Starch grain analysis in the temperate climates of eastern North America using the Delaware River Watershed as a case study for furthering scholarly understanding of the relationship between native people and their biophysical environment in the Woodland Period
People regularly use plants for a wide range of utilitarian, spiritual, pharmacological, and dietary purposes throughout the world. Scholarly understanding of the nature of these uses in prehistory is particularly limited by the poor preservation of plant resources in the archaeological record. In the last two decades, researchers in the South Pacific and in Central and South America have developed microscopic starch grain analysis, a technique for overcoming the limitations of poorly preserved plant material.
Messner’s analysis is based on extensive reviews of the literature on early historic, prehistoric native plant use, and the collation of all available archaeobotanical data, a review of which also guided the author in selecting contemporary botanical specimens to identify and in interpreting starch residues recovered from ancient plant-processing technologies. The evidence presented here sheds light on many local ecological and cultural developments as ancient people shifted their subsistence focus from estuarine to riverine settings. These archaeobotanical datasets, Messner argues, illuminate both the conscious and unintentional translocal movement of ideas and ecologies throughout the Eastern Woodlands.
After Monte Albán reveals the richness and interregional relevance of Postclassic transformations in the area now known as Oaxaca, which lies between Central Mexico and the Maya area and, as contributors to this volume demonstrate, achieved cultural centrality in pan-Mesoamerican networks. Large nucleated states throughout Oaxaca collapsed after 700 C.E., including the great Zapotec state centered in the Valley of Oaxaca, Monte Albán. Elite culture changed in fundamental ways as small city-states proliferated in Oaxaca, each with a new ruling dynasty required to devise novel strategies of legitimization. The vast majority of the population, though, sustained continuity in lifestyle, religion, and cosmology.
Contributors synthesize these regional transformations and continuities in the lower Rio Verde Valley, the Valley of Oaxaca, and the Mixteca Alta. They provide data from material culture, architecture, codices, ethnohistoric documents, and ceramics, including a revised ceramic chronology from the Late Classic to the end of the Postclassic that will be crucial to future investigations. After Monte Albán establishes Postclassic Oaxaca's central place in the study of Mesoamerican antiquity.
Contributors include Jeffrey P. Blomster, Bruce E. Byland, Gerardo Gutierrez, Byron Ellsworth Hamann, Arthur A. Joyce, Stacie M. King, Michael D. Lind, Robert Markens, Cira Martínez López, Michel R. Oudijk, and Marcus Winter.
Animals and Inequality in the Ancient World explores the current trends in the social archaeology of human-animal relationships, focusing on the ways in which animals are used to structure, create, support, and even deconstruct social inequalities.
The authors provide a global range of case studies from both New and Old World archaeology—a royal Aztec dog burial, the monumental horse tombs of Central Asia, and the ceremonial macaw cages of ancient Mexico among them. They explore the complex relationships between people and animals in social, economic, political, and ritual contexts, incorporating animal remains from archaeological sites with artifacts, texts, and iconography to develop their interpretations.
Animals and Inequality in the Ancient World presents new data and interpretations that reveal the role of animals, their products, and their symbolism in structuring social inequalities in the ancient world. The volume will be of interest to archaeologists, especially zooarchaeologists, and classical scholars of pre-modern civilizations and societies.
Ants For Breakfast
James Skibo University of Utah Press, 1999 Library of Congress DS666.K3S53 1999 | Dewey Decimal 392.309599
A view from the remote Philippine highlands where the author’s time in the kalinga homeland was packed with the elements of a thriller novel: mystery, danger, sex, violence, death—and research too!
Ants for Breakfast is about the adventure of modern archaeology. Seeking insight into prehistoric pottery manufacture and use, archaeologist James Skibo traveled to the remote Phillippine highlands to live with the Kalinga people, once headhunters, and one of the few groups in the world who still use ceramics for cooking.
Even as he looked for clues to the past in the practices of the present, the author’s time in the Kalinga homeland was packed with excitment: mystery, danger, sex, violence, and death. It was also an opportunity to taste a world both subtly and vastly different, while adding a new perspective to his own. In the course of his narrative, Skibo seizes every opportunity to link his experiences to the development of modern archaeology, and to such topics as human evolution, the peopling of the world, animal domestication, cultural logic, food taboos, basketball, Indiana Jones, and even Imelda Marcos.
For centuries, the goal of archaeologists was to document and describe material artifacts, and at best to make inferences about the origins and evolution of human culture and about prehistoric and historic societies. During the 1960s, however, a number of young, primarily American archaeologists, including William Longacre, rebelled against this simplistic approach. Wanting to do more than just describe, Longacre and others believed that genuine explanations could be achieved by changing the direction, scope, and methodology of the field. What resulted was the New Archaeology, which blended scientific method and anthropology. It urged those working in the field to formulate hypotheses, derive conclusions deductively and, most important, to test them. While, over time the New Archaeology has had its critics, one point remains irrefutable: archaeology will never return to what has since been called its “state of innocence.”
In this collection of twelve new chapters, four generations of Longacre protégés show how they are building upon and developing but also modifying the theoretical paradigm that remains at the core of Americanist archaeology. The contributions focus on six themes prominent in Longacre’s career: the intellectual history of the field in the late twentieth century, archaeological methodology, analogical inference, ethnoarchaeology, cultural evolution, and reconstructing ancient society.
More than a comprehensive overview of the ideas developed by one of the most influential scholars in the field, however, Archaeological Anthropology makes stimulating contributions to contemporary research. The contributors do not unequivocally endorse Longacre’s ideas; they challenge them and expand beyond them, making this volume a fitting tribute to a man whose robust research and teaching career continues to resonate.
