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date: 23 May 2019


The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology

Timothy Darvill



A mode of social organization where a community breaks apart into several separate units (fission) for some of the year before coming back together again (fusing) as a single whole for the rest of the time. Such patterns may be seen in hunter‐gatherer groups who work to exploit particular resources in specialist groups, and in transhumant pastoralist societies where part of the community takes the animals to summer pastures well away from the main residence areas.