In cultural anthropology, sedentism (sometimes called sedentariness; compare sedentarism) is the practice of living in one place for a long time. As of 2019, the majority of people belong to sedentary cultures. In evolutionary anthropology and archaeology, sedentism takes on a slightly different sub-meaning, often applying to the transition from nomadic society to a lifestyle that involves remaining in one place permanently. Essentially, sedentism means living in groups permanently in one place.
For small-scale nomadic societies it can be difficult to adopt a sedentary lifestyle in a landscape without on-site agricultural or livestock-breeding resources, since sedentism often requires sufficient year-round, easily accessible local natural resources.
Non-agricultural sedentism requires good preservation and storage technologies, such as smoking, drying, and fermentation, as well as good containers such as pottery, baskets, or special pits in which to securely store food whilst making it available. It was only in locations where the resources of several major ecosystems overlapped that the earliest non-agricultural sedentism occurred. For example, people settled where a river met the sea, at lagoon environments along the coast, at river confluences, or where flat savanna met hills, and mountains with rivers.
Archaeological research has shown the earliest sedentism began with on-site agriculture and cattle breeding, and most researchers now believe that sedentism was a prerequisite for the first agriculture to occur. Sedentism usually meant more people, sturdier houses, new stone tools, more jewelry, burials or cemeteries, more long-distance goods and also clear signs of social stratification. At sedentary sites usually more people lived together for a longer time compared to earlier base camp sites or annual gathering sites. This created deeper cultural layers and thus generally richer archaeological materials. There are also indications that the use of rock art is connected to sedentism, both pre-agricultural and agricultural forms.
In archaeology a number of criteria is necessary for the recognition of either semi or full sedentism.
1. Increasing presence of organisms that benefit from human sedentary activities, e.g.
2. Cementum increments on mammal teeth
3. Energy expenditure
The first sedentary sites were pre-agricultural, and they appeared during the Upper Paleolithic in Moravia and on the East European Plain between c. 25000-17000 BC. A year-round sedentary site, with its larger population, generates a substantial demand on local naturally occurring resources, a demand that may have triggered the development of deliberate agriculture. In the Levant, the Natufian culture was the first to become sedentary at around 12000 BC. The Natufians were sedentary for more than 2000 years before they, at some sites, started to cultivate plants around 10000 BC.
The Jōmon culture in Japan, which was primarily a coastal culture, was sedentary from c. 12000 to 10000 BC, before the cultivation of rice at some sites in northern Kyushu. In northernmost Scandinavia, there are several early sedentary sites without evidence of agriculture or cattle breeding. They appeared from c. 5300-4500 BC and are all located optimally in the landscape for extraction of major ecosystem resources, e.g. the Lillberget Stone Age village site (c. 3900 BC), the Nyelv site (c. 5300 BC), and the Lake Inari site (c. 4500 BC). In northern Sweden the earliest indication of agriculture occurs at previously sedentary sites, and one example is the Bjurselet site used during the period c. 2700-1700 BC, famous for its large caches of long distance traded flint axes from Denmark and Scania (some 1300 km). The evidence of small-scale agriculture at that site can be seen from c. 2300 BC (burnt cereals of barley).
Sedentism increased contacts and trade, and the first Middle East cereals and cattle in Europe, could have spread through a stepping stone process, where the productive gift (cereals, cattle, sheep and goats) were exchanged through a network of large pre-agricultural sedentary sites, rather than a wave of advance spread of people with agricultural economy, and where the smaller sites found in between the bigger sedentary ones, did not get any of the new products. Not all contemporary sites during a certain period (after the first sedentism occurred at one site) were sedentary. Evaluation of habitational sites in northern Sweden indicates that less than 10 percent of all the sites around 4000 BC, were sedentary. At the same time, only 0.5-1 percent of these represented villages with more than 3-4 houses. This means that the old nomadic or migratory life style continued in a parallel fashion for several thousand years, until somewhat more sites turned to sedentism, and gradually switched over to agricultural sedentism.
