Nature and Societies

Synopsis:

A paper exploring the concepts of the human mind and the perceptions of Nature on Society.


Present studies explaining the relationship of nature and societies in an archaeological context, is fraught with challenges of cultural perception. Nature defined within anthropologists terms points to nature’s neutral element lying outside of societies perception (Ingold 2000, 15). Therefore, it is empty, requiring landscape and environment to be conceptualised and filled with a society cultural value. Such ideas of nature will form an outer and inner cognitive image. Such an image is held individually and jointly within its society community. Culture images’ become created form societies behaviour within nature. The resulting society norms allow its members to create social division. This eventually removes a society from nature having added a social cultural precedence to it (Tilley et al 2000, 198). Cultural perception of nature in any environment indicates constraints being placed on nature limiting its scope with attributed meaning. On the other hand nature is part of an ecosystem, which could be perceived as living, fragile and self-generating through observed and experienced cyclic movement. The development of this rhythm becomes restricted to early societies knowledge and understanding living or dwelling within its imposed boundaries. Past models indicated a difference exists between nature and societies (MacCormack 1980, 1). It has also been suggested to be a paradox; one, which can never be resolved (Tilley et al 2000).

Archaeologist studying past human societies responded to its material evidence produced, when interaction and use of nature occurs. It takes the form of both material culture and spatial relation of activities within space and time. In addition, cognitive relationship exhibited by societies becomes constrained culturally, through meaning attributed to the artefacts recovered. Alternatively societies perception of environment and landscape regenerates itself, while being imposed and integrated by societies in nature (Strathern 1980). Regional societies’ variation of understanding derives from labelling natural objects and resources, which induces a cognitive response displayed through culture within various regional habitats. Overall regardless of a variety of interpretation imposed on nature; nature actually assists early cultural societies dictating survival techniques through optimal and catchment theory. Nature also contributes towards gender roles, defined through tasks determined by biological make through human capabilities. In all, it’s a product of nature neutrality that is pushing society towards understanding its environment. Such manipulation carries an attributed human meaning projected onto nature for survival. This evolves societies activities, which is determined by nature, deduced by humans to from cultural and social constraints. Primarily the driving force of societies in nature indorses cultural knowledge while understanding socially nature neutrality.

Yet, it’s a cognitive process that leaves no archaeological trace to be uncovered during excavations. Indeed, scholars have suggested there should be a 'focussing on why, rather than where and when' (Evans 1999, 147). Additional spatial relationships assist in creating theoretical models on the interaction of societies and nature. Material residue from past societies activities could benefit from a multi disciplinary approach. Social anthropological, geological interpretation, inclusive of archaeology could assist in furthering one’s understanding of the interaction that occurs.

Considering nature within an environment context, a generic division occurs producing geographical region and cultural variations. Natural regions of coastal, lowlands to uplands zones exhibit differing resources for human exploitation (Evans 1999, 24). In each category resources become exploited for food and material, reflecting societies attributes towards culture. Along with seasonal flow of availability creates movement. Society mobility through nature landscapes secures its requirements, yet it is determined by seasonal growth and decline. Natural growth and its decline guides and directs society activities, whose survival is managed through knowledge of its regional sources availability with social and community requirements. Natural rhythms direct society movement, while society attributes meaning and understanding to the environment, landscape attributing meaning to its habitat. Overall human society enhances natures neutral qualities as community understanding of the world, becomes attached with labels (Strathern 1980, 177, 179).  There is no nature, or societies and culture unless its human members attribute meaning to its cyclic response experienced, within the regional zone occupied. Therefore it would appear human societies project their own meaning onto nature creating a meaningful culture from its knowledge of manipulating natural resources.   