Archaeologists study a wide array of material remains to propose conclusions about non-material aspects of culture. The intricacies of these findings have increased over recent decades, but only limited attention has been paid to what the archaeological record can tell us about the transfer of cultural knowledge through apprenticeship.
Apprenticeship is broadly defined as the transmission of culture through a formal or informal teacher–pupil relationship. This collection invites a wide discussion, citing case studies from all over the world and yet focuses the scholarship into a concise set of contributions. The chapters in this volume demonstrate how archaeology can benefit greatly from the understanding of the social dimensions of knowledge transfer. This book also examines apprenticeship in archaeology against a backdrop of sociological and cognitive psychology literature, to enrich the understanding of the relationship between material remains and enculturation.
Each of the authors in this collection looks specifically at how material remains can reveal several specific aspects of ancient cultures: What is the human potential for learning? How do people learn? Who is teaching? Why are they learning? What are the results of such learning? How do we recognize knowledge transfer in the archaeological record? These fundamental questions are featured in various forms in all chapters of the book. With case studies from the American Southwest, Alaska, Egypt, Ancient Greece, and Mesopotamia, this book will have broad appeal for scholars—particularly those concerned with cultural transmission and traditions of learning and education—all over the world.
The Pacific coast and southern highlands of Chiapas and Guatemala is a region significant to debates about the origins of social complexity, interaction, and colonialism. The area, however, has received uneven attention and much of what we know is largely restricted to the Preclassic period. This theoretically eclectic volume presents greater temporal coverage, is geographically unified, and engages some of the most important questions of each period through a discussion of the archaeology of identity.
Chapters range from traditional assessments of identity to discussion of practice and relational personhood; all share a concern for how archaeology and ethnohistory provide opportunities and challenges in the reconstruction of identities. The region is one with a multifaceted history of interactions between local populations and those from other parts of Mesoamerica. Linguistic diversity, landscape, and artistic representations have added to the complexities of understanding identity formation here. Rather than providing a unified voice on the issues, Archaeology and Identity on the Pacific Coast and Southern Highlands of Mesoamerica is a dialogue presented through case studies, one that will hopefully encourage future research in this complex and little understood region of Mesoamerica.
In recent years, archaeologists have used the terms hybrid and hybridity with increasing frequency to describe and interpret forms of material culture. Hybridity is a way of viewing culture and human action that addresses the issue of power differentials between peoples and cultures. This approach suggests that cultures are not discrete pure entities but rather are continuously transforming and recombining. The Archaeology of Hybrid Material Culture discusses this concept and its relationship to archaeological classification and the emergence of new ethnic group identities. This collection of essays provides readers with theoretical and concrete tools for investigating objects and architecture with discernible multiple influences.
The twenty-one essays are organized into four parts: ceramic change in colonial Latin America and the Caribbean; ethnicity and material culture in pre-Hispanic and colonial Latin America; culture contact and transformation in technological style; and materiality and identity. The media examined include ceramics, stone and glass implements, textiles, bone, architecture, and mortuary and bioarchaeological artifacts from North, South, and Central America, Hawai‘i, the Caribbean, Europe, and Mesopotamia. Case studies include Bronze Age Britain, Iron Age and Roman Europe, Uruk-era Turkey, African diasporic communities in the Caribbean, pre-Spanish and Pueblo revolt era Southwest, Spanish colonial impacts in the American Southeast, Central America, and the Andes, ethnographic Amazonia, historic-era New England and the Plains, the Classic Maya, nineteenth-century Hawai‘i, and Upper Paleolithic Europe. The volume is carefully detailed with more than forty maps and figures and over twenty tables.
The work presented in The Archaeology of Hybrid Material Culture comes from researchers whose questions and investigations recognized the role of multiple influences on the people and material they study. Case studies include experiments in bone working in middle Missouri; images and social relationships in prehistoric and Roman Europe; technological and material hybridity in colonial Peruvian textiles; ceramic change in colonial Latin America and the Caribbean; and flaked glass tools from the leprosarium at Kalawao, Moloka‘i. The essays provide examples and approaches that may serve as a guide for other researchers dealing with similar issues.
Archaeology has been subjected to a wide range of misunderstandings of kinship theory and many of its central concepts. Demonstrating that kinship is the foundation for past societies’ social organization, particularly in non-state societies, Bradley E. Ensor offers a lucid presentation of kinship principles and theories accessible to a broad audience. He provides not only descriptions of what the principles entail but also an understanding of their relevance to past and present topics of interest to archaeologists. His overall goal is always clear: to illustrate how kinship analysis can advance archaeological interpretation and how archaeology can advance kinship theory.
The Archaeology of Kinship supports Ensor’s objectives: to demonstrate the relevance of kinship to major archaeological questions, to describe archaeological methods for kinship analysis independent of ethnological interpretation, to illustrate the use of those techniques with a case study, and to provide specific examples of how diachronic analyses address broader theory. As Ensor shows, archaeological diachronic analyses of kinship are independently possible, necessary, and capable of providing new insights into past cultures and broader anthropological theory. Although it is an old subject in anthropology, The Archaeology of Kinship can offer new and exciting frontiers for inquiry.
Kinship research in general—and prehistoric kinship in particular—is rapidly reemerging as a topical subject in anthropology. This book is a timely archaeological contribution to that growing literature otherwise dominated by ethnology.
In the broadest sense this book is concerned with describing and explaining how particular places contain the key elements necessary for understanding the social worlds constructed, maintained, and modified by those who once inhabited them. This is achieved through the investigation of biographical, topographic, geopolitical, ideological, cosmological, and mnemonic facets of place, beginning with processes of place making and continuing with the development of networks among and between places and broader landscapes.
