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A stage in man’s social evolution preceding the farmer stage. The hunter-gatherer society’s subsistence methods involved the gathering/foraging of edible plants, which provided up to 80% of their food needs, and hunting animals from the wild, which provided the remainder, without recourse to the domestication of plants or animals
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Scientists had already established that fully modern humans entered Europe about 45,000 years ago during an interglacial period, leaving archaeological evidence of their Upper Paleolithic hunting-gathering lifestyle.
The 10 case studies range from the affluent hunting-gathering Calusa of southwestern Florida, to the incipient horticulturists of the western panhandle.
The researchers theorize that feasts may have played a significant role in easing the potentially rocky transition from a hunting-gathering lifestyle to one of agricultural dependency.
From about 15,000 to 20,000 years ago the area was inhabited by what Simpson suggests was a hunting-gathering people with more sophisticated tools, including stones flaked on both sides.
Particular emphasis was to be given to the Final Pleistocene and Early Holocene phases in order to study the transition from the late hunting-gathering societies to the earliest experiments in food-production.
Sites of this period are extremely rare in the Near East and of considerable importance for they lie right at the juncture between a hunting-gathering and farming lifestyle (Bar-Yosef & Belfer-Cohen 1989).