Diet of meat needed for hunter-gather societies


Good morning,

This link proved interesting, at least to me.

It says hunter gatherer societies were smaller than the others.


  • Comments (5)

    • 3

      Again, California, especially coastal groups, were the exception to this  generalization, since they had an abundant supply of acorns which could be stored year round, plus an abundant supply of sea food, easily harvested.

      If I were to be stranded somewhere dependent on local wild foods, my choice would be along the coast.  Dinner is ready at every low tide….

      • 2

        Then the question would be, were California hunter gatherer groups larger than elsewhere?

        Keep in mind many areas had abundant supplies of meat… especially before white settlers arrived.  That being said, normally that supply of meat (seafood) in a given area is not endless & could only support populations of limited size.  Also many areas, such as mine have plenty of oak trees & acorns.  My horses love this time of year & camp out under the oak trees.  As a reminder, prior to eating acorns it is best to leach out the tannins by soaking the shelled nuts in water or boiling them.

        I just ordered this book.  Here is one review:

        “This is an excellent book that examines a topic with deep roots in American archaeology: the role of agriculture in the rapid growth, florescence, and decline of Cahokia Mounds, the largest prehistoric population center north of Mexico. As Fritz points out, numerous debates surround this topic. For years, the archaeological story maintained that Cahokia’s ruling class governed via a wealth distribution system that relied mainly on corn grown by the lowest classes of society. Fritz sees this as a vastly oversimplified scenario that misrepresents the status of farmers, who were primarily women and girls of various socioeconomic levels. Further, the narrow focus on corn as the primary crop overlooks the abundant evidence that numerous other plants, including knotweed, chenopodium, and maygrass, were major contributors to the Cahokia diet. Fritz puts that diet in excellent perspective by examining the archaeobotanical record for the several thousand years prior to the rise of Cahokia. Twenty-two color plates add substantially to the text, and each chapter concludes with recipes for preparing the plants discussed. What fun! Highly recommended.”

      • 1

        Hikermor, Most definitely along the coasts for abundant survival foods.

        Yet, Redneck is correct. The geometric increases to population, both coastal and inland,  arrived with agriculture.

      • 2

        I beg to differ. Coastal groups, like the Chumash, were large, with very complex societies, typical of agricultural groups in the rest of the continent.

        paradoxically, agriculture arrived with the Spanish, who also introduced diseases which led to a disastrous population decline.

        It is true that acorns require leaching, which is probably like they go uncollected in my neighborhood – that is, until…..

        I am just fine with corn, personally….

    • 2

      most hunter gatherer groups were no more than extended families, if the group is too big they consume all the edibles in one area and have to move quickly to the next area or starve.