Diverse spatial and temporal contexts in two culture areas--Mesoamerica and the Greater Southwest--serve as backdrops for nine chapters in which fourteen contributors show how place is an ideal starting point to begin unraveling the human past. Several authors further address the enduring significance of places of the past for contemporary peoples. Among the many strengths of this volume is the careful way in which powerful concepts, diverse lines of thought, and empirical models are integrated to reveal the multiple facets of meaningful places, and to illustrate ways in which places may be approached archaeologically, theoretically, and culturally. Ultimately, the book’s contributors champion the notion that place is a valid and useful analytical unit for describing, reconstructing, interpreting, and explaining the form, structure, and temporality of the meanings humans ascribe to their environment.
For thousands of years, fisheries were crucial to the sustenance of the First Peoples of the Pacific Coast. Yet human impact has left us with a woefully incomplete understanding of their histories prior to the industrial era. Covering Alaska, British Columbia, and Puget Sound, The Archaeology of North Pacific Fisheries illustrates how the archaeological record reveals new information about ancient ways of life and the histories of key species. Individual chapters cover salmon, as well as a number of lesser-known species abundant in archaeological sites, including pacific cod, herring, rockfish, eulachon, and hake. In turn, this ecological history informs suggestions for sustainable fishing in today’s rapidly changing environment.
Mesoamerican archaeologists have long been interested in the collapse of political systems or civilizations but have been slow to undertake detailed abandonment analyses of specific settlements. The Archaeology of Settlement Abandonment in Middle America explores some of the old questions in Middle American archaeology in light of the newer theoretical approach provided by abandonment studies. Unlike much of the abandonment work previously done in the American Southwest, a number of contributions to this volume examine relatively large population centers.
Among the original contributions in this collection is the discovery that deposits resulting from termination rituals are more common than previously thought. Several chapters point out that structures and places can continue to serve ritual functions even after abandonment. Another finding is that the causes of abandonment—warfare, economic marginalization, or natural cataclysm—are likely to have varied effects on different social groups, which in turn sheds light on occupational histories in specific sites preceding major abandonments.
Migration as an instrument of cultural change is an undeniable feature of the archaeological record. Yet reliable methods of identifying migration are not always accessible.
In Athapaskan Migrations, authors R. G. Matson and Martin P. R. Magne use a variety of methods to identify and describe the arrival of the Athapaskan-speaking Chilcotin Indians in west central British Columbia. By contrasting two similar geographic areas—using the parallel direct historical approach—the authors define this aspect of Athapaskan culture. They present a sophisticated model of Northern Athapaskan migrations based on extensive archaeological, ethnographic, and dendrochronological research.
A synthesis of 25 years of work, Athapaskan Migrations includes detailed accounts of field research in which the authors emphasize ethnic group identification, settlement patterns, lithic analysis, dendrochronology, and radiocarbon dating. Their theoretical approach will provide a blueprint for others wishing to establish the ethnic identity of archaeological materials. Chapter topics include basic methodology and project history; settlement patterns and investigation of both the Plateau Pithouse and British Columbia Athapaskan Traditions; regional surveys and settlement patterns; excavated Plateau Pithouse Tradition and Athapaskan sites and their dating; ethnic identification of recovered material; the Chilcotin migration in the context of the greater Pacific Athapaskan, Navajo, and Apache migrations; and summaries and results of the excavations. The text is abundantly illustrated with more than 70 figures and includes access to convenient online appendixes. This substantial work will be of special importance to archaeologists, anthropologists, linguists, and scholars in Athapaskan studies and Canadian First Nation studies.
The Maya. The Romans. The great dynasties of ancient China. It is generally believed that these once mighty empires eventually crumbled and disappeared. A recent trend in archaeology, however, focusing on what happened during and after the decline of once powerful societies has found social resilience and transformation instead of collapse. In Beyond Collapse: Archaeological Perspectives on Resilience, Revitalization, and Transformation in Complex Societies, editor Ronald K. Faulseit gathers scholars with diverse theoretical perspectives to present innovative approaches to understanding the decline and reorganization of complex societies.
Essays in the book are arranged into five sections. The first section addresses previous research on the subject of collapse and reorganization as well as recent and historic theoretical trends. In the second section, contributors look at collapse and resilience through the concepts of collective action, eventful archaeology, and resilience theory. The third section introduces critical analyses of the effectiveness of resilience theory as a heuristic tool for modeling the phenomena of collapse and resilience. In the fourth section, contributors examine long-term adaptive strategies employed by prehistoric societies to cope with stresses. Essays in the fifth section make connections to contemporary research on post-decline societies in a variety of time periods and geographic locations.
Contributors consider collapse and reorganization not as unrelated phenomena but as integral components in the evolution of complex societies. Using archaeological data to interpret how ancient civilizations responded to various stresses—including environmental change, warfare, and the fragmentation of political institutions—contributors discuss not only what leads societies to collapse but also why some societies are resilient and others are not, as well as how societies reorganize after collapse. The implications of the fate of these societies for modern nations cannot be underestimated. Putting in context issues we face today, such as climate change, lack of social diversity, and the failure of modern states, Beyond Collapse is an essential volume for readers interested in human-environment interaction and in the collapse—and subsequent reorganization—of human societies.
This innovative volume builds on dialogues opened in recent years between Cuban archaeologists, whose work has long been carried out behind closed doors, and their international colleagues. The chapters included herein span a wide range of subjects across the full chronological spectrum. Most were written by emerging Cuban professionals who are breaking new ground; a few were penned by long-time leaders in the field.
