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From the archaeologists perspective this makes the gap between clearly readable ecological evidences and barely noticeable social symbols even deeper; and pushes researchers even more in favor of the tangible material facts avoiding the three-dimensional modeling.

However, some widely known facts of the Northern archaeology clearly do not fit the restrictions of the two-dimensional interpretation.

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In place of typical fisherman or herder a figure of chieftain or sorcerer is personified.

Even trade loses its rational economic meaning and turns into a means of diplomacy and politics.

What is the correlation between the features of ecological and social adaptation, and how well are they captured by archaeology?

The main indicator of ecological adaptation is the annual economic cycle, of the social one the activity pattern including in addition to the economic cycle the religious, ritual, trading, military and other actions difficult to formalize even theoretically owing to their various rhythms and values.

Did the North ever give birth to cultures that managed to surpass the subsistence ground and create social systems comparable with the southern civilizations?

Researchers glance only occasionally rests on the striking ability of the northern cultures to fluctuate in time (in a sequence of seasonal occupations and age rhythms of people) and in space (either shrinking to the size of village, or covering the vast territory).

Attempts at the reconstruction of three-dimensional models (activity patterns) of ancient cultures of the North are doomed to be fruitless, unless they are based on the experience of similar modeling with regard to the recent epochs.

I have in mind here the northern cultures of the Middle Ages, with their greater wealth of archaeological, historical and ethnographic background.

Each number includes reviews of important, relevant publications.

are conventionally considered as the variants of adaptation to harsh natural environments or, in historic times, as islands of the past inexorably eroded by the floods of external colonization.

As soon as the social context is viewed, the stringency of a two-dimensional model gives place to the intricacy of a three-dimensional composition approaching in its interpretative freedom an artistic picture.

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