Studies derived from Mesolithic sedimentary hunters-gathers of Etrebǿlle, in Denmark have reveal how mobility and movement patterns, when dwelling in nature occur. In contrast to living in nature within a settlement confined within a living space, Society leaves patterns of movement within a catchment area of available resources. Spatial model produced from the archaeological evidence recovered, indicate satellite camps projecting outwards from the main settlement. This movement suggest its Mesolithic society had a maximum range inland within the low land regions. Such mobility was relative to its movement towards the coastal catchment areas. Each specific zone suggests it was seasonally exploited. This particular hunter gathering society had an optimal distance to cover, in each direction to the outlying satellite temporary camps, from which they would have foraged from. Societies and its individual human parts movement is determined by nature along with the natural resource required by the Mesolithic society. Early societies are governing themselves through seasonal availability of material and food resources. Overall nature is neutral, attributed society meaning determined society movement in its regions occupied. Addition it appears to have developed further. Excavation of the main settlement site, uncovered specific areas utilised for storing resources (Rowley-Conwy 1983). In turn, it tends to point towards a hunter gather society where nature resources has received society attributed meaning and understanding of its moods. Society of living in the Etrebǿlle developed an understanding of nature, which in turn contributes towards organising society human survival.

In comparison and contrast anthropology studies within the equatorial region, reveal that no storage facilities were required in the equator rain forest. Gathering is undertaken on a day-to-day basis's (Bindford 1999, 41-46). Yet both type of societies moved through the landscape collecting and gathering within its specific regions. The difference of societies movement is determined by changing climatic conditions. Societies and nature in both cases create societies through their activities. It therefore becomes clear, generic regional locale determine societies interrelationship of how specific societies responds, and adapt to differing regional ecosystems. The Etrebǿlle example within the Mesolithic period suggests a complex society is emerging, its primarily determined by perception of nature in its environment and landscape. Indeed its how society interprets, adapts and moulds a survival technique that harmonise with its cyclic movement; such actions is only achievable through human interaction, its societies perception, labelling and utilisation of nature resources enables its survival.

Although anthropology has influenced the approach archaeologist have taken in their studies. Primarily derived from indigenous hunter-gatherers societies movement and adaptation within regional areas. Societies become optimised through its movement of gathering seasonal resources (Blinford 1999). However, ethnographical data indicated region environments determine the human society strategy deployed. Spatially settlement and activities combine movement leading away from a base settlement. Subsidiary and temporary bases extend and assist within the process of foraging and hunting. Its range becomes increased, as does its worldview when natural resources become optimised within its regional locale. Likewise material residue discarded reflects activities when spatially plotted by archaeologists. It informs how societies interact with natural resources sought and harvested. Overall it’s determined and defined within specific regional zones. Together with societies actions derived from regional ecosystem, determine how societies projects understanding, and subsequently how they function within nature.

It stands to reason that residue left recovered by archaeology accesses hints and derives specific culture activity undertaken by its working parts each locale. Indeed such motives have been heavily debated in the past. The optimal forager governed by natural selection, human behaviour is likely to deviate from the norm. Thus deviation occurs from time to time within proposed theoretical models. However, archaeology evidence from the Etrebǿlle region suggests food storage is a probability. Societies appear to be bordering on long-term static settlement through the utilisation and use of storage facilities. Therefore, there is a tendency for human societies to actually design nature when attributing understanding to its region dwelled or lived in (Descole and Palsson 1996, 3).

Such a dichotomy creates a shift from climatic region to region in societies interaction with nature. Indeed societies experience nature differently when living within a particular environment. Of which understanding is created through a sequence of repetitive activities learnt from seasonal events and movement. Such repartitions over time create familiarity and probable social customary customs develop and become aliened to neutral nature. It becomes clear nature although neutral is given precedence when it’s meaning becomes transferred to societies human off spring. Social exchange creates adaptation as transference of nature’s regional knowledge gains precedence. This automatically creates and contributes towards its cultural societies continuation. In fact society learns how to survive within its created regional environment, it too develops it social cultural identity, which develops, and change regionally.

It therefore follows within inhabited environments nature neutrality is shaped by societies perception that maturing over time and space. However, it does not indicate one society is more complex in a specific region than any society region counterpart.  Societies worldview becomes defined and reinforced through repetition of survival techniques adopted in regional locale. The neutral element of nature creates constraints. Specifically when ordered through human perception inducing a close cognitive relationship. Societies reinforcing through repetitive practice and experience strengthen cultural framework, where procedures develop into customs. The inter-relationship creates society display, primarily derived from nature coupled with such understanding leads to a constructed conceptualised schema derived from observing and experiencing nature neutrality (Preucel and Hodder 1996; Evans 1999, 33; Davril 1991, 107).