The shift to sedentism is coupled with the adoption of new subsistence strategies, specifically from foraging (hunter-gatherer) to agricultural and animal domestication. The development of sedentism led to the rise of population aggregation and formation of villages, cities, and other community types.
In North America, evidence for sedentism emerges around 4500 BC.
Forced sedentism or sedentarization occurs when a dominant group restricts the movements of a nomadic group. Nomadic populations have undergone such a process since the first cultivation of land; the organization of modern society has imposed demands that have pushed aboriginal populations to adopt a fixed habitat.
At the end of the 19th and throughout the 20th century many previously nomadic tribes turned to permanent settlement. It was a process initiated by local governments, and it was mainly a global trend forced by the changes in the attitude to the land and real property and also due to state policies that complicated border crossing. Among these nations are Negev Bedouin in Jordan, Israel and Egypt, Bashkirs, Kyrgyz, Kazakhs, Evenks, Evens, Sakha in Soviet Russia, Tibetan nomads in China, Babongo in Gabon, Baka in Cameroon, Innu in Canada etc. As a result of forced sedentarization, many rich herdsmen in Siberia have been eliminated by deliberate overtaxation or imprisonment, year-round mobility have been discouraged, many smaller sites and family herd camps have been shut down, children have been separated from their parents and taken to board schools. This caused severe social, cultural and psychological issues to Indigenous peoples of Siberia.
This assumption that civilized peoples were largely immobile has sometimes been labeled as sedentism or sedentarism.
The dictionary definition of sedentism at Wiktionary
'Ain Mallaha, also known as Eynan, was a Natufian settlement built and settled circa 10,000–8,000 BCE. The settlement is an example of hunter-gatherer sedentism, a crucial step in the transition from foraging to farming.'Ain Mallaha has the earliest known archaeological evidence of dog domestication.Epipalaeolithic Near East
The Epipalaeolithic Near East designates the Epipalaeolithic ("Final Old Stone Age", also known as Mesolithic) in the prehistory of the Near East. It is the period after the Upper Palaeolithic and before the Neolithic, between approximately 20,000 and 10,000 years Before Present (BP). The people of the Epipalaeolithic were nomadic hunter-gatherers that generally lived in small, seasonal camps rather than permanent villages. They made sophisticated stone tools using microliths—small, finely-produced blades that were hafted in wooden implements—which are the primary means by which archaeologists recognise and classify Epipalaeolithic sites.The start of the Epipalaeolithic is defined by the appearance of microliths. Although this is an arbitrary boundary, the Epipalaeolithic does differ significantly from the preceding Upper Palaeolithic. Epipalaeolithic sites are more numerous, better preserved and can be accurately radiocarbon dated. The period also coincides with the gradual retreat of glacial climatic conditions between the Last Glacial Maximum and the start of the Holocene and is characterised by population growth and economic intensification. The Epipalaeolithic ended with the "Neolithic Revolution" and the onset of domestication, food production, and sedentism – although archaeologists now recognise that these trends began in the Epipalaeolithic.The period may be subdivided into Early, Middle and Late Epipaleolithic: The Early Epipaleolithic corresponds to the Kebaran culture, c. 20,000 to 14,500 years ago, the Middle Epipaleolithic is the Geometric Kebaran or late phase of the Kebaran, and the Late Epipaleolithic to the Natufian, 14,500–11,500 BP. The Natufian overlaps with the incipient Neolithic Revolution, the Pre-Pottery Neolithic A.Everyday life
Everyday life, daily life or routine life comprises the ways in which people typically act, think, and feel on a daily basis. Everyday life may be described as mundane, routine, natural, habitual, or normal.
Human diurnality means most people sleep at least part of the night and are active in daytime. Most eat two or three meals in a day. Working time (apart from shift work) mostly involves a daily schedule, beginning in the morning. This produces the daily rush hours experienced by many millions, and the drive time focused on by radio broadcasters. Evening is often leisure time. Bathing every day is a custom for many.
