Traditions Covered

Image of eHRAF Archaeology database

Image of eHRAF Archaeology database

Use the table below to browse a full list of prehistoric traditions covered in the eHRAF Archaeology database. Once logged on to eHRAF you can find brief overviews and collected documents for the archaeological traditions in Browse Traditions. In Advanced Search, you can find the archaeological traditions names in the “Add Traditions” function.

Topics and Cultures in eHRAF: This printable PDF document serves as handy reference and overview of all the topics on cultural and social life, and all cultures, past and present, currently covered in HRAF’s cross-cultural online databases.

Please note that the PDF  and the table below reflect the culture updates for eHRAF Archaeology database through April 5, 2014.  However, more cultures were added to eHRAF Archaeology in the fall of 2014. We are currently working on a releasing an updated PDF and Excel file and sortable table to include the latest cultures update.

RegionSubregionTradition NameFrom BPTo BPSubsistence Type
AfricaNorthern AfricaLate Pleistocene-Early Holocene Maghreb200007500foragers
AfricaNorthern AfricaMiddle Paleolithic Egypt23000045000foragers
AfricaNorthern AfricaLate Paleolithic Egypt450007000foragers
AfricaNorthern AfricaUpper Egypt Predynastic70005000intensive agriculturalists
AfricaNorthern AfricaLower Egypt Predynastic70005000intensive agriculturalists
AfricaNorthern AfricaEarly Dynastic Egypt50004575intensive agriculturalists
AfricaNorthern AfricaProtohistoric Egypt45753552intensive agriculturalists
AfricaNorthern AfricaKhartoum Neolithic57003550other subsistence types
AfricaSouthern AfricaWilton100002000foragers
AfricaWestern AfricaWest African Iron Age25001200other subsistence types
AsiaCentral AsiaEastern Central Asia Neolithic and Bronze Age60001500agro-pastoralists
AsiaCentral AsiaScythian-Sarmatian40001700pastoralists
AsiaCentral AsiaEarly Nomad28002300pastoralists
AsiaEast AsiaDawenkou70005000horticulturalists
AsiaEast AsiaYayoi25001500intensive agriculturalists
AsiaEast AsiaSoutheast China Early Neolithic90005500primarily foragers
AsiaNorth AsiaTarya Neolithic40002500foragers
AsiaSouth AsiaIndus Neolithic70005000foragers to food producers
AsiaSouth AsiaGanges Neolithic40002500other subsistence types
AsiaSouth AsiaCentral Indian Neolithic50003100other subsistence combinations
EuropeEastern EuropeNortheastern European Bronze Age40002800other subsistence types
EuropeGeneral EuropeBell Beaker45003800intensive agriculturalists
EuropeGeneral EuropeImpressed Ware68006000primarily foragers
EuropeScandinaviaScandinavian Iron Age25001500other subsistence types
EuropeSoutheastern EuropeSoutheastern Europe Late Chalcolithic55004500agro-pastoralists
Middle America/CaribbeanCaribbeanLate Caribbean1000500intensive agriculturalists
Middle America/CaribbeanCentral MexicoWest Mexico Postclassic1100480intensive agriculturalists
Middle America/CaribbeanCentral MexicoCentral Mexico Postclassic1300479intensive agriculturalists
Middle America/CaribbeanCentral MexicoCentral Mexico Classic21501350intensive agriculturalists
Middle America/CaribbeanCentral MexicoOlmec34002100other subsistence types
Middle America/CaribbeanGeneral Middle America/CaribbeanEarly Mesoamerican Archaic96007000foragers
Middle America/CaribbeanGeneral Middle America/CaribbeanHighland Mesoamerican Archaic70004000foragers
Middle America/CaribbeanGeneral Middle America/CaribbeanHighland Mesoamerican Early Preclassic40002600horticulturalists
Middle America/CaribbeanGeneral Middle America/CaribbeanHighland Mesoamerican Late Preclassic26001600horticulturalists
Middle America/CaribbeanMaya AreaPreclassic Maya38001850horticulturalists
Middle America/CaribbeanMaya AreaPostclassic Maya1100400horticulturalists