Issues addressed by the 17 contributors represented in this collection include the long-term cultural and intellectual links between Florida and Cuba, which influence shared research goals today; the limitations of theoretical frameworks for archaeology defined in the wake of the Cuban Revolution, and how to overcome them; the challenges involved in charting out the earliest human occupations on the island; the processes of Indo-Hispanic transculturation during the Colonial epoch; late pre-Colombian links between the Taínos of eastern Cuba and the rest of the Greater Antilles; and the theoretical and practical tensions between architectural restoration and the practice of scientific urban historical archaeology. Thus this volume makes a crucial contribution to the field of archaeology on many fronts, not the least of which is the sharing of information across the blockade.
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
Edited by William A. Longacre University of Arizona Press, 1991 Library of Congress CC79.5.P6C48 1991 | Dewey Decimal 930.1
Ethnoarchaeology, the study of material culture in a living society by archaeologists, facilitates the extraction of information from prehistoric materials as well. Studies of contemporary pottery-making were initiated in the southwestern United States toward the end of the nineteenth century, then abandoned as a result of changes in archaeological theory. Now a resurgence in ethnoarchaeology over the past twenty-five years offers a new set of directions for the discipline. This volume presents the results of such work with pottery, a class of materials that occurs abundantly in many archaeological sites.
Drawing on projects undertaken around the world, in the Phillipines, East Africa, Mesoamerica, India, in both traditional and complex societies, the contributors focus on identifying social and behavioral sources of ceramic variation to show how analogical reasoning is fundamental to archaeological interpretation. As the number of pottery-making societies declines, opportunities for such research must be seized. By bringing together a variety of ceramic ethnoarchaeological analyses, this volume offers the profession a much-needed touchstone on method and theory for the study of pottery-making among living peoples.
Southwestern ceramics have always been admired for their variety and aesthetic beauty. Although ceramics are most often used for placing the peoples who produced them in time, they can also provide important clues to past economic organization. This volume covers nearly 1000 years of southwestern prehistory and history, focusing on ceramic production in a number of environmental and economic contexts. It brings together the best of current research to illustrate the variation in the organization of production evident in this single geographic area. The contributors use diverse research methods in their studies of vessel form and decoration. All support the conclusion that the specialized production of ceramics for exchange beyond the household was widespread. The first seven chapters focus on ceramic production in specific regions, followed by three essays that re-examine basic concepts and offer new perspectives. Because previous studies of southwestern ceramics have focused more on distribution than production, Ceramic Production in the American Southwest fills a long-felt need for scholars in that region and offers a broad-based perspective unique in the literature. The Southwest lacked high levels of sociopolitical complexity and economic differentiation, making this volume of special interest to scholars working in similar contexts and to those interested in craft production.
A fundamental issue for twenty-first century archaeologists is the need to better direct their efforts toward supporting rather than harming indigenous peoples. Collaborative indigenous archaeology has already begun to stress the importance of cooperative, community-based research; this book now offers an up-to-date assessment of how Native American and non-native archaeologists have jointly undertaken research that is not only politically aware and historically minded but fundamentally better as well.
Eighteen contributors—many with tribal ties—cover the current state of collaborative indigenous archaeology in North America to show where the discipline is headed. Continent-wide cases, from the Northeast to the Southwest, demonstrate the situated nature of local practice alongside the global significance of further decolonizing archaeology. And by probing issues of indigenous participation with an eye toward method, theory, and pedagogy, many show how the archaeological field school can be retailored to address politics, ethics, and critical practice alongside traditional teaching and research methods.
These chapters reflect the strong link between politics and research, showing what can be achieved when indigenous values, perspectives, and knowledge are placed at the center of the research process. They not only draw on experiences at specific field schools but also examine advances in indigenous cultural resource management and in training Native American and non-native students.
Theoretically informed and practically grounded, Collaborating at the Trowel’s Edge is a virtual guide for rethinking field schools and is an essential volume for anyone involved in North American archaeology—professionals, students, tribal scholars, or avocationalists—as well as those working with indigenous peoples in other parts of the world. It both reflects the rapidly changing landscape of archaeology and charts new directions to ensure the ongoing vitality of the discipline.
Organized by the theme of place and place-making in the Southwest, Contemporary Archaeologies of the Southwest emphasizes the method and theory for the study of radical changes in religion, settlement patterns, and material culture associated with population migration, colonialism, and climate change during the last 1,000 years.
Chapters address place-making in Chaco Canyon, recent trends in landscape archaeology, the formation of identities, landscape boundaries, and the movement associated with these aspects of place-making. They address how interaction of peoples with objects brings landscapes to life. Representing a diverse cross section of Southwestern archaeologists, the authors of this volume push the boundaries of archaeological method and theory, building a strong foundation for future Southwest studies.
This book will be of interest to professional and academic archaeologists, as well as students working in the American Southwest.
Decolonizing Indigenous Histories makes a vital contribution to the decolonization of archaeology by recasting colonialism within long-term indigenous histories. Showcasing case studies from Africa, Australia, Mesoamerica, and North and South America, this edited volume highlights the work of archaeologists who study indigenous peoples and histories at multiple scales.
The contributors explore how the inclusion of indigenous histories, and collaboration with contemporary communities and scholars across the subfields of anthropology, can reframe archaeologies of colonialism. The cross-cultural case studies employ a broad range of methodological strategies—archaeology, ethnohistory, archival research, oral histories, and descendant perspectives—to better appreciate processes of colonialism. The authors argue that these more complicated histories of colonialism contribute not only to understandings of past contexts but also to contemporary social justice projects.
In each chapter, authors move beyond an academic artifice of “prehistoric” and “colonial” and instead focus on longer sequences of indigenous histories to better understand colonial contexts. Throughout, each author explores and clarifies the complexities of indigenous daily practices that shape, and are shaped by, long-term indigenous and local histories by employing an array of theoretical tools, including theories of practice, agency, materiality, and temporality.