Pollen records from early Neolithic landscape environment indicate habitats of wooded landscapes. Natural animate object such as trees, assist perception and conceptualisation creating cultural identification. Archaeologist excavations of 'tree throws' produced by fallen trees root bowl leaving a natural hollow in the ground. Archaeology identification and excavation of these, located at Barleycroft and Mildenhall, Cambridgeshire. Each produced occupation debris of Mesolithic flint scatters; and Neolithic plain pottery and Peterborough ware. Questions concerning early settlement within these formations and later reuse arise. Indeed two distinct stratification layers of domestic occupation deposits were recovered and identified. Mobility practices of seasonal hunting group’s moving through the landscape held within a cognitive social map of reuse could be a supposition. Lack of flint scatters outside the tree throws area has also raised suggestions of a midden deposit over time. Yet natural soil build up between layered artefacts contribute to a break in continuity of use. However no other materials were excavated from tree throws within the vicinity.

Indeed tree throw functions is unclear, whether they are temporary camp, a settlement or even midden deposits. Irrespectively such use has been subjected to cognitive Neolithic attitudes represented within the landscape (Evan et al 1999, 249). Nonetheless single stratified deposits indicating domestic occupation debris have been recovered from alternative excavations of tree throws in Norfolk and Gloucester. Evidence suggested human activity tends to lean towards a place of shelter. Activity from debris recovered from tree throw conjectures a temporary base while moving through the landscape along routes or pathways. Society's relationship to nature neutrality of animate tree throws instigates a human response within the environment for survval.

In contrast anthropology ethnographic studies of society concepts among the Dogon considers trees to be an essential part for life. Trees provide food and building materials procured for their dwellings. Additionally trees form cognitively boundaries creating divisions with the bush. They become a dividing line in a domesticated and wild dichotomy. Animate trees also take on abstract concepts when “beings” become projected within them (Banga 1996, 67-73). Dogan worldview "charges" trees that embody social metaphors. An object within nature is given meaning as society nurtures its cultural shared values. Societies shared social experience and values create cultural norms relative to its joint memory. Of course to relate Dogan society experience of nature back to the Mesolithic and Neolithic is erroneous through time and space. However has human nature change or its societies knowledge of understanding and approaching nature?

Landscape alteration with monuments appearing changes societies perception of nature’s perceived space. Structures impose themselves reflecting an understanding of a societies cognitive outward and inner expression of nature’s neutral stance. Societies creating space may reflect social understanding of a worldview deduced from nature. Archaeological reassessment of animal deposits in Orkney, revealed a probable relationship (Hodge 1980, Jones 1998). Deposits of animal’s bones retrieved from various burial chambers were examined. These were compared to those uncovered within settlement middens. Species of fish, cattle, sheep, pig, dog, deer, birds and eagles were identified in both deposits. Societies handing of these remains become distinguishable in either type its deposit. Animal bones in middens were stratified and grouped together, at Skara Brae. Treatment of bones change between middens to that located at the burial chambers. Further analysis indicated subtle differences in the way deposition occurred. For instance animal bones are articulated and showed no signs of butchery. Additionally bones became sorted, being placed deliberately both inside, and at chamber entrance. Species of animal remains were further segregated, classified and grouped into selective tombs predominated with specific animal remains. Society appear to be classifying nature with sympathetic movement of human remains through animal remain dichotomy. For example grouped together with domestic, dog and cattle compared with wild deer, birds and eagles. It tends to bring an ordering structure being imposed on nature through societies contact dealing with its ancestors remains.

Societies cultural relationship of understanding nature appears to be reinforcement through an ordering process. The archaeology suggests society is implementing a cognitive material display harmonised through animal and human remains blended with monuments within landscape and environment. The burial tombs suggest differentiation has occurred between space outside and inside. Additionally the sitting of burial monuments in the landscape varies from terraces rising to higher ground. Each tomb has a specific high proportion of animal bones buried and individually associated within each. The process of human articulation is also displayed, combined with a diminishing movement of bone content through burial monuments. Human bone deposits move and manipulated from chamber to chamber as articulation and bone reduction occurs. The Human deposits reduction harmonises and travels associated through domestic animal remains to those of being wild. The movement suggests it’s towards the Isbister passage grave situated on high ground on a cliff edge. Within is the final resting point for human skulls and thighbones accompanied with those of eagles. Subsequently designated as the 'Place of Eagles' (Hodge 1980). Reinforcement occurs through society re-enacted of ancestors culturally displayed with cognitive association to animal remains within its chambers. The use of its joint remains spatially plotted raises images of society either dictating a hierarchy precedence of social animistic grouping; or alternatively societies abstract cognitive worldview parameters derived and imposed on nature is being archaeologically display (Jones 1998, 314-6).

