Investigations of skeletal remains from key archaeological sites reveal new data and offer insights on prehistoric life and health in the
The shift from foraging to farming had important health consequences for prehistoric peoples, but variations in health existed
within communities that had made this transition. This new collection draws on the rich bioarchaeological record of the Southeastern United States
to explore variability in health and behavior within the age of agriculture. It offers new perspectives on human adaptation to various geographic and
cultural landscapes across the entire Southeast, from Texas to Virginia, and presents new data from both classic and little-known sites.
The contributors question the reliance on simple cause-and-effect relationships in human health and behavior by addressing such key bioarchaeological issues as disease history and epidemiology, dietary composition and sufficiency, workload stress, patterns of violence, mortuary practices, and biological consequences of European contact. They also advance our understanding of agriculture by showing that uses of maize were more varied than has been previously supposed.
Representing some of the best work being done today by physical anthropologists, this volume provides new insights into human adaptation for both archaeologists and osteologists. It attests to the heterogeneous character of Southeastern societies during the late prehistoric and early historic periods while effectively detailing the many factors that have shaped biocultural evolution.
Contributors include: Patricia S. Bridges, Elizabeth Monaham Driscoll, Debra L. Gold, Dale L. Hutchinson, Keith P. Jacobi, Patricia M. Lambert, Clark Spencer Larsen, Lynette Norr, Mary Lucas Powell, Marianne Reeves, Lisa Sattenspiel, Margaret J. Schoeninger, Mark R. Schurr, Leslie E. Sering, David S. Weaver, and Matthew A. Williamson
A timely update on the state of bioarchaeological research, offeringcontributions to the archaeology, prehistory, and history of the southeastern United States.
Building on the 1991 publication What Mean These Bones? Studies in Southeastern Bioarchaeology, this new edited collection from Shannon Chappell Hodge and Kristrina A. Shuler marks steady advances over the past three decades in the theory, methodology, and purpose of bioarchaeology in the southeastern United States and across the discipline. With a geographic scope that ranges from Louisiana to South Carolina and a temporal span from early prehistory through the nineteenth century, the coverage aims to be holistic.
Bioarchaeology of the American Southeast: Approaches to Bridging Health and Identity in the Past is organized into two main parts. The first, “Context and Culture History in Bioarchaeology,” focuses on the fundamentals of archaeology—figuring out who lived at an archaeological site, when they lived there, what they did, and how they lived their lives.
This builds the framework that allows archaeologists to answer deeper questions, such as the ones addressed in the second part, “Social Identities in Bioarchaeology.” Here contributors explore questions of identity, ethnicity, gender and the status of women, social status, class, power and exploitation, migration, and conflict. These chapters implement and contribute to anthropological theory and showcase improved methods, such as innovative statistical analyses, and incorporate newer technology, including a DNA and geographic information system applications.
Indigenous populations respond to colonial expansion.
This book examines the effects of the Spanish mission system on population structure and genetic variability in indigenous communities living in northern Florida and southern Georgia during the 16th and 17th centuries. Data on tooth size were collected from 26 archaeological samples representing three time periods: Late Precontact (~1200-1500), Early Mission (~1600-1650), and Late Mission (~1650-1700) and were subjected to a series of statistical tests evaluating genetic variability. Predicted changes in phenotypic population variability are related to models of group interaction, population demo-graphy, and genetic admixture as suggested by ethnohistoric and archaeological data.
Results suggest considerable differences in diachronic responses to the mission environment for each cultural province. The Apalachee demonstrate a marked increase in variability while the Guale demonstrate a decline in variability. Demographic models of population collapse are therefore inconsistent with predicted changes based on population geneticsl, and the determinants of population structure seem largely local in nature. This book highlights the specificity with which indigenous communities responded to European contact and the resulting transformations in their social worlds.