Included are larger integrative chapters by Kent Lightfoot and Patricia Rubertone, foremost North American colonialism scholars who argue that an expanded global perspective is essential to understanding processes of indigenous-colonial interactions and transitions.
Defending The Dinetah
Ronald H Towner University of Utah Press, 2003 Library of Congress E99.N3T675 2003 | Dewey Decimal 307.3172089972
Among the most striking features of the northwestern New Mexico landscape are the more than 130 fortresses and towers built on boulders, promontories, and mesa rims. These "pueblitos" in the traditional Navajo homeland of Dinétah have been a key piece of evidence used by archaeologists to infer a massive immigration of Puebloans into the Navajo country following the Spanish re-conquest of New Mexico (ca. 1700), yet they have never been comprehensively analyzed.
Using a database of tree-ring dates taken from beams and wood used to construct these pueblitos, Ronald Towner shows in this volume that most pueblitos are unrelated to Puebloan immigration or the re-conquest. He concludes that Navajos constructed the masonry structures and hogans contemporaneously for protection against Ute raiders and later Spanish entradas. Further, most were occupied for relatively brief periods and population density was much lower than has been assumed.
Towner points to a new model of Navajo ethnogenesis, based on a revised early population distribution and a variety of other means of incorporating non-Athapaskan elements into Navajo culture, making Defending the Dinétah a major contribution to Navajo studies.
The Ecology of Pastoralism
P. Nick Kardulias University Press of Colorado, 2015 Library of Congress SF140.P38E36 2015 | Dewey Decimal 636.0845
In The Ecology of Pastoralism, diverse contributions from archaeologists and ethnographers address pastoralism’s significant impact on humanity’s basic subsistence and survival, focusing on the network of social, political, and religious institutions existing within various societies dependent on animal husbandry.
Pastoral peoples, both past and present, have organized their relationships with certain animals to maximize their ability to survive and adapt to a wide range of conditions over time. Contributors show that despite differences in landscape, environment, and administrative and political structures, these societies share a major characteristic—high flexibility. Based partially on the adaptability of various domestic animals to difficult environments and partially on the ability of people to establish networks allowing them to accommodate political, social, and economic needs, this flexibility is key to the survival of complex pastoral systems and serves as the connection among the varied cultures in the volume.
In The Ecology of Pastoralism, a variety of case studies from a broad geographic sampling uses archaeological and contemporary data and offers a new perspective on the study of pastoralism, making this volume a valuable contribution to current research in the area.
Behavioral archaeology, defined as the study of people-object interactions in all times and places, emerged in the 1970s, in large part because of the innovative work of Michael Schiffer and colleagues. This volume provides an overview of how behavioral archaeology has evolved and how it has affected the field of archaeology at large.
The contributors to this volume are Schiffer’s former students, from his first doctoral student to his most recent. This generational span has allowed for chapters that reflect Schiffer’s research from the 1970s to 2012. They are iconoclastic and creative and approach behavioral archaeology from varied perspectives, including archaeological inference and chronology, site formation processes, prehistoric cultures and migration, modern material culture variability, the study of technology, object agency, and art and cultural resources. Broader questions addressed include models of inference and definitions of behavior, study of technology and the causal performances of artifacts, and the implications of artifact causality in human communication and the flow of behavioral history.
Archaeology in Israel is truly a national obsession, a practice through which national identity—and national rights—have long been asserted. But how and why did archaeology emerge as such a pervasive force there? How can the practices of archaeology help answer those questions? In this stirring book, Nadia Abu El-Haj addresses these questions and specifies for the first time the relationship between national ideology, colonial settlement, and the production of historical knowledge. She analyzes particular instances of history, artifacts, and landscapes in the making to show how archaeology helped not only to legitimize cultural and political visions but, far more powerfully, to reshape them. Moreover, she places Israeli archaeology in the context of the broader discipline to determine what unites the field across its disparate local traditions and locations.
Boldly uncovering an Israel in which science and politics are mutually constituted, this book shows the ongoing role that archaeology plays in defining the past, present, and future of Palestine and Israel.
Kukveni—footprints—are a powerful historical metaphor that the Hopi people use to comprehend their tangible heritage. Hopis say that the deity Máasaw instructed their ancestors to leave footprints during their migrations from their origin place to their home today as evidence that they had fulfilled a spiritual pact to serve as stewards of his land. Today’s Hopis understand these footprints to be the archaeological remains of former settlements—pottery sherds, stone tools, petroglyphs, and other physical evidence of past use and occupation of the land.
The fourteen chapters in Footprints of Hopi History: Hopihiniwtiput Kukveni’at focus on these Hopi footprints as they are understood through a variety of research techniques, including archaeology, ethnography, documentary history, plant genetics, and educational outreach. The editors and contributors offer fresh and innovative perspectives on Hopi archaeology and history, and demonstrate how one tribe has significantly advanced knowledge about its past through collaboration with archaeologists and cultural anthropologists.
The book features managerial uses of research, cultural landscape theory, use of GIS in research, archaeological interpretations of social identity and immigration, analysis of corn genetics, heritage education of youth, and research of oral traditions and documentary history. Footprints of Hopi History highlights the Hopi tribe’s leadership in sustained efforts to create bridges between tribal goals and anthropology, forging a path for others to follow.
E. Charles Adams
T. J. Ferguson
George Gumerman IV
Saul L. Hedquist
Maren P. Hopkins
Stewart B. Koyiyumptewa
Leigh J. Kuwanwisiwma
Lee Wayne Lomayestewa
Patrick D. Lyons
Thomas E. Sheridan
Mark D. Varien
Laurie D. Webster
Peter M. Whiteley
Forging Southeastern Identities: Social Archaeology and Ethnohistory of the Mississippian to Early Historic South, a groundbreaking collection of ten essays, covers a broad expanse of time—from the ninth to the nineteenth centuries—and focuses on a common theme of identity. These essays represent the various methods used by esteemed scholars today to study how Native Americans in the distant past created new social identities when old ideas of the self were challenged by changes in circumstance or by historical contingencies.