Society movement and treatment of its ancestors moves them through a series of schematic animistic association. Human bone weight is reduced until released arrive at the "place of eagles". The reassessment studies argue convincingly an early structuring of society and nature is in progress. Landscape and place becomes culturally and environmentally defined through its social perceptions and cognitive relationship stressed through observation of animal habitats. Indeed social cultural norms, the displayed through deposits indicate a difference in societies perception between wild and domesticated. Overall cognitive ordering relationship and labelling nature is exhibited; both in monument locations, human and animal bone deposits in archaeological context. Natural association could well have occurred through observation and sympathetically mimicking nature. On the other hand decease articulated ancestor bones move through a process of transition from domesticated to free and wild arriving at soaring high with the eagles.

The investigation hints towards societies symbolic schema cognitive relationship structured through society perception of nature. On the other hand nature suggests its societies perception ordering and forming regional cognitive relationships. It could therefore remove previous difficulties of determining what is 'natural' and 'cultural' suggested by previous studies (Bradley 1998). Nature suggests human societies perception becomes imposed with attributed cultural meaning mimicking observed nature reduced to cultural values. Overall its deduced by societies from nature neutrality, which becomes object and subjective simultaneously. Therefore, early acknowledgement of understanding nature, its inhabited environment becomes a critical aspect when society is formed. Yet this probable Neolithic schema defines a mental image of and outer and inner landscape.

However, some scholars support a social anthropologist perspective, that is, there is no nature or even culture. These can only be derived from its regional place and further comments; it's through the totality of the labelling and understanding the natural ecosystem of its region, societies materialise from nature.  This becomes the only indication of how neutral nature converts and manifests itself as a social cultural expression (Strathen 1980,176-7). Indeed the Orkney re-easement combines bone deposits with settlement, burial and natural organisms within nature. The approach investigates regional environment of nature from a probable society perspective. It becomes an expression being very restrictive as having no relevance to archaeology (Evans, 1999, 148). More over archaeology defined as the study of material culture that enables understanding of past societies to be reached. Therefore, any approach or change in its cognitive method assists to create further understanding of societies interaction with nature. Therefore it becomes valid and requires academic verification.

Nonetheless, landscape societies perception of nature also changes with other monumentalisation. Additional studies at Windmill Hill a causeway enclosure defined through circular intermittent trenches. Situated near Avebury on rolling hills, the three diminishing circular trenches suggest a direct relationship to societies relationship and perception is displayed on in nature. The enclosure structure has been indicated to be societies intervention on, but also changing the nature of this prominent hilltop. It too indicates society is shaping the environment through nature into a place encompassing society cognitive elements. Deposits recovered strongly indicate an ordering of social activities undertaken within its three circular boundaries. These involve animal and human bone deposits becoming combined with shards, and tools implements placed within the two outer circular ditches. The evidence from the middle circle hints to a circle of transformation compared to the inner circle; here white bone defines its periphery where Neolithic society social interaction is suggested to have occurred. Its outer circular trenches with its recovered animal remains that once harnessed vessels of red meat animals, additionally with human foetal burials suggests an area marked with ‘death and nature’ (Whittle and Pollard 1999, 382).

Therefore, nature once again is being constructed by societies cultural perception and activity through its archaeological record and probable meaning deduced. Artefacts recovered create imposed human divisions. This is divided through societies display of cognitive space marked in the landscape into its separate parts where activity spreads from the enclosure socialising circular centre to its periphery to which its societies will eventually returns. Indeed the academic model suggested by Alesdair Whittle and Joshua Pollard, indicates nature and societies interaction is dependant on shared social ordering, as deposits of artefacts and remains move towards its outer edge. Human remains become separate and deposited outside the inner socialisation zone. These movements in contrast to the Orkney reassessment impersonate both human and animals indicate attributes towards symbolic action deduced from nature, but also placed in its societies cognitive framework of nature (Whittle and Pollard 1999).

