Jake Page Summary

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The total knowledge accumulated from lifetimes spent in archaeological study is vast. Too vast, even by author Jake Page 's own admission, to be adequately summarized in a brief text with respect to the great number of cultural and environmental factors that spurn, as well as result from, investigation. Indeed, there seems to be a kind of relationship between environmental cause and cultural effect that is encountered repeatedly in Page 's text. Examining the different diets and homes of various population groups in North America, Page illuminates for his audience the great importance of inference – the backbone of investigational study that continues to fuel interests in archeology today.

One observation that can be made from observing the remains of the indigenous populations of North America is that food is not immediately recognized for its potential. Page makes this clear repeatedly throughout his second chapter. Near the end of the chapter, he notes that maize, though widely available to most populations, was not cultivated in a manner that largely effected human dietary patterns for nearly five hundred
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Likewise, compared to those diets enjoyed by groups in northern California and the Pacific Northwest as far back as 4000 B.C., which were rich with nutritious stock like fish and shellfish, the game-hunting in the east was less reliable. While at first the big animals of the continent were bountiful to the newfound populations they had not yet learned to fear, their numbers quickly dwindled during the “Pleistocene overkill” (Page, 36). One area whose populations did not suffer from the absence of these large mammals was the Pacific coast, an observation that is notable despite the real absence of what were likely some of the most informational sites that archaeologists could have hoped to

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