Archaeologists, anthropologists, and folklorists working in the Southeast have always recognized the region’s social diversity; indeed, the central purpose of these disciplines is to study peoples overlooked by the mainstream. Yet the ability to define and trace the origins of a collective social identity—the means by which individuals or groups align themselves, always in contrast to others—has proven to be an elusive goal. Here, editors Gregory A. Waselkov and Marvin T. Smith champion the relational identification and categorical identification processes, taken from sociological theory, as effective analytical tools.
Taking up the challenge, the contributors have deployed an eclectic range of approaches to establish and inform an overarching theme of identity. Some investigate shell gorgets, textiles, shell trade, infrastructure, specific sites, or plant usage. Others focus on the edges of the Mississippian world or examine colonial encounters between Europeans and native peoples. A final chapter considers the adaptive malleability of historical legend in the telling and hearing of slave narratives.
High Uinta Trails
John Veranth University of Utah Press, 1998 Library of Congress CC79.E85M38 1999 | Dewey Decimal 930.1
An indispensable resource for selecting a destination and planning a trip in the High Uintas.
High Uinta Wilderness—three emotion-charged words that describe a very precious place. The highest mountains, the unique alpine ecosystem, and the largest designated Wilderness in Utah are all found here.
This is a complete rewriting of the original High Uinta Trails, first published in 1974. Access road and land management information has been expanded, new areas and routes have been added, and trail conditions have been completely updated.
The descriptions of the trails, lakes, ridges, and summits are an indispensable resource for selecting a destination and planning a trip but there are still plenty of undocumented places in the Uintas to explore.
In recent years, archaeologists and Native American communities have struggled to find common ground even though more than a century ago a man of Seneca descent raised on New York’s Cattaraugus Reservation, Arthur C. Parker, joined the ranks of professional archaeology. Until now, Parker’s life and legacy as the first Native American archaeologist have been neither closely studied nor widely recognized. At a time when heated debates about the control of Native American heritage have come to dominate archaeology, Parker’s experiences form a singular lens to view the field’s tangled history and current predicaments with Indigenous peoples.
In Inheriting the Past, Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh examines Parker’s winding career path and asks why it has taken generations for Native peoples to follow in his footsteps. Closely tracing Parker’s life through extensive archival research, Colwell-Chanthaphonh explores how Parker crafted a professional identity and negotiated dilemmas arising from questions of privilege, ownership, authorship, and public participation. How Parker, as well as the discipline more broadly, chose to address the conflict between Native American rights and the pursuit of scientific discovery ultimately helped form archaeology’s moral community.
Parker’s rise in archaeology just as the field was taking shape demonstrates that Native Americans could have found a place in the scholarly pursuit of the past years ago and altered its trajectory. Instead, it has taken more than a century to articulate the promise of an Indigenous archaeology—an archaeological practice carried out by, for, and with Native peoples. As the current generation of researchers explores new possibilities of inclusiveness, Parker’s struggles and successes serve as a singular reference point to reflect on archaeology’s history and its future.
Located off the west coast of the Mexican state of Baja California, Isla Cedros—Island of Fogs—is site to some of the most extensive and remarkable archeological discoveries on the continent. Two sites dated to before 12,000 cal BP have been excavated, as well as portions of two large village sites dated to the last one thousand years. Among the artifacts discovered are the earliest fishhooks found on the continent.
Drawing on ten years of his own historical, ethnographic, and archaeological research, Matthew Des Lauriers uses Isla Cedros to form hypotheses regarding the ecological, economic, and social nature of island societies. Des Lauriers uses a comparative framework in order to examine both the development and evolution of social structures among Pacific coast maritime hunter-gatherers as well as to track patterns of change.
Because it examines the issue of whether human populations can intensively harvest natural resources without causing ecological collapse, Island of Fogs provides a relevant historical counterpart to modern discussions of ecological change and alternative models for sustainable development.
Winner of the Society for American Archaeology Book Award.
A long sequence of social, cultural, and political processes characterizes an ever-dynamic Caribbean history. The Caribbean Basin is home to numerous linguistic and cultural traditions and fluid interactions that often map imperfectly onto former colonial and national traditions. Although much of this contact occurred within the confines of local cultural communities, regions, or islands, they nevertheless also include exchanges between islands, and in some cases, with the surrounding continents. recent research in the pragmatics of seafaring and trade suggests that in many cases long-distance intercultural interactions are crucial elements in shaping the social and cultural dynamics of the local populations.
The contributors to Islands at the Crossroads include scholars from the Caribbean, the United States, and Europe who look beyond cultural boundaries and colonial frontiers to explore the complex and layered ways in which both distant and more intimate sociocultural, political, and economic interactions have shaped Caribbean societies from seven thousand years ago to recent times.
Douglas V. Armstrong / Mary Jane Berman / Arie Boomert / Alistair J. Bright / Richard T. Callaghan / L. Antonio Curet / Mark W. Hauser / Corinne L. Hofman / Menno L. P. Hoogland / Kenneth G. Kelly / Sebastiaan Knippenberg / Ingrid Newquist / Isabel C. Rivera-Collazo / Reniel Rodríquez Ramos / Alice V. M. Samson / Peter E. Siegel / Christian Williamson
In The Life-Giving Stone, Michael Searcy provides a thought-provoking ethnoarchaeological account of metate and mano manufacture, marketing, and use among Guatemalan Maya for whom these stone implements are still essential equipment in everyday life and diet.