Comparing the Orkney example with Windmill hill through chronological linear time is relatively close, but also illustrate regional variations of societies understanding and interaction with nature.  What could become clear is early societies interpretations cognitively displayed through artefacts. Either mimics the biological process of human nature from life to death, or alternatively displays or offers a primitive ideology transition of one state of existence within nature to another. However societies could well be emplacing correspondences through societies activities carried out in defined to areas by the living.

In addition Ian Bradley has commented that monuments when constructed signify societies attempt to create space. Therefore landscape and its perceived environment changes by simply constructing a monument on it (Bradley 2000, 104-6). Timothy Davril has explored the relationships of societies that incorporate the facets of monuments within the environmental landscape that create social spaces (Devril 1991). In comparison, John Barret has argued built monuments in the landscape and environment does not represent social conditions. In turn, they only derive social meaning through their construction by its society who create its meaning (Barrett 1999, 275). Any creation of monuments within the landscapes is argued to be incorporated within a 'value system' held by both its society and its individual members (Dervril 1991, 107). Therefore, a shift in expressed. Achieved through knowledge of material adaptation and change in the archaeology record; yet such changes are also brought about through economic use of nature. Cognitive values are being outwardly expressed by societies through social action and use of manipulating nature resources. They only become apparent when societies have placed a concept of time were social models are formed. Yet in comparison with the Orkney example, cultural socialisation is being instigated, based on values taken from the local environment is quite different. Both tend to indicate societies control over its relationship with nature, but these tend to be explored in different nature environmental regional.

The experiences of nature incorporate stones and boulders, within studies of upland regions at Liskenick hill, Bodmin (Tilley et al, 2000). The research area accompanies settlement, fields systems, stone circles and cairn during the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age.  A complete self-contained area hints to everything being available for a society to function inclusive of springs. However, the building material derived from the main granite out crop of the Tor. It is within close proximity to this that pathways are created to both the main natural features. The stone circles are out of view unless approached from the settlement adds to the human visual impact. The archaeologist considers that once the stones are moved its natural element becomes doubtful. Subsequently investigations lead to identification of more features within the clitter on the Tor. These included further stone circle, cairn and walling. Yet, the question arises whether the original inhabitants would have viewed these within the same perspective. It is quite clear that there would be some acknowledgement of some form. Therefore they would be given specific essences is probably ancestral (Tilley et al 2000, 221).

Investigation undertaken in Papa New Guinea concerned both the relationships to trees and stones.  The Wimira society marked and embedded emotional meaning within these natural objects. Specific trees or stones had there own stories that were connected to the ancestors of their people. Indeed, it was stressed individual society members, turned into stone, or was projected into them at death. The items of nature became embodied with ancestral power of place, creating power and meanings of place for the society. They have given animate objects or beings a speciality of their own, within the indigenous cognitive relationship to place.  Yet, stones were not static. They could be moved. They were bound up with memory of events that become dynamic. They became altered and adjusted with any movement and become updated with there stories (Kahn 1996, 184-6).

Alterations within the environmental landscape, of construct monuments become societies outward and inner expression, of its relationship with, and understanding of nature within a regional environment (Bradley 2000, 104-6). A recent reassessment of animal and human deposits in Neolithic Orkney coastal island has been explored (Jones 1998,). Deposits of animals bones retrieved from the context of passage burial chambers were archaeologically examined, and compared to settlement middens. Indeed the selection of remains from species of fish, cattle, sheep, pig, dog, deer, birds and eagles were identified in both deposits. Jones closer analysis indicated that there were subtle differences in the deposition. He identified that societies handing of the remains that were clearly distinguishable. Middens bones were stratified and grouped together at Skara Brae. The treatment of the bone remains varies between middens and burial chambers. In comparison the chambers revealed animal bones that were articulated and sorted, placed deliberately, both inside and at the chamber entrances. Animal species were further segregated, classified grouped into selective tombs with relationship to its natural corresponding environment.  Domestic, dog and cattle compared with wild deer, birds and eagles. It tends to illustrate an ordering structure of nature through societies contact. Societies relationship and understanding is being reinforcement through ordering its bone material.