Middle America/CaribbeanMaya AreaClassic Maya21001100intensive agriculturalists
Middle America/CaribbeanMaya AreaLowland Mesoamerican Archaic70003800primarily foragers
Middle America/CaribbeanNorthern MexicoHuatabampo1800500primarily foragers
Middle EastMiddle EastIranian Bronze Age50003500agro-pastoralists
Middle EastMiddle EastEarly Dynastic Mesopotamia49004334agro-pastoralists
Middle EastMiddle EastHalafian75007000agro-pastoralists
Middle EastMiddle EastUbaid75006000agro-pastoralists
Middle EastMiddle EastLate Chalcolithic Mesopotamia60005100agro-pastoralists
Middle EastMiddle EastJemdet Nasr51004900agro-pastoralists
Middle EastMiddle EastAkkadian43344112agro-pastoralists
Middle EastMiddle EastEpipaleolithic4000010500foragers
Middle EastMiddle EastAceramic Neolithic105007500foragers to food producers
Middle EastMiddle EastCeramic Neolithic80006100horticulturalists
North AmericaArctic and SubarcticNorton30001000foragers
North AmericaArctic and SubarcticProto-Athapaskans2000150foragers
North AmericaArctic and SubarcticLate Tundra80006000foragers
North AmericaArctic and SubarcticPaleo-Arctic110006000foragers
North AmericaEastern WoodlandsEastern Middle Archaic80006000foragers
North AmericaEastern WoodlandsInitial Shield Woodland3000600foragers
North AmericaEastern WoodlandsEastern Early Archaic100008000foragers
North AmericaEastern WoodlandsHopewell21001700horticulturalists
North AmericaEastern WoodlandsMississippian1100500horticulturalists
North AmericaEastern WoodlandsEastern Middle Woodland21001300primarily foragers
North AmericaEastern WoodlandsEastern Late Woodland1300500primarily foragers
North AmericaEastern WoodlandsEastern Late Archaic60003000primarily foragers
North AmericaEastern WoodlandsEastern Early Woodland30002100primarily foragers
North AmericaEastern WoodlandsAdena26001900primarily foragers
North AmericaGeneral North AmericaEastern Arctic Small Tool40002700foragers
North AmericaGeneral North AmericaLate Paleo-Indian110006000foragers
North AmericaNorthwest Coast and CaliforniaLate Southern California3000150foragers
North AmericaPlains and PlateauCascade80005000foragers
North AmericaSouthwest and BasinEarly Desert Archaic100008000foragers
North AmericaSouthwest and BasinMiddle–Late Desert Archaic8000150foragers
North AmericaSouthwest and BasinMogollon2000600foragers to food producers
North AmericaSouthwest and BasinEarly Anasazi1300700horticulturalists
North AmericaSouthwest and BasinHohokam2000500intensive agriculturalists
North AmericaSouthwest and BasinLate Anasazi700450intensive agriculturalists
North AmericaSouthwest and BasinBasketmaker30001300primarily foragers
OceaniaMelanesiaNew Guinea Neolithic10000100horticulturalists
OceaniaPolynesiaHawaiian800200horticulture to intensive agriculture
South AmericaCentral AndesAndean Regional Development22001300agro-pastoralists
South AmericaCentral AndesAymara Kingdoms900530agro-pastoralists
South AmericaCentral AndesHighland Andean Formative35002200agro-pastoralists
South AmericaCentral AndesHuari1200900agro-pastoralists
South AmericaCentral AndesTiahuanaco1600900agro-pastoralists
South AmericaCentral AndesHighland Andean Archaic70003500foragers to food producers
South AmericaCentral AndesChavín28002200horticulturalists
South AmericaCentral AndesAndean Regional States900530intensive agriculturalists
South AmericaCentral AndesInka800468intensive agriculturalists
South AmericaNorthwest South AmericaManteño1500500horticulturalists
South AmericaNorthwest South AmericaEarly Northwest South American Littoral90005500primarily foragers
South AmericaCentral AndesCoastal Andean Archaic70003800Hunter-gatherers To Food Producers
South AmericaCentral AndesCoastal Andean Early Formative38003000Intensive Agriculture