"Stojanowski's work is like man's DNA, the structure of a lifeform, but here it is the structure or glue that holds together the historic puzzle with its Apalachee, Timucua, Guale, and Spanish pieces that other scholars have been trying to put together."--Keith P. Jacobi, author of Last Rites for the Tipu Maya
During the last 20 years new techniques in osteology have yielded findings on Maya diet and health that challenge the ecological model of collapse. This volume, which includes an index bibliography of the first 150 years of Maya osteology, brings together for the first time a broad spectrum of bioarchaeologists and reveals remarkable data on Maya genetic relationship, demographic, and diseases.
Contributors: Carl Armstrong, Jane E. Buikstra , Diane Z. Chase
Mark N. Cohen , Della Collins Cook, Marie Elaine Danforth, Andres del Angel
Robert E. Ferrell, John P. Gerry, Karen D. Gettelman, Lorena M. Havill, Keith P. Jacobi, Harold W. Krueger, Nora M. Lopez Olivares, Lourdes Marquez, Virginia K. Massey, D. Andrew Merriwether, Kathleen O'Connor, K. Anne Pyburn, David M. Reed, Frank P. Saul, Julie Mather Saul, D. Gentry Steele, Rebecca Storey, Diane M. Warren, David Webster, Christine D. White, Stephen L. Whittington, Lori E. Wright
Is there evidence of children in the archaeological record? Some would answer no, that "subadults" can only be distinguished when there is osteological confirmation. Others might suggest that the reason children don’t exist in prehistory is because no one has looked for them, much as no one had looked for women in the same context until recently.
Focusing on the Southwest, contributors to this volume attempt to find some of those children, or at least show how they might be found. They address two issues: what was the cultural construction of childhood? What were childrens' lives like?
Determining how cultures with written records have constructed childhood in the past is hard enough, but the difficulty is magnified in the case of ancient Puebloan societies. The contributors here offer approaches from careful analysis of artifacts and skeletal remains to ethnographic evidence in rock art. Topics include ceramics and evidence of child manufacture and painting, cradleboards, evidence of child labor, and osteological evidence of health conditions.
"Young's linkage between critical race theory, historical inquiry, and performance studies is a necessary intersection. Innovative, creative, and provocative."
---Davarian Baldwin, Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of American Studies, Trinity College
In 1901, George Ward, a lynching victim, was attacked, murdered, and dismembered by a mob of white men, women, and children. As his lifeless body burned in a fire, enterprising white youth cut off his toes and, later, his fingers and sold them as souvenirs. In Embodying Black Experience, Harvey Young masterfully blends biography, archival history, performance theory, and phenomenology to relay the experiences of black men and women who, like Ward, were profoundly affected by the spectacular intrusion of racial violence within their lives. Looking back over the past two hundred years---from the exhibition of boxer Tom Molineaux and Saartjie Baartman (the "Hottentot Venus") in 1810 to twenty-first century experiences of racial profiling and incarceration---Young chronicles a set of black experiences, or what he calls, "phenomenal blackness," that developed not only from the experience of abuse but also from a variety of performances of resistance that were devised to respond to the highly predictable and anticipated arrival of racial violence within a person's lifetime.
Embodying Black Experience pinpoints selected artistic and athletic performances---photography, boxing, theater/performance art, and museum display---as portals through which to gain access to the lived experiences of a variety of individuals. The photographs of Joseph Zealy, Richard Roberts, and Walker Evans; the boxing performances of Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, and Muhammad Ali; the plays of Suzan-Lori Parks, Robbie McCauley, and Dael Orlandersmith; and the tragic performances of Bootjack McDaniels and James Cameron offer insight into the lives of black folk across two centuries and the ways that black artists, performers, and athletes challenged the racist (and racializing) assumptions of the societies in which they lived.
Blending humanistic and social science perspectives, Embodying Black Experience explains the ways in which societal ideas of "the black body," an imagined myth of blackness, get projected across the bodies of actual black folk and, in turn, render them targets of abuse. However, the emphasis on the performances of select artists and athletes also spotlights moments of resistance and, indeed, strength within these most harrowing settings.
