This study expands previous research by Carol Raish (1992) on duration and stability of village farming societies in which she argued that the presence of domesticated livestock enhances the stability of pre-state farming societies. The study uses methods developed by Lewis Binford in Constructing Frames of Reference (2001) and contributes to the growing modeling literature using environmental frames of reference to understand archaeological sequences. The 16 archaeological sequences in Raish’s study and standardized environmental variables are used to generate regression equations to project duration, while discriminant function equations are used to project presence or absence of domesticated animals for a global dataset of weather station locations. This manuscript explains the modeling strategy, demonstrates the resulting patterns, and discusses this technique’s potential for future research in archaeology. The models developed here attempt to find cross-cultural patterns to determine if rates of social change and subsistence patterns vary with specific environmental properties. The results of the models show that societies with domesticated animals persist longer without developing hierarchies or other signs associated with state-level societies. Additionally, the presence of domesticated animals correlates with decreased secondary biomass, a shorter time between the warmest and wettest months, and shorter distances to the nearest coast.
Gabler, Brandon M.. "Modeling Livestock's Contribution to the Duration of the Village Farming Lifeway in Pre-State Societies." Journal of Ecological Anthropology 15, no. 1 (2012): 5-21.
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/jea/vol15/iss1/1