Although many archaeologists have regarded these artifacts simply as common everyday tools and therefore unremarkable, Searcy’s methodology reveals how, for the ancient Maya, the manufacture and use of grinding stones significantly impacted their physical and economic welfare. In tracing the life cycle of these tools from production to discard for the modern Maya, Searcy discovers rich customs and traditions that indicate how metates and manos have continued to sustain life—not just literally, in terms of food, but also in terms of culture. His research is based on two years of fieldwork among three Mayan groups, in which he documented behaviors associated with these tools during their procurement, production, acquisition, use, discard, and re-use.
Searcy’s investigation documents traditional practices that are rapidly being lost or dramatically modified. In few instances will it be possible in the future to observe metates and manos as central elements in household provisioning or follow their path from hand-manufacture to market distribution and to intergenerational transmission. In this careful inquiry into the cultural significance of a simple tool, Searcy’s ethnographic observations are guided both by an interest in how grinding stone traditions have persisted and how they are changing today, and by the goal of enhancing the archaeological interpretation of these stones, which were so fundamental to pre-Hispanic agriculturalists with corn-based cuisines.
Although plastic and metal vessels offer significant advantages and have almost universally supplanted ceramics throughout the world, pottery fragments are one of the most ubiquitous artifacts in the archaeological record.
The southwestern region of Ethiopia is one of the few places in the world where locally made pottery is still the dominant choice for everyday domestic use. The Gamo people continue to produce and use pottery for transporting water, cooking, storing, and serving. Ethnoarchaeology undertaken in a society where people still use low-fired ceramics in daily life provides a powerful framework for archaeological inferences, especially since little behavioral information exists concerning the relationship between status, wealth, and household pottery.
Based on John Arthur’s extensive fieldwork, this study sheds light on some of the puzzles common to archaeology in any region. It also helps decipher evidence of inter- and intravillage social and economic organization and offers insight on markers for pottery-producing and nonproducing villages and socioeconomic variability.
Although the archaeology of food has long played an integral role in our understanding of past cultures, the archaeology of cooking is rarely integrated into models of the past. The cooks who spent countless hours cooking and processing food are overlooked and the forgotten players in the daily lives of our ancestors. The Menial Art of Cooking shows how cooking activities provide a window into other aspects of society and, as such, should be taken seriously as an aspect of social, cultural, political, and economic life.
This book examines techniques and technologies of food preparation, the spaces where food was cooked, the relationship between cooking and changes in suprahousehold economies, the religious and symbolic aspects of cooking, the relationship between cooking and social identity, and how examining foodways provides insight into social relations of production, distribution, and consumption. Contributors use a wide variety of evidence-including archaeological data; archival research; analysis of ceramics, fauna, botany, glass artifacts, stone tools, murals, and painted ceramics; ethnographic analogy; and the distribution of artifacts across space-to identify signs of cooking and food processing left by ancient cooks.
The Menial Art of Cooking is the first archaeological volume focused on cooking and food preparation in prehistoric and historic settings around the world and will interest archaeologists, social anthropologists, sociologists, and other scholars studying cooking and food preparation or subsistence.
A collection of the papers presented at the Twentieth Anniversary Southwest Symposium, Movement, Connectivity, and Landscape Change in the Ancient Southwest looks back at the issues raised in the first symposium in 1988 and tackles three contemporary domains in archaeology: landscape use and ecological change, movement and ethnogenesis, and connectivity among social groups through time and space. Across these sections the authors address the relevance of archaeology in the modern world; new approaches and concerns about collaboration across disciplines, communities, and subgroups; and the importance of multiple perspectives.
Particular attention is paid to the various ways that archaeology can and should contribute to contemporary social and environmental issues. Contributors come together to provide a synthetic volume on current research and possibilities for future explorations. Moving forward, they argue that archaeologists must continue to include researchers from across political and disciplinary boundaries and enhance collaboration with Native American groups.
This book will be of interest to professional and academic archaeologists, as well as students working in the field of the American Southwest.
Winner of the 2017 Arizona Literary Award for Published Nonfiction
Focusing on the two major areas of the Southwest that witnessed the most intensive and sustained colonial encounters, New Mexico and the Pimería Alta compares how different forms of colonialism and indigenous political economies resulted in diverse outcomes for colonists and Native peoples. Taking a holistic approach and studying both colonist and indigenous perspectives through archaeological, ethnohistorical, historical, and landscape data, contributors examine how the processes of colonialism played out in the American Southwest.
Although these broad areas—New Mexico and southern Arizona/northern Sonora—share a similar early colonial history, the particular combination of players, sociohistorical trajectories, and social relations within each area led to, and were transformed by, markedly diverse colonial encounters. Understanding these different mixes of players, history, and social relations provides the foundation for conceptualizing the enormous changes wrought by colonialism throughout the region. The presentations of different cultural trajectories also offer important avenues for future thought and discussion on the strategies for missionization and colonialism.
The case studies tackle how cultures evolved in the light of radical transformations in cultural traits or traditions and how different groups reconciled to this change. A much needed up-to-date examination of the colonial era in the Southwest, New Mexico and the Pimería Alta demonstrates the intertwined relationships between cultural continuity and transformation during a time of immense change and highlights contemporary thought on the colonial experience.
Contributors: Joseph Aguilar, Jimmy Arterberry, Heather Atherton, Dale Brenneman, J. Andrew Darling, John G. Douglass, B. Sunday Eiselt, Severin Fowles, William M. Graves, Lauren Jelinek, Kelly L. Jenks, Stewart B. Koyiyumptewa, Phillip O. Leckman, Matthew Liebmann, Kent G. Lightfoot, Lindsay Montgomery, Barnet Pavao-Zuckerman, Robert Preucel, Matthew Schmader, Thomas E. Sheridan, Colleen Strawhacker, J. Homer Thiel, David Hurst Thomas, Laurie D. Webster
Political authority contains an inherent contradiction. Rulers must reinforce social inequality and bolster their own unique position at the top of the sociopolitical hierarchy, yet simultaneously emphasize social similarities and the commonalities shared by all. Political Strategies in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica explores the different and complex ways that those who exercised authority in the region confronted this contradiction.