Harvey Young is Associate Professor of Theatre, Performance Studies, and Radio/Television/Film at Northwestern University.
A volume in the series Theater: Theory/Text/Performance
The Anthropological Papers of the University of Arizona is a peer-reviewed monograph series sponsored by the School of Anthropology. Established in 1959, the series publishes archaeological and ethnographic papers that use contemporary method and theory to investigate problems of anthropological importance in the southwestern United States, Mexico, and related areas.
Excavations of Maya burial vaults at Palenque, Mexico, half a century ago revealed what was then the most extraordinary tomb finding of the pre-Columbian world; its discovery has been crucial to an understanding of the dynastic history and ideology of the ancient Maya. Over the years, new analytical tools introduced uncertainties regarding earlier interpretations of the findings, and a reanalysis of the remains of the ruler Janaab’ Pakal using contemporary methodologies has led to new interpretations of former accounts of his life and death.
This volume communicates the broad scope of applied interdisciplinary research conducted on the Pakal remains to provide answers to old disputes over the accuracy of both skeletal and epigraphic studies, along with new questions in the field of Maya dynastic research. Contributions by scholars in epigraphy, anthropology, and bioarchaeology bring to light new evidence regarding the ruler’s age, clarify his medical history and the identification of the remains found with him, reevaluate his role in life, and offer modern insights into ritual and sacrificial practices associated with Pakal.
The book leads readers through the history of Pakal’s discovery, skeletal analysis, and interpretation of Maya biographies, and also devotes considerable attention to the tomb of the “Red Queen” discovered at the site. Findings from the new Transition Analysis aging method, histomorphometric analysis, and taphonomic imagery are presented to shed new light on the perplexing question of Pakal’s age at death. Royal Maya life and death histories from the written record are also analyzed from a regional perspective to provide a broad panorama of the twisted power politics of rulers’ families and the entangled genealogies of the Maya Classic period.
A benchmark in biological anthropology, this volume reconsiders assumptions concerning the practices and lives of Maya rulers, posing the prospect that researchers too often find what they expect to find. In presenting an updated study of a well-known personage, it also offers innovative approaches to the biocultural and interdisciplinary re-creation of Maya dynastic history.
Jesper K. Boldseh
Jane E. Buikstra
James H. Burton
George R. Milner
T. Douglas Price
Sam D. Stout
John W. Verano
Jacobi's groundbreaking osteology study uncovers the history of the Tipu Maya of Belize and their subsequent contact with the Spanish conquistadores and missionaries.
Two cultures collided at Tipu, Belize, in the 1600s: that of the native Maya and that of the Spanish missionaries, who arrived with an agenda of religious subjugation and, ultimately, political control. Combining historical documentation with the results of an archaeological exploration of a Tipu cemetery, Keith Jacobi provides an account of the meshing of these two cultures and the assimilation of Catholic practices by the Tipu.
In particular, Jacobi focuses on the dental remains recovered at this site. A tooth may be the last tangible evidence of a living creature, so teeth can reveal information about an individual's health, diet, cosmetic alteration, trauma, and genetic structure. From the genetic structure the researcher can learn information about an individual's relationship to others in a particular population and between populations.
Jacobi's research reveals how these European and Spanish Catholic practices were assimilated by the Tipu Maya and enables the first description of the prevalent attitudes toward death and burial customs. Through this study of Tipu Maya dentition changes through time, Jacobi sheds light on Spanish intermarriage, Maya familial relationships, and the Tipu genetic affinity with other prehistoric, historic, and modern Maya.
Cities arose independently in both the Old World and in the pre-Columbian New World. Lacking written records, many of these New World cities can be studied only through archaeology, including the earliest pre-Columbian city, Teotihuacan, Mexico, one of the largest cities of its time (150 B.C. to A.D. 750). Thus, an important question is how similar New World cities are to their Old World counterparts.
