Mcarthur, Daniel and Robinson, David Wayne orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-0729-5011 (2016) ‘GETTING CANED?’ ASSEMBLAGE THEORY AND THE ANALYSIS OF CANE MATERIAL FROM CALIFORNIA. In: Society California Archaeology Annual Meeting.

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Assemblage Theory proposed by DeLanda (2006) argues that an assemblage is made up of the specific interaction of components and the combination of these components is how agency is expressed. Agency is determined by capacity; the potential a component has. Assemblages should be viewed as multiscaled.
Recent calls by Normak (2010) argues that Assemblage Theory needs to be operationalised into a robust method that archaeologists can use. This paper outlines an experimental method that focuses around a capacity analysis while proposing a Multi Scale Capacity Analysis Model. To test this model a case study of carrizo cane used by the Chumash of Southern California is examined. Recent discoveries from a Californian cave system called Cache Cave has found an abundance of this material.
Combined with other carrizo Chumash artefacts, the aim of the study is to establish if Assemblage Theory can be used to understand the carrizo in Cache Cave. The study found that by using the model it was shown that carrizo was being stored and processed in Cache Cave in part as a response to technical attributes of the carrizo itself which offers a wide range of possible uses, but also due to complex environmental effects. This indicates a certain level of social organisation, understanding of the landscape, and possibly the means to have social standing through the control of raw and semiprocessed resources.

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