Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
War, Archaeology of
Keith F. Otterbein
The study of warfare in prehistory is a specialty of its own embedded within the anthropology of war. To study prehistoric warfare requires knowledge of the conceptual and theoretical ideas set forth in the entries for “Feuding” and “War, Anthropology of,” as well as an awareness of how to apply this knowledge to the archeological record. Because warfare is distinct from violence and feuding, which occur within political communities, the first task of the archaeologist is to identify the polities within a region and attempt to ascertain their relationships to each other. The notion of a warfare system is useful here. Hence, a regional approach is preferable to a focus upon a single site. In taking a regional approach, the archaeologist will determine settlement location and movement, which settlements have expanded and which have contracted in size, and which have fissioned and which have coalesced. This is a first Determining ...