The Ethnoarchaeology of Abandonment and Post-Abandonment Behaviour in Pastoral Sites: Evidence from Famorca, Alacant Province, Spain
Keywords:abandonment process, pastoral landscape, eastern Spain
AbstractThis paper addresses questions of site abandonment processes, using examples of pastoral structures on the threshold of the archaeological context, recorded during ethnoarchaeological research in eastern Spain. Current views of abandonment behaviour are seen as deficient with respect to the Mediterranean pastoral economy. A selection of 'small' pastoral corral sites and their environs was planned and recorded in detail, and the data supplemented with ethnographic data collected among the contemporary agro-pastoral community. Abandonment behaviour is examined at three scales of analysis: the abandonment of the agro-pastoral 'landscape', patterns of structural disintegration, and the material assemblages of abandonment, including coral 'furniture' and portable material culture. The study concludes that the abandonment of 'small', seasonal pastoral sites is the product of wider re-orientations in landscape exploitation, visible at the inter-site level. At the intra-site scale, abandonment is viewed as a multi-phase process resulting in complex yet structured material assemblages requiring behavioural interpretation.
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