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The Paleoanthropology and Archaeology of Big-Game Hunting : Protein, Fat, or Politics? - John D. Speth

The Paleoanthropology and Archaeology of Big-Game Hunting

Protein, Fat, or Politics?

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Published: 17th September 2010
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Since its inception, paleoanthropology has been closely wedded to the idea that big-game hunting by our hominin ancestors arose, first and foremost, as a means for acquiring energy and vital nutrients. This assumption has rarely been questioned, and seems intuitively obvious-meat is a nutrient-rich food with the ideal array of amino acids, and big animals provide meat in large, convenient packages. Through new research, the author of this volume provides a strong argument that the primary goals of big-game hunting were actually social and political-increasing hunter's prestige and standing-and that the nutritional component was just an added bonus.

Through a comprehensive, interdisciplinary research approach, the author examines the historical and current perceptions of protein as an important nutrient source, the biological impact of a high-protein diet and the evidence of this in the archaeological record, and provides a compelling reexamination of this long-held conclusion.

This volume will be of interest to researchers in Archaeology, Evolutionary Biology, and Paleoanthropology, particularly those studying diet and nutrition.

Forewordp. vii
Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xxiii
List of Figuresp. xxix
List of Tablesp. xxxiii
Introductionp. 1
How Do We Reconstruct Hunting Patterns in the Past?p. 5
Uniformitarianism in Paleoanthropology and Archaeologyp. 6
Anthropological Bias in the Study of Hunter-Gatherersp. 11
Nutritional Bias in the Study of Hunter-Gatherersp. 19
The Nature of the Archaeological Recordp. 26
Big-Game Hunting in Human Evolution: The Traditional Viewp. 39
The Other Side of Proteinp. 45
The Great Protein Fiascop. 45
Excess Protein and the Importance of Fatp. 51
Historic Accounts of "Protein Poisoning"p. 52
Fat in the Hippopotamus and Elandp. 59
Fat in the Giraffe and Zebrap. 66
Ethnographic Accounts of "Protein Poisoning"p. 71
The Stefansson Experimentsp. 72
Pemmicanp. 72
What Constitutes an Excessive Intake of Protein?p. 76
Were Big-Game Hunters Targeting Fat?p. 87
Hadza Hunting Successp. 88
Bushman (San) Hunting Successp. 89
Alternative Foods Available to the Sanp. 95
Alternative Foods Available to the Hadzap. 104
Protein and Pregnancyp. 109
Other Problems with High-Protein Intakesp. 113
Water Balancep. 113
Calciump. 114
Specific Dynamic Actionp. 115
Core Body Temperaturep. 116
Protein and Tastep. 119
Umamip. 120
Raw Meat: Steak Tartare and Frozen Meatp. 122
Prey Body Size and Total Fat Contentp. 125
Protein and Breast Milkp. 129
Fat in Infancyp. 133
DHA and the Developing Brainp. 135
Big-Game Hunting: Protein, Fat, or Politics?p. 149
Referencesp. 163
Indexp. 223
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781441967329
ISBN-10: 144196732X
Series: Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 233
Published: 17th September 2010
Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.5  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 1.23