Beyond these broad similarities, lifestyles vary and different people spend their days differently. Nomadic life differs from sedentism, and among the sedentary, urban people live differently from rural folk. Differences in the lives of the rich and the poor, or between factory workers and intellectuals, may go beyond their working hours. Many women spend their day in activities greatly different from those of men, and everywhere children do different things than adults.Jōmon period
The Jōmon period (縄文時代, Jōmon jidai) is the time in Japanese prehistory, traditionally dated between c. 14,000–300 BCE, recently refined to about 1000 BCE, during which Japan was inhabited by a hunter-gatherer culture, which reached a considerable degree of sedentism and cultural complexity. The name "cord-marked" was first applied by the American scholar Edward S. Morse, who discovered sherds of pottery in 1877 and subsequently translated it into Japanese as jōmon. The pottery style characteristic of the first phases of Jōmon culture was decorated by impressing cords into the surface of wet clay and is generally accepted to be among the oldest in East Asia and the world.The Jōmon period was rich in tools and jewellery made from bone, stone, shell and antler; pottery figurines and vessels; and lacquerware. It is often compared to pre-Columbian cultures of the North American Pacific Northwest and especially to the Valdivia culture in Ecuador because in these settings cultural complexity developed within a primarily hunting-gathering context with limited use of horticulture.Kintampo Complex
Kintampo complex is the period in prehistory that saw the transition to sedentism in West Africa, specifically Ghana and parts of eastern Côte d'Ivoire that began sometime between 2500-1400 BCE. Besides being a classic example of early forest dwellers in west Africa, Kintampo is significant because there is evidence of a drastic change in food production techniques due to the transition from nomadic hunter-gather lifestyles to life in stationary settlements. This change is known as sedentism and is typical of societies who have access to, or are developing systems of agriculture. Ceramic sculptures of humans and animals indicate that the Kintampo settlements were lived at by practitioners of both pastoralism and horticulture.
Another notable aspect of the Kintampo complex is the creation of art and items of personal adornment. Archaeologists have found polished stone beads, bracelets and figurines in addition to typical stone tools and structures such as hand axes, and building foundations which suggests that these people had both a complex society and were well-learned in Later Stone Age technologies.When referring to topics related to Kintampo, the term complex is preferred as opposed to culture. In an archaeological research context, culture implies that every site represented in the area used the same technologies and techniques to create the same types of tools, goods, and foods, had the same beliefs and customs, and so on. In reality, the inhabitants of the region during this particular period of time did have much in common, but did differ enough from village to village that culture is not entirely accurate. Complex, or sometimes tradition on the other hand, means a group that shares many characteristics, but also acknowledges differences. The name Kintampo which is used to describe the complex comes from the Kintampo district in the Brong-Ahafo region of Ghana.Kuhikugu
Kuhikugu is an archaeological site located in Brazil, at the headwaters of the Xingu River, in the Amazon Rainforest. The area around Kuhikugu is located in part of the Xingu National Park today. Kuhikugu was first uncovered by anthropologist Michael Heckenberger, working alongside the local Kuikuro people, who are the likely descendants of the original inhabitants of Kuhikugu.Mesoamerican Archaic period
The Archaic period, also known as the preceramic period, is a period in Mesoamerican chronology that begins around 8000 BCE and ends around 2000 BCE and is generally divided into Early, Middle, and Late Archaic periods. The period is preceded by the Paleoindian (or Lithic) period and followed by the Preclassic period. Scholars have found it difficult to determine exactly when the Paleoindian period ends and the Archaic begins, but it is generally linked with changing climate associated with the transition from the Pleistocene to the Holocene epochs, and absence of extinct Pleistocene animals. It is also generally unclear when the Archaic period ends and the Preclassic period begins, though the appearance of pottery, large-scale agriculture, and villages signal the transition.The Archaic period is traditionally viewed as a long, transitional interval between the hunter-gatherers of the Paleoindian period and the proliferation of agricultural villages in the Preclassic. This period is known for the domestication of major Mesoamerican crops, the development of agriculture, and the beginning of sedentism. The major developments in agriculture and sedentism during this time allowed for the rise of complex societies in the region. These developments were not uniform throughout Mesoamerica and often differed regionally.Most Archaic sites are not very well preserved or visible, which hampers archaeologists' ability to discover and study Archaic period sites. As a result, not many Archaic sites have been identified, although major sites like Guilá Naquitz and Colha have been explored by archaeologists. Most known Archaic sites are in the Mesoamerican highlands or along the coasts, though there are sites throughout the region.Neolithic
The Neolithic ( (listen), also known as the "New Stone Age"), the final division of the Stone Age, began about 12,000 years ago when the first developments of farming appeared in the Epipalaeolithic Near East, and later in other parts of the world.