Before recent times, the dense populations of cities made them unhealthy places because of poor sanitation and inadequate food supplies. Storey's research shows clearly that although Teotihuacan was a very different environment and culture from 17th-century London, these two great cities are comparable in terms of health problems and similar death rates.
This study of prehistoric violence, homicide, and cannibalism explodes the myth that the Anasazi and other Southwest Indians were simple, peaceful farmers.
Until quite recently, Southwest prehistory studies have largely missed or ignored evidence of violent competition. Christy and Jacqueline Turner’s study of prehistoric violence, homicide, and cannibalism explodes the myth that the Anasazi and other Southwest Indians were simple, peaceful farmers. Using detailed osteological analyses and other lines of evidence the Turners show that warfare, violence, and their concomitant horrors were as common in the ancient Southwest as anywhere else in the world.
The special feature of this massively documented study is its multi-regional assessment of episodic human bones assemblages (scattered floor deposits or charnel pits) by taphonomic analysis, which considers what happens to bones from the time of death to the time of recovery. During the past thirty years, the authors and other analysts have identified a minimal perimortem taphonomic signature of burning, pot polishing, anvil abrasions, bone breakage, cut marks, and missing vertebrae that closely match the signatures of animal butchering and is frequently associated with additional evidence of violence. More than seventy-five archaeological sited containing several hundred individuals are carefully examined for the cannibalism signature. Because this signature has not been reported for any sites north of Mexico, other than those in the Southwest, the authors also present detailed comparisons with Mesoamerican skeletal collections where human sacrifice and cannibalism were known to have been practiced. The authors review several hypotheses for Southwest cannibalism: starvation, social pathology, and institutionalized violence and cannibalism. In the latter case, they present evidence for a potential Mexican connection and demonstrate that most of the known cannibalized series are located temporally and spatially near Chaco great houses.
All previous books dealing with prehistoric hunter-gatherers in the high Andes have treated ancient mountain populations from a troglodyte's perspective, as if they were little different from lowlanders who happened to occupy jagged terrain. Early mountain populations have been transformed into generic foragers because the basic nature of high-altitude stress and biological adaptation has not been addressed. In Montane Foragers, Mark Aldenderfer builds a unique and penetrating model of montane foraging that justly shatters this traditional approach to ancient mountain populations.
Aldenderfer's investigation forms a methodological and theoretical tour de force that elucidates elevational stress—what it takes for humans to adjust and survive at high altitudes. In a masterful integration of mountain biology and ecology, he emphasizes the nature of hunter-gatherer adaptations to high-mountain environments. He carefully documents the cultural history of Asana, the first stratified, open-air site discovered in the highlands of the south-central Andes. He establishes a number of major occurrences at this revolutionary site, including the origins of plant and animal domestication and transitions to food production, the growth and packing of forager populations, and the advent of some form of complexity and social hierarchy.
The rich and diversified archaeological record recovered at Asana—which spans from 10,000 to 3,500 years ago—includes the earliest houses as well as public and ceremonial buildings in the central cordillera. Built, used, and abandoned over many millennia, the Asana structures completely transform our understanding of the antiquity and development of native American architecture. Aldenderfer's detailed archaeological case study of high-elevation foraging adaptation, his description of this extreme environment as a viable human habitat, and his theoretical model of montane foraging create a new understanding of the lifeways of foraging peoples worldwide.
Prehistoric Lifeways of the Great Basin Wetlands examines how the earliest inhabitants of the Great basin in Nevada, Utah, and Oregon made use of ancient marshes and lakes.
