early Tlamimi- lolpa to Metapec. Storeys main hypothesis is that health at Teotihuacan would be poorer than in the countryside, as was true for cities of the Old World.

Additionally, Storeys data provide unique insight into a segment of the city families oflower-class artisans that is in- frequently represented in the archeohistorical record. Paleodemography has had its share of re- cent critics. Storey considers their remarks and provides a levelheaded demographic syn- thesis, one that is logical and methodologically sophisticated. New York: E.

Life and Death in the Ancient City of Teotihuacan: A Modern Paleodemographic Synthesis

Dutton and Company. Madrid: Alianza Editorial. Cervantes de Salazar, Francisco. Edited by Edmundo O'Gorman. Christian, William A. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Edited by Eric Wolf. Ciudad Real, Antonio de. Castillo Farreras. Clouse, Michelle Lee. Cockburn, Aiden T. Coe, Sophie D. London: Thames and Hudson.

Cohen, Mark Nathan. Cook, Harold J.

Cook, Noble David. Cook, Noble David and W. George Lovell. Edited by Noble David Cook and W.

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Berkeley: University of California. Cook, Shelburne F. Berkeley: University of California Press. Cooper, Donald B. Corbin, Alain. Leamington Spa: Berg Publishers. Crosby, Alfred W. Westport: Greenwood Press. Zamora, Mich. De Vos, Paula. Diamond, Jared. New York: W.

Dillinger, Teresa L. Dobyns, Henry F. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. Edited by Roy Porter. Esquivel Otea, Ma. Teresa, Indice de los ramos hospitales y Protomedicato. Esteyneffer, Juan de. Edited by Ma. Fajardo Ortiz, Guillermo. Madrid: Ediciones Cultura Hispanica. Feliciano, Zaida M. Edited by Michael R. Haines and Richard H.

Florescano, Enrique and Elsa Malvido Miranda, editors. Foster, George M. Amsterdam: Gordon and Breach Science Publishers.

Life and death in the ancient city of Teotihuacan: a modern paleodemographic synthesis Life and death in the ancient city of Teotihuacan: a modern paleodemographic synthesis
Life and death in the ancient city of Teotihuacan: a modern paleodemographic synthesis Life and death in the ancient city of Teotihuacan: a modern paleodemographic synthesis
Life and death in the ancient city of Teotihuacan: a modern paleodemographic synthesis Life and death in the ancient city of Teotihuacan: a modern paleodemographic synthesis
Life and death in the ancient city of Teotihuacan: a modern paleodemographic synthesis Life and death in the ancient city of Teotihuacan: a modern paleodemographic synthesis
Life and death in the ancient city of Teotihuacan: a modern paleodemographic synthesis Life and death in the ancient city of Teotihuacan: a modern paleodemographic synthesis

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