The process of human bone articulation progress and diminishes in its content towards the Isbister passage grave. Designated as the 'Place of Eagles.' The use of animal remains places a hierarchy within the societies cognitive parameters (Jones 1998, 314-6).  It further reinforced by the locality and choice of burial monuments in the landscape. Situated on terraces and high ground, additional animal bones are burial collectively and individually associated within each. Human bone deposits are moved and manipulated from chamber to chamber as articulation and its bone reduction occurs. The deposition of bones moves from domestic to wild re-enacted within the chambers. Through a series of moves, a schema is formed in relationship to animal and human deposits. Landscape and place becomes culturally and environmentally defined. Jones argued convincingly that a structuring of society is in progress through joint disposition. Societies perceptions and cognitive relationship is further stressed through observation of animal environment habitats of place. This is exhibited in both monument locations, human and animal bones deposited in its archaeological context. The decease articulated bones moves through a transition process from domesticated towards being abstractly free and wild.

Nature suggests its ordering societies perception within different cognitive relationships. It therefore removes Bradley difficulty of determining what is 'natural' and 'cultural' in these relationships highlighted by Jones (Bradley 1998). Natural suggests its societies perception of nature is becoming imposed on place and thus it gains meaning. While the cultural aspect is the societies, mimicking natural organisms of life within nature deduced from natures neutrality that becomes objectified. Therefore, societies acknowledgements of nature, its inhabited environment become a critical aspect. It defines its outer and inner landscape. Indeed the study highlights societies symbolic cognitive relationship being structured through perception of nature.

Social anthropologist themes present a perspective where there is no nature or even culture (Strathen 1980,176-7). These can only be derived from its regional environment people inhabit. Indeed it's through the totality of understanding the natural ecosystem of its regional nature that societies materialise with a culture.  This becomes an indication of how nature will convert and manifest itself in a social cultural expression. Indeed the re easement on Orkney combines bone deposits with settlement, burial and natural organisms within nature. Such an approach investigates a broad regional environment of nature from society perception perspective. However it’s not simply a mater of acceptance a cognitive relationship is being expressed. Such studies have been considered to restrict and have no relevance to archaeology (Evans, 1999, 148). Nonetheless archaeology is the study of material culture, in which understand past societies can be accessed and achieved. Indeed any approach may well assists to create an understanding of interaction valid when evaluating Society and nature.

Monumentalisation of the landscape regardless of its typologies suggests societies within nature are creating a reflection of natures perceived social mental space. Timothy Davril has explored the relationships of societies incorporating facets of monuments within the environmental landscape creating social spaces (Devril 1991). In comparison, such monuments in the landscape do not represent social conditions. In turn, they only derive social meaning through their construction by society who create them and its meaning (Barrett 1999, 275). Any creation of monuments within the landscapes is argued to be incorporated within a 'value system' held by both its society and its individual members (Dervril 1991, 107). Therefore, it experience social shifts as knowledge of material adaptation changes in the archaeology record; yet such changes are also brought about through nature used as an economic source. Cognitive values become outwardly expressed by societies through social action and its discarded residue when manipulating nature resources. The synthesis of various types of archaeological artefacts becomes apparent when societies cognitive concept of social models becomes deducible. Yet in Orkney and at Windmill Hill social cultural display is being instigated, based on different values taken from the local environment. Although diverse both tend to indicate society interaction with nature in different regions.

Indeed, Whittle and Pollard suggests societies action is primarily coming to terms with the process of social domestication. These opens two avenues firstly, one of agriculture through animal husbandry are being practised. Secondly, the gathering of cereal grains is evident from the charred grains located within the earthenware pottery. Further investigation of societies agricultural practise, and the utilisation of nature have been assisted through paelobotany and geography. They effectively reconstruct the environment its material resources become exploited by societies interaction with nature. Specifically when farming activities become developed within the 4th and 3rd Millennium BCE (Evans 1999, 28).  

