A land of work: Foraging behavior and ecology

Brian F. Codding, Douglas W. Bird, Terry L. Jones

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

12 Scopus citations


This chapter summarizes the recent behavioural ecological investigations into prehistoric work in California. It draws on the Ideal Free Distribution (IFD) model to examine the processes through which individuals decide where to settle to make a living. The chapter draws on the Prey Choice Model (PCM) to examine the decisions individuals make in the process of acquiring their next meal. Recently, Winterhalder et al. used the IFD to model the colonization of Santa Barbara’s Northern Channel Islands. At larger spatial scales, this same IFD logic can be used to generate predictions about the colonization of whole continents. Plants, and the technologies associated with processing plants, are the most obvious marker of increasing handling costs. Data on foraging return rates throughout the world typically show that animal resources are generally higher ranked than plant resources. Because post-encounter return rates cannot be measured directly with archaeological data, researchers have come to rely on proxy measures of prey rank.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationContemporary Issues in California Archaeology
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781315431642
ISBN (Print)9781611320916
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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