The division lasted until the transitional period of the Chalcolithic from about 6,500 years ago (4500 BC), marked by the development of metallurgy, leading up to the Bronze Age and Iron Age. In Northern Europe, the Neolithic lasted until about 1700 BC, while in China it extended until 1200 BC. Other parts of the world (including the New World) remained broadly in the Neolithic stage of development until European contact.The Neolithic comprises a progression of behavioral and cultural characteristics and changes, including the use of wild and domestic crops and of domesticated animals.The term Neolithic derives from the Greek νέος néos, "new" and λίθος líthos, "stone", literally meaning "New Stone Age". The term was coined by Sir John Lubbock in 1865 as a refinement of the three-age system.Paul Shepard
Paul Howe Shepard, Jr. (June 12, 1925 – July 27, 1996) was an American environmentalist and author best known for introducing the "Pleistocene paradigm" to deep ecology. His works have attempted to establish a normative framework in terms of evolutionary theory and developmental psychology. He offers a critique of sedentism/civilization and advocates modeling human lifestyles on those of nomadic prehistoric humans. He explores the connections between domestication, language, and cognition.Postnaturalism
Postnaturalism is the theory of the postnatural, a term coined to describe organisms that have been intentionally and heritably altered by humans. Postnaturalism is a cultural process whereby organisms are bred to satisfy a specific cultural purpose. It can be used to read these organisms, which serve as insights into our culture by reflecting desires and beliefs prevalent at the time of breeding. This has direct implications for the evolutionary path of these organisms, whittling down undesirable traits to leave only those culturally sought out. Postnaturalism argues that in so doing, humans have and continue to actively alter the evolutionary path of a postnatural organism to suit our cultural desires. The agricultural practice of monoculture, for instance, is just one example of postnatural organisms who have been bred to such an extent that the modern-day species look nothing like their pre-neolithic counterparts. The breeding of these species for this purpose can be seen to be reflected in notable diet changes during this period, which proliferated during ensuing sedentism and urbanisation.Postnaturalism is a highly selective process. For every organism that has become used in our society, there are countless more that have remained non-postnatural for whatever reason ranging from a perceived lack of future use from them or traits that make them too difficult to farm. One such example is the golden orb-weaver spider which produces a strong, light and useful silk, however they are known to be cannibalistic and thus impossible to farm on a large scale.Pre-Pottery Neolithic A
Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) denotes the first stage of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic, in early Levantine and Anatolian Neolithic culture, dating to c. 12,000 – c. 10,800 years ago, that is, 10,000-8,800 BCE. Archaeological remains are located in the Levantine and Upper Mesopotamian region of the Fertile Crescent.
The time period is characterized by tiny circular mud brick dwellings, the cultivation of crops, the hunting of wild game, and unique burial customs in which bodies were buried below the floors of dwellings.The Pre-Pottery Neolithic A and the following Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB) were originally defined by Kathleen Kenyon in the type site of Jericho (Palestine). During this time, pottery was not yet in use. They precede the ceramic Neolithic (Yarmukian). PPNA succeeds the Natufian culture of the Epipaleolithic (Mesolithic).Prehistoric warfare
Prehistoric warfare refers to war that occurred between societies without recorded history.
