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It has been said that for 99 per cent of their cultural history human societies have made their living through the collection of wild resources. It is therefore perhaps not surprising that the study of hunters and gatherers has become an increasingly popular and central topic of research. Within archaeology it has created an international focus for people working in many different areas of the world. At the same time it has provided a meeting ground for a range of disciplines, all concerned in one way or another with aspects of human behaviour. However, analysis of the prehistoric record has inevitably lagged behind the development of fresh theoretical perspectives. Hunter-gatherer economy in prehistory seeks to bridge this gap by combining the discussion of recent developments in ecological and social theory with the analysis of prehistoric data from many of the classic areas of palaeolithic studies in Europe.
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