Societies move away from the hunter gather to form economic activities based on farming. In turn the rhythmic action of seed growth and decline in nature rhythm reinforces any cognitive associations held within its joint society or community. However, society arises through nature and economics of subsistence moves and creates survival practices in society.  Archaeologists have looked at how the environment was utilised within early agriculture practices. Specifically within the area of the highland zones of Dartmoor similar to Liskenick hill on Bodmin. Additional land management systems can be found in relation to the Reeves. Indeed evidence arises of small settlements and field enclosures on Shaugh Prior.

The area of Dartmoor was not affected by the Ice Age allows itself to be warranted study within a context of both environment developments and economy. Pollen analysis of peat indicates that woodland regeneration is apparent prior to the landscape being manipulated with boundaries.  Prior alteration of its ecology of 'vegetation, soil and hydrology' has been well established (Evans 1999, 26-33). The reeves segment the moor with boundaries and units in which pastoral pursuits have been suggested to connect with a hunting economy. The movement through the landscape then changes when utilising resources. Nature becomes an economic resource mode of production (Preucel and Hodder 1996, 30-31). Societies changes reshape its relationship to nature; any cognitive schema held would likewise adapt and develop further. Seasonal settlement activity coupled with mobility is likely to ensue. Very similar to the Mesolithic movement centred on an upland lake at Waun Fignen Felen in South Wales. Societies therefore adapt to changes of substance practices through time. However nature seasonal movement, allowing for exploitation and replenished, governs both accompanied with societies return in both cases (Evans 1999, 24-6). It suggests a deliberate form of farming based on familiar concepts of seasonal movement.

Societies movement in nature becomes dependant on how a society or community functions. Anthropological has argued gender roles are established through the process of tasks. These manifest through husbandry and cereal production. Whereby tasks are segregated through physical attributes. Such as clearing of woods is undertaken by the males, the soil preparation become a female occupation of growing of the grain (Leach 1996, 81). Previous points arguments highlight that neutral nature shows adoptions to control through human society adaptation of economic understanding of nature. It too concerns a power struggle between the male and female where social identities are formed. Societies concepts of Nature develop into a culture through the additional economic principles. It therefore becomes 'tamed', when placed in a social context of ordering tasks. Yet such tasks also become associated with mythical abstract thinking of understanding nature, environment and landscape (Strathen 1980, 179-181). However, it's also pointed out nature although neutral is a uniting process encompassing the biosphere and every organism within it. Nature is not manipulated unless economic factors become evident and projected on the past

Societies relationship with nature is a hotly contested issue, whether from archaeology or an anthropology perspective. Innate natural objects suggest that they have been empowered with meaning by societies. Archaeologist has attempted to explore these themes within its record of tree throws and settlement relationships to nature at Liskenick hill.  Indeed built monuments within the landscape have a form of socialisation attached. Whether as in Jones argument it transcends space and time. Yet, simultaneously also suggests an ordering societies within a totemism framework is deduced from nature creatures observed abilities. Similarly, Windmill Hill enclosure is ordering both social activities of the deceased and the material world. However evidence of grain and husbandry practices suggests a form of control is being manipulated over nature. In contrast, the Dartmoor reeves suggest a mobile pastoral/hunting activity moving through the landscape. The adaptation of agriculture on economic grounds established the societies are becoming separated from nature and control is exercised over the environment. Nonetheless, the arguments are still fraught with challenges.

Therefore, to conclude there indeed appear to be a variety of perspectives that contributes towards defining societies relationship with nature. The approach through economic and social stratification, their adaptation to nature creates change, continuity, and conflict. While conflict is through the separated realities, that nature is outside and apart from the societies. The labelling of the neutral aspect of nature becomes conceptualised by societies. A response that allows adaptation that is given meaning, dependent on regional environment areas. Societies therefore adapt to the available resources. Its communication socialise it process for its survival needs. The understanding of the mechanics of the biosphere, ecosystem produces nature that enables societies relationship to create culture. A mode of tasks that continually shifts in perspectives as their knowledge becomes broaden. Archaeologically it's exhibited through their residue of material culture and its change in artefacts. It is an outward expression of understanding and defining nature within its cognitive element.