This list was last updated on April 15, 2015 to include:

South America, Central Andes, Coastal Andean Archaic, SE40, Hunter-gatherers To Food Producers, BP 7000 – 3800 BP, 12 documents , 573 pages

South America, Central Andes, Coastal Andean Early Formative, SE41, Horticulture To Intensive Agriculture, BP3800 – 3000 BP, 22 documents,  1067 pages, all indexed and searchable.

The prehistoric cultures for installment A14P01 were added to the eHRAF Archaeology database on December 21, 2014.  All collected and analyzed documents for a culture or an archaeological are also indexed at the page and paragraph level. While the all the collected works for a prehistoric culture can be found in the Collection Documents tab in the Browse Traditions section of eHRAF Archaeology, the individual documents for a culture collection can be searched using basic or advanced search.


Additional Formats

For a printable Adobe PDF version of eHRAF’s Complete Archaeology Traditions Collection List, click here.

Please note that the PDF  above reflect the culture updates for the eHRAF Archaeology database through April 5, 2014.  However, more cultures were added to eHRAF Archaeology in the fall of 2014. We are currently working on a releasing an updated PDF and Excel file and sortable table to include the latest cultures update.

For a Microsoft Excel .xls version of eHRAF’s Complete Archaeology Traditions Collection List, click here.

(Note: The Collection Lists also include installment number, page and document counts, and SRS) Access to the archaeological traditions in the eHRAF Archaeology database requires membership (or temporary password). Contact for access to eHRAF Archaeology.

Subsistence Classification

Hunter-gatherers — also called foragers; depend almost entirely (75% or more) on hunting, gathering, and fishing for subsistence

Hunter-gatherers to food producers — during the tradition the people began as hunter-gatherers and became dependent on food production (55% or more) by the end of the tradition. Food production includes combinations of hunting, gathering, fishing, pastoralism, horticulture, and intensive agriculture

Primarily hunter-gatherers — depend mostly on hunting, gathering and fishing (55% percent or more)

Horticulturalists — depend mostly (55% or more) on simple agriculture (extensive or horticulture). Horticulture frequently requires a long fallow period. This category includes any type of agriculture that is not primarily (55% or more) intensive.

Agro-pastoralists — not any of the above. Pastoralism and horticulture/intensive agriculture combined contribute at least 75% or more to the economy.

Pastoralists — depend mostly (55% or more) on herding or pastoralism

Horticulture to intensive agriculture — at the beginning of the tradition, people depended mostly (55% or more) on horticulture and by the end of the tradition they depended mostly (55% or more) on intensive agriculture.

Intensive agriculturalists — depend mostly (55% or more) on intensive agriculture. Intensive agriculture means a variety of techniques are used so that fields can be permanently cultivated. These techniques can include irrigation, terracing, crop rotation, plows, and/or some sort of agriculture.

Other subsistence combinations — includes other combinations of hunting, fishing, gathering, pastoralism, horticulture, and intensive agriculture

Not assigned — not enough information

Where can Traditions, Regions, and Subsistence types be found in eHRAF?

Overviews of the archaeological traditions can be found in the Browse Tradition section of eHRAF Archaeology, or searched in combination with subjects and keywords in Advanced Search.

In eHRAF Archaeology, a search query can be refined by sample and subsistence type.  This is done after a search in the culture results page.

Subsistence and sample types in eHRAF's results page

Subsistence and sample types in eHRAF’s results page


Related Link:
Refining Culture Search Results in eHRAF by Subsistence Types






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