When the Great Salt Lake receded in the 1980s from its highest historically recorded levels, it exposed a large number of archaeological and burial sites. Other wetland areas in the region experienced similar flooding and site exposure. The resulting archaeological bonanza resolved long-standing controversy over the role of wetlands in prehistoric Great Basin human subsistence. Previously, archaeologists argued two disparate views: either wetlands offered a wealth of resources and served as a magnet for human occupation and rather sedentary lifestyles, or wetlands provided only meager fare that was insufficient to promote increased sedentism. The exposure of human remains coincided with improved analytic techniques, enabling new conclusions about diet, behavior, and genetic affiliation.
This volume presents findings from three Great Basin wetland areas: Great Salt Lake, Stillwater Marsh (Nevada) and Malheur Lake (Oregon). The evidence presented here does not indicate the superiority of one interpretation over another but offers a more complex picture of variable adaptation, high mobility, and generally robust health among peoples living in a harsh setting with heavy physical demands. It is the first volume to draw together new approaches to the study of earlier human societies, including analysis of mtDNA for population reconstruction and cross-sectional geometric assessment of long bones for behavior interpretation.
When Philadelphia naturalist Samuel George Morton died in 1851, no one cut off his head, boiled away its flesh, and added his grinning skull to a collection of crania. It would have been strange, but perhaps fitting, had Morton’s skull wound up in a collector’s cabinet, for Morton himself had collected hundreds of skulls over the course of a long career. Friends, diplomats, doctors, soldiers, and fellow naturalists sent him skulls they gathered from battlefields and burial grounds across America and around the world.
With The Skull Collectors, eminent historian Ann Fabian resurrects that popular and scientific movement, telling the strange—and at times gruesome—story of Morton, his contemporaries, and their search for a scientific foundation for racial difference. From cranial measurements and museum shelves to heads on stakes, bloody battlefields, and the “rascally pleasure” of grave robbing, Fabian paints a lively picture of scientific inquiry in service of an agenda of racial superiority, and of a society coming to grips with both the deadly implications of manifest destiny and the mass slaughter of the Civil War. Even as she vividly recreates the past, Fabian also deftly traces the continuing implications of this history, from lingering traces of scientific racism to debates over the return of the remains of Native Americans that are held by museums to this day.
Full of anecdotes, oddities, and insights, The Skull Collectors takes readers on a darkly fascinating trip down a little-visited but surprisingly important byway of American history.
The first book to focus on children in ancient Mesoamerica, this vital reference offers a key methodological guide for archaeologists studying children and their roles not only in Mesoamerica, but also in ancient societies worldwide.
Contributors examine material evidence, historical records, and iconography, productively criticizing the claim that children are invisible in the archaeological record and elucidating an ancient childhood comprising multiple and complex identities. They explore the methodological and theoretical difficulties created when investigating childhood - a category defined by each culture - in the archaeological record.
Sure to appeal widely to New World and Old World archaeologists and anthropologists, The Social Experience of Childhood in Ancient Mesoamerica will open up new avenues of research into the lives of this previously overlooked yet remarkably large population.
Contributors include Traci Ardren, Ximena Chávez Balderas, Billie Follensbee, Byron Hamann, Scott R. Hutson, Rosemary A. Joyce, Stacie M. King, Jeanne Lopiparo, Patricia McAnany, Geoffrey G. McCafferty, Sharisse D. McCafferty, Juan Alberto Román Berrelleza, Rebecca Storey, Rissa M. Trachman, Fred Valdez Jr.
What can body measurements tell us about living standards in the past? In this collection of essays studying height and weight data from eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Europe, North America, and Asia, fourteen distinguished scholars explore the relation between physical size, economic development, and standard of living among various socioeconomic groups.
Analyzing the differences in physical stature by social group, gender, age, provenance, and date and place of birth, these essays illuminate urban and rural differences in well-being, explore the effects of market integration on previously agricultural societies, contrast the experiences of several segments of society, and explain the proximate causes of downturns and upswings in well-being. Particularly intriguing is the researchers' conclusion that the environment of the New World during this period was far more propitious than that of Europe, based on data showing that European aristocrats were in worse health than even the poorest members of American society.
