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An Archaeological Indicator of Matrilocal versus Patrilocal Residence

  • Melvin Ember (a1)

The growing willingness among archaeologists to draw inferences about cultural behavior is offset by the almost total lack of research that shows how ethnographic and archaeological phenomena are correlated. If ethnologists and archaeologists are to do complementary research on the same problems of cultural process and variation, we must try to explore, systematically and comparatively, how the behavioral and material realms may be correlated. The present paper offers an example of such research. I describe the design and results of a cross-cultural study that suggests an archaeological indicator of matrilocal versus patrilocal residence. Briefly, it appears from 2 separate random samples of ethnographically described societies that matrilocal versus patrilocal residence can be simply and accurately predicted from the living floor area of the average house in the society.

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American Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0002-7316
  • EISSN: 2325-5064
  • URL: /core/journals/american-antiquity
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