Culture Contact Structure and Process
Archaeological studies of culture contact are hampered by a tendency to project the exploitative relations between cores and peripheries so characteristic of the modern world back into the past. We outline in this essay a few basic principles by means of which the diverse conditions of prehistoric intersocietal interaction and their behavioral consequences might be apprehended. This formulation posits that social factions use material, political, and ideological resources to secure privileged control over labor, thereby enhancing their power and prestige. Because no culture is isolated from significant contacts with others, both local and extralocal resources are employed in factional contests. Any development that has an impact on how foreign and indigenous assets are distributed within and between cultures will, therefore, have important repercussions for economic, sociopolitical, and ideological arrangements and changes at local and macroregional scales. The essay concludes with a consideration of some points along the continuum of interaction structures, processes, and cultural consequences.
Studies in Culture Contact: Interaction, Culture Change, and Archaeology