Cave archaeology in the New World, now a focus of intense research, was still a peripheral area of inquiry just fifteen years ago. Stone Houses and Earth Lords is the first volume dedicated exclusively to the use of caves in the Maya Lowlands, covering primarily Classic Period archaeology from A.D. 100 through the Spaniards' arrival. Although the caves that riddled the lowlands show no signs of habitation, most contain evidence of human use - evidence that suggests that they functioned as ritual spaces.
Demonstrating the importance of these subterranean spaces to Maya archaeology, contributors provide interpretations of archaeological remains that yield insights into Maya ritual and cosmology. Compiling the best current scholarship in this fast-growing area of research, Stone Houses and Earth Lords is a vital reference for Mayanists, Mesoamerican specialists, and others interested in the human use of caves in the New World. Contributors include: Juan Luis Bonor, James E. Brady, Robert Burnett, Allan B. Cobb, Pierre Robert Colas, Cesar Espinosa, Sergio Garza, David M. Glassman, Christina T. Halperin, Amalia Kenward, Andrew Kindon, Patricia McAnany, Christopher Morehart, Holley Moyes, Vanessa A. Owen, Shankari Patel, Polly Peterson, Keith M. Prufer, Timothy. W. Pugh, Frank Saul, Julie Saul, Ann M. Scott, Andrea Stone, and Vera Tiesler.
Until recently, archaeological projects that included analysis of human remains had often lacked active collaboration between archaeologists and physical anthropologists from the planning stages onward. During the 1980s, a conjunctive approach developed; known as "bioarchaeology," it draws on the methodological and theoretical strengths of the two subdisciplines to bridge a perceived communications gap and promote a more comprehensive understanding of prehistoric and historic cultures.
This volume addresses questions of human adaptation in a variety of cultural contexts, with a breadth not found in studies utilizing solely biological or artifactual data. These nine case studies from eight Southeastern states cover more than 4,000 years of human habitation, from Archaic hunter-gatherers in Louisiana and Alabama to Colonial planters and slaves in South Carolina. Several studies focus upon variations in health between or within late prehistoric agricultural societies. For example, the discovery that reliance upon maize as a dietary staple did not result invariably in poor health, as claimed by earlier studies, either for entire populations or, in ranked societies, for the non-elite majority, has fostered a new appreciation for the managerial wisdom of the Mississippian peoples, as well as for their agricultural skills.
The Xavánte in Transition presents a diachronic view of the long and complex interaction between the Xavánte, an indigenous people of the Brazilian Amazon, and the surrounding nation, documenting the effects of this interaction on Xavánte health, ecology, and biology.
A powerful example of how a small-scale society, buffeted by political and economic forces at the national level and beyond, attempts to cope with changing conditions, this study will be important reading for demographers, economists, environmentalists, and public health workers.
". . . an integrated and politically informed anthropology for the new millennium. They show how the local and the regional meet on the ground and under the skin."
--Alan H. Goodman, Professor of Biological Anthropology, Hampshire College
"This volume delivers what it promises. Drawing on twenty-five years of team research, the authors combine history, ethnography and bioanthropology on the cutting edge of science in highly readable form."
--Daniel Gross, Lead Anthropologist, The World Bank
"No doubt it will serve as a model for future interdisciplinary scholarship. It promises to be highly relevant to policy formulation and implementation of health care programs among small-scale populations in Brazil and elsewhere."
--Laura R. Graham, Professor of Anthropology, University of Iowa
Carlos E. A. Coimbra Jr. is Professor of Medical Anthropology at the National School of Public Health, Rio de Janeiro.Nancy M. Flowers is Adjunct Associate Professor of Anthropology, Hunter College. Francisco M. Salzano is Emeritus Professor, Department of Genetics, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Ricardo V. Santos is Professor of Biological Anthropology at the National School of Public Health and at the National Museum IUFRJ, Rio de Janeiro.