Therefore societies adapt and redefine their position from hunter gathers to farmers, a false dichotomy of control over nature. However, that control is also evident in abstract ideas and the separateness and continual need also to be part of it. Hence the ritual and transcendence from one state to another yet nature has a neutral element which becomes defined by societies giving meaning through its environment interaction which creating social culture. Overall a paradox only understood when concepts reflect its values by human beings members within its society. Inside a being is a neutral space, which is natured with social culture understanding, of its society perception of what is outside. In turn it explains the neutrality of nature specifically when what is already on the inside is outside simultaneously. Nonetheless, this is a western view where economics and the manipulation of recourses have created a division. Anthropologist studies indicate that indigenous cultures consider themselves not to be separated, but interconnected to a living dynamic organism. Every innate part of its nature becomes viewed differently both as a resource, and as an ancestor.  

Societies relationship to nature suggests it governed by its perception of the regional environment inhabited. Therefore, each region will in turn associate different attributes to explain its workings and understanding of the world it inhabits. As Tilley et al., has stated a paradox, humanly constructed.

Astrocelt 2002

Bibliography
Barret, J., 1999. 'Mythical landscape of the British Isles' in Wendy Ashmore and Bernard knap (eds), Archaeologies of Landscape: Contemporary Perspectives, Oxford: Blackwell

Binford, L.R. 1999. 'Willow smoke and Dogs' Tails: Hunter-Gather Settlement Systems and archaeology Site formation,' in Preucel, R. and Hodder, I., (eds) Contemporary Archaeology in Theory, Oxford: Blackwell

Banga, P., 1996, 'The Dogan and their Tress,' in Elisabeth Croll and David Parkin (eds) Bush Base: Culture, Environment and Development, London: Routledge

Bradley, R., 1998. 'Ruined buildings, ruined stones: enclosures, tombs and natural places in Neolithic of south-west England,' in World Archaeology 30(1): 13-22

Bradley, R., 2000, An Archaeology of Natural Places, London: Routledge

Davril, T. 1991. ' The historical environment, Historical Landscape and space, time action models in landscape archaeology,' in Ucko, P. and Layton, R., (eds) The Archaeology and Anthropology of Landscape: Shaping your Landscape, Routeledge: London and New York 104-117

Evans, J.G., 1999. Land and Archaeology: Histories of Human Environment in the British Isles, Stroud: Tempus

Ingold, T., 2000. The Perception of the Environment: Essays in Livelihood, dwelling, and skill, London: Routledge.

Jones, A., 1998. 'Where Eagles Dare; Landscape, Animal and the Neolithic of Orkney,' in Journal of Material Culture 3(3), 301-324

Kahn, M., 1996 'Your Place or Mine: Sharing emotional Landscape in Wamira, Papa New Guinea,' in Steven Feld and Kieith H. Basses (eds), Sense of Place, New Mexico

Leach, M., 19 'Women's Crops in Women Spaces: Gender relations in Mende rice farming,' in Elisabeth Croll and David Parkin (eds) Bush Base: Culture, Environment and Development, London: Routledge 76- 96

MacCormack, C., 1980. 'Nature, Culture and Gender; Critique,' in MacCormack, C. and Strathern, M., (eds), Nature Culture and Gender, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1- 4

Preucel, R. and Hodder, I., 1996 'Nature and Culture' in Preucel, R. and Hodder, I., (eds) Contemporary Archaeology in Theory, Oxford: Blackwell

Rowley-Conwy, P., 1983. 'Sedimentary Hunters: the Ertebolle Example,' in Bailey (ed) Hunter-gatherer economy in prehistory: a European perspective, Cambridge: CUP, 111-126

Strathern, (eds), Nature Culture and Gender, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 174-182

Tilley, C., Hamilton, S., Harrison, S., and Anderson, E., 2000. 'Nature, Culture, Clitter: Distinguishing Between Culture and Geomorphological Landscapes: The Case of Hill Tors in South West England,' in Journal of Material Culture 5, 197-224

Whittle, A. and Pollard, J., 1999. 'The Harmony of Symbols: Wider Meanings,' in Alaster Whittle et al, (eds) The Windmill Hill Causeway Enclosure, Oxford: Oxbow 381-390


Tags:
Abstract Meaning, Nature, Society,
Filed under: