Subsistence Types in eHRAF for Teaching & Researching

Subsistence and sample types in eHRAF's results page

Subsistence and sample types in eHRAF’s results page

Faculty and researchers who are teaching courses or doing research on subsistence types may be interested in using HRAF’s cross-cultural databases, eHRAF World Cultures & eHRAF Archaeology. The eHRAF databases uniquely facilitate comparisons of cultures by subsistence, including:

HRAF’s home page provides useful research tools for utilizing the eHRAF databases for subsistence studies including sortable and downloadable lists of all the cultures and archaeological traditions; descriptions of subsistence classifications; and methods for refining eHRAF culture results by subsistence type. The image above shows how eHRAF processes a search: results appear by region (e.g., Africa), subregion (e.g.,Southern Africa), culture name (e.g., San), and subsistence type (e.g., hunter-gatherers).

Varied uses of eHRAF World Cultures and eHRAF Archaeology for research and teaching include:

  • In-depth study of mostly non-western cultures, ethnic groups, indigenous people, and prehistoric traditions
  • Comparing cultures (past & present) within regions and subregions
  • Worldwide comparisons of societies by subsistence type

Ideas for teaching subsistence types using the eHRAF databases can be on our homepage. For example, the Explaining Human Culture module on hunter-gatherers highlights the findings of cross-cultural research and is accompanied by classroom exercises. Thanks to many contributions by professors, Teaching eHRAF also has a wide variety of online assignments for undergraduate and graduate-level courses with some that focus on specific subsistence types (see assignments 1.12 “Ecological Function in Nomadic Society” and 1.13 “Ecological Function in Pastoral Society”).

If you are interested in using the eHRAF World Cultures and eHRAF Archaeology databases for teaching this semester or for research, please email and request a trial.