"Primitive" Conservatism

The Western Hemisphere. General term for the Americas following their discovery by Europeans, thus setting them in contradistinction to the Old World of Africa, Europe, and Asia.

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"Primitive" Conservatism

Post by uniface » Fri Jun 21, 2013 10:49 am

Really, this one could go nearly anywhere here. But since it's an uphill struggle against the instilled assumption that people everywhere, at all times valued "progress" as we have been conditioned to (or at least accept it without too much fussing) in North America, the matter of the way previous peoples looked at Change & "improvements" to the ways they did things in a nutshell :
Eliade (1954) wrote: Not only do rituals have their mythical models, but any human act whatever acquires effectiveness to the extent to which it exactly repeats an act performed at the beginning of time by a god, a hero, or an ancestor.
Look at the lithic history of North America, and this is what you're seeing. The same designs and techniques repeated over and over, millions of times.


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Re: "Primitive" Conservatism

Post by kbs2244 » Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:57 am

This is an interesting concept.
I still remember when I was at my grandparents farm in central Illinois there was still a small camp of Indians living in the woods by a local creek. Less than 50 people.
The farmers all around put up with the petty thievery of tools and crops just because it wasn’t worth the trouble of trying to prove guilt.

Anyway, I was just starting to get the white guilt sermons in grade school over what was done to the Indians by the Europeans.

When I mentioned to my grandmother that the Indians had been here so long before the white man came and didn’t they deserve better treatment?
Her response was “Yes, they were here, but did they do with it? They just lived here.”

She felt they did not deserve the country because they did nothing to improve it.

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Re: "Primitive" Conservatism

Post by Farpoint » Fri Jun 21, 2013 12:05 pm

Lithic history

Here is a list of the things that I think affect what we see in lithics.

Every piece of rock is different in some respect, i.e. core material.

Most finds are at the creation location or use location, i.e. lost, thrown away, or forgotten, the really good ones we rarely see except for caches.

Every workman has a different style or skill level, to some degree.

There could be two pieces in the general vicinity of each other and yet be the same age, years apart in age, or hundreds. If they were laying side by side and one had been created by grandpa and the other by his grandson under his tutelage, how would we know?

I have to remind myself that some of these "traditions" existed for hundreds if not thousands of years, how many generations were iterated?

I'm sure there are more.
I'm sorry, my responses are limited. You must ask the right question.

"The track of a glacier is as unmistakable as that of a man or a bear, and is as significant and trustworthy as any other legible inscription"
John Strong Newberry; 1873


Re: "Primitive" Conservatism

Post by uniface » Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:57 pm

Point types had distinct (and usually lengthy) life spans. As in, everybody made points using exactly the same blueprint/template, over wide expanses of territory, and often for thousands of years.

This is why projectile point type-sequences are diagnostic of temporal horizons.

No way around it.

E.g., Clovis made Clovis points. No one else. Anywhere. Ever. Find one eroding out of a cut bank and you know the age of the stratum it's sticking out of.

It's not a theory that can be falsified. It's an empirical fact.


Re: "Primitive" Conservatism

Post by uniface » Sat Jun 22, 2013 10:13 am

Example (Paleo through Early Archaic in the East) :


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