The Abandonment of Settlements and Regions: Ethnoarchaeological and Archaeological Approaches

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All archaeological sites have been abandoned, but people abandoned sites in many different ways, and for different reasons. What they did when leaving a settlement, structure, or activity area had a direct effect on the kind and quality of the cultural remains entering the archaeological record - for example, whether tools were removed, destroyed, or buried in the ground, and building structures dismantled or left standing. This book examines abandonment as a stage in the formation of an archaeological site, and relies on ethnoarchaelogical and archaeological data from many areas of the world - North and South America, Europe, Africa, and the Near East. It documents the many complex factors surrounding abandonment both across entire regions and within settlement areas, and makes an important theoretical and methodological contribution to this area of archaeological investigation.