The existence — and even the definition — of war in humanity's hypothetical state of nature has been a controversial topic in the history of ideas at least since Thomas Hobbes in Leviathan (1651) argued a "war of all against all", a view directly challenged by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in a Discourse on Inequality (1755) and The Social Contract (1762). The debate over human nature continues, spanning contemporary anthropology, archaeology, ethnography, history, political science, psychology, primatology, and philosophy in such divergent books as Azar Gat's War in Human Civilization and Raymond C. Kelly's Warless Societies and the Origin of War. For the purposes of this article, "prehistoric war" will be broadly defined as a state of organized lethal aggression between autonomous preliterate communities.Sannai-Maruyama site
Sannai-Maruyama site (三内丸山遺跡) is a Jōmon period archaeological site in Aomori, Aomori Prefecture, Japan. The site was discovered in 1992, when Aomori Prefecture started surveying a site for a planned baseball stadium. Archaeologists have used this site to further their understanding of the transition to sedentism and the life of the Jomon people. Excavation has led to the discovery of storage pits, above ground storage and long houses. These findings demonstrate a change in the structure of the community, architecture, and organizational behaviors of these people. Because of the extensive information and importance, this site was designated as a Special National Historical Site of Japan in 2000. Today the public can visit this site and its many reconstructions.Settlement
Settlement may refer to:
Human settlement, a community where people live
Settlement (structural), the distortion or disruption of parts of a building
Settlement (closing), the final step in executing a real estate transaction
Settlement (finance), where securities are delivered against payment of money
Settlement (litigation), a resolution between disputing parties about a legal case
Settlement (trust), a deed whereby property is given by a settlor into trustSpecies Traitor
Species Traitor is a sporadically published journal of insurrectionary anarcho-primitivism. It is printed as a project of Black and Green Network and edited by anarcho-primitivist writer, Kevin Tucker.ST was initially labeled as a project of the Coalition Against Civilization (CAC) and the Black and Green Network (BAG). The CAC was started towards the end of 1999 in the aftermath of the massive street protests in Eugene (Reclaim the Streets) and in Seattle (WTO) of that year. That aftermath gave a new voice and standing for green anarchist and anarcho-primitivist writers and viewpoints within both the anarchist milieu and the culture at large. Particular media attention turned to writer John Zerzan, the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, and critical views of technology. But within this media frenzy, a number of ecological minded anarchists began to draw critical lines between each other and stepped up on their own.
This was the beginning of the new wave of green anarchism which gave rise to the CAC, ST, BAG, as well as Green Anarchy (originally a U.S. distributor of the premier green anarchist journal, Green Anarchist turned into its own project and now the largest anarchist publication).
It was established in 2000 and the first issue came out in winter 2001 (currently out of print) and contained a mix of reprints and some original articles from Derrick Jensen and John Zerzan among others. Issue two came in the following year in the wake of Sept. 11 and took a major step from the first issue in becoming something of its own rather than another mouthpiece of green anarchist rhetoric. The articles took a more in depth direction opening a more analytical and critical draw between anarchy and anthropology, attacks on Reason and the Progress/linear views of human history and Future that stand at the base of the ideology of civilization. The magazine is based in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.Early 2003 saw the release of Number Three which further reflected the growth of ST in both ideas and format. At just over 100 pages, this issue began to focus upon more particular issues, primarily on a critique of symbolic culture, a further look at the relationship between anarchy and anthropology, and opened up a critical look at the concept and form of revolution. Thematically this would be the establishment of what ST has been known for: the primary source for critical and analytical anarcho-primitivist critique and praxis. In seeking out the limits and failures of revolution and revolutionary thinking, the turn looked more towards insurrection, rewilding and a deeper understanding of the collapse of civilization and what that means in terms of resistance. Though containing no articles or references to the CAC, this would be the last issue published by the CAC as such. Recognizing the long overdue necessity to move beyond an unused name, the CAC was formally collapsed in 2005 to put more attention where it belonged and give Tucker more time to devote immediately towards the more important projects of the Black and Green Network and ST.Two and a half years later (Fall 2005) brought Issue No. 4, which really represents the fruition of the past years' experience and questioning. Again taking new steps in terms of presentation (now a nearly 200 page book) and in terms of concepts, this issue gave a more complete merging of what No. 3 was heading towards: a fusion of critical theory (looking at the relationship between sedentism and domestication with the formation of hierarchies, coercive power and its other side effects), the relationship between rewilding and resistance, delving into primitive skills and more in-depth glances at what a non-revolution, anti-civilization resistance might look or aim at, attempts to rescue animal liberation from animal rights, and much more.
In 2010 activist/musician Jadis Mercado, under the stage name The Adjective Noun, released the album "Species Traitor" as an homage to the publication.Thomas E. Levy
Thomas Evan Levy is Distinguished Professor and holds the Norma Kershaw Chair in the Archaeology of Ancient Israel and Neighboring Lands at the University of California, San Diego. He is a member of the Department of Anthropology and Jewish Studies Program. Levy is co-director of the Scripps Center for Marine Archaeology (http://scma.ucsd.edu/)and directs the Center for Cyber-archaeology and Sustainability at the Qualcomm Institute UC San Diego research group at the California Center of Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2).Levy is a field archaeologist with interests in the role of technology, especially early mining and metallurgy, on social evolution from the beginnings of sedentism and the domestication of plants and animals in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period (7500 BCE) to the rise of the first historic Levantine state-level societies in the Iron Age (1200 – 500 BCE). He has been the principal investigator of many interdisciplinary archaeological field projects in Israel and Jordan that have been funded by the National Geographic Society, the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Science Foundation, and other organizations.He has published 10 books and several hundred scholarly articles. Levy edited Historical Biblical Archaeology and the Future – The New Pragmatism (London: Equinox Publishers, 2010) that in 2011 won the ‘best scholarly book’ from the Biblical Archaeology Society (Washington, DC).Tierras Largas
Tierras Largas is a formative-period archaeological site located in the Etla arm in the Valley of Oaxaca in Mexico. It is considered to be one of the first villages where sedentism originated in the Oaxaca area. The name is Spanish for “Long Lands”.Umatilla Site
The Umatilla Site (Smithsonian trinomial: 35UM1 and 35UM35) is an archaeological site near Umatilla, Oregon, United States. Situated on the shores of the Columbia River, the prehistoric component of the site is associated with the origins of seasonal (winter) sedentism around fishing opportunities. Pit houses at Umatilla date to at least 470 BCE, and significant evidence is present of occupations earlier than the pit houses. Other remains found include stone and bone art objects, burials, and extensive animal remains. The total set of remains may represent the largest prehistoric site in Oregon by area. The site may also yield useful evidence of the historical period of the town of Umatilla, founded over the prehistoric remains in the 1860s as a gold mining supply base and relocated in 1967 in connection with the construction of the John Day Dam.The Umatilla Site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.Zohapilco
Zohapilco is in the Central Highlands of Mexico at Tlapacoya Hill, on the edge of Lake Chalco from 5500 – 2200BC. The similar site of Tlapacoya is nearby.
Zohapilco was a settlement most known for the earliest date of the use of ceramics, and was the major site for the Tlatilco culture. There are considerable connections to the Olmec culture.
Zohapilco was an open air site rather than a rock shelter, which is a precursor to the Late Archaic villages. Zohapilco did not have developed agriculture as the people relied more on hunting and gathering. Even though people inhabited the area throughout the wet and dry seasons, there is no conclusive evidence to prove permanent sedentism.