New data from a variety of well-known scholars in Mesoamerican archaeology reveal the creation, perpetuation, and contestation of politically authoritative relationships between rulers and subjects and between nobles and commoners. The contributions span the geographic breadth and temporal extent of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica—from Preclassic Oaxaca to the Classic Petén region of Guatemala to the Postclassic Michoacán—and the contributors weave together archaeological, epigraphic, and ethnohistoric data.
Grappling with the questions of how those exercising authority convince others to follow and why individuals often choose to recognize and comply with authority, Political Strategies in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica discusses why the study of political authority is both timely and significant, reviews how scholars have historically understood the operation of political authority, and proposes a new analytical framework to understand how rulers rule.
Contributors include Sarah B. Barber, Joanne Baron, Christopher S. Beekman, Jeffrey Brzezinski, Bryce Davenport, Charles Golden, Takeshi Inomata, Arthur A. Joyce, Sarah Kurnick, Carlo J. Lucido, Simon Martin, Tatsuya Murakami, Helen Perlstein Pollard, and Víctor Salazar Chávez.
Although most ceramic studies describe vessel production and use, the causes and rates of pottery discard are often neglected in archaeological studies. Michael Shott presents analytical methods for determining pottery use life and demonstrates why use life should not be overlooked.
Over a five-year period Shott inventoried the household pottery of about twenty-five homes in five towns in Michoacán, Mexico, recording age and types of use. He also looked at a subsample on a monthly basis over two years to estimate the magnitude of early vessel failure that would go unnoticed in an annual census. His analysis of about 900 vessels clearly shows that context does not explain use life, but vessel size does. Bigger pots last longer. Consulting other ethnoarchaeological sources for comparison and cross-cultural perspectives, Shott shows that his results can be applied to other archaeological datasets for determining numbers of original whole vessels as well as site occupation span.
Published in cooperation with the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies, Southern Methodist University.
The Pueblo Revolt of 1680 is the most renowned colonial uprisings in the history of the American Southwest. Traditional text-based accounts tend to focus on the revolt and the Spaniards' reconquest in 1692—completely skipping over the years of indigenous independence that occurred in between. Revolt boldly breaks out of this mold and examines the aftermath of the uprising in colonial New Mexico, focusing on the radical changes it instigated in Pueblo culture and society.
In addition to being the first book-length history of the revolt that incorporates archaeological evidence as a primary source of data, this volume is one of a kind in its attempt to put these events into the larger context of Native American cultural revitalization. Despite the fact that the only surviving records of the revolt were written by Spanish witnesses and contain certain biases, author Matthew Liebmann finds unique ways to bring a fresh perspective to Revolt.
Most notably, he uses his hands-on experience at Ancestral Pueblo archaeological sites—four Pueblo villages constructed between 1680 and 1696 in the Jemez province of New Mexico—to provide an understanding of this period that other treatments have yet to accomplish. By analyzing ceramics, architecture, and rock art of the Pueblo Revolt era, he sheds new light on a period often portrayed as one of unvarying degradation and dissention among Pueblos. A compelling read, Revolt's "blood-and-thunder" story successfully ties together archaeology, history, and ethnohistory to add a new dimension to this uprising and its aftermath.
America’s western rivers are under assault from development, pollution, invasive species, and climate change. Returning these eco- systems to the time of European contact is often the stated goal for restoration efforts, yet neither the influence of indigenous societ- ies on rivers at the time of contact nor the deeper evolutionary relationships are yet understood by the scientific world. This volume presents a unique synthesis of scientific discoveries and traditional knowledge about the ecology of iconic river species in the American West.
Building from a foundation in fisheries biology and life history data about key species, the book reveals ancient human relationships with those species and describes time-tested Native resource management techniques, drawing from the archaeological record and original ethnographic sources. It evaluates current research trends, summarizes the conceptual foundations for the cultural and evolutionary significance of sustainable use of fish, and seeks pathways for future research. Geographic areas described include the Columbia Plateau, Idaho’s Snake River Plain, the Sacramento River Delta, and the mid-Fraser River of British Columbia. Previously unpublished information is included with the express permission and approval of tribal communities. This approach broadens and deepens the available body of data and establishes a basis for future collaboration between scientists and Native stakeholders toward mutual goals of river ecosystem health.
The papers in this volume explore the issues and techniques of archaeological site seasonality and settlement analysis. Examples introduce a broad range of specific analytical techniques of seasonality assessment and show variability and similarity in settlement patterns worldwide. In the process, they demonstrate the range of regional traditions of archaeological settlement analysis, and the complementarity of the approaches developed in the different regions.
Northwestern Plains prehistory and early history as told by human bones is vivid and dramatic. The skeletal and burial record spans thousands of years, a wide geographic expanse, and contains important evidence of human existence in this vast region of North America. This book helps clarify the emerging picture.
Most of the contributions assembled here were initially presented as part of a symposium at the Plains Conference in Oklahoma City in 2003. Twenty-one preeminent scholars, working across many fields within bioarchaeology and skeletal biology—including paleopathology, dental pathology, and human osteology—bring their expertise to bear not only on prehistoric Native American burials, but on numerous other case studies. They look at specific Wyoming samples of pioneer-era burials, Indian War–era casualties, historic Chinese burials, and remains from the Benick Ranch and the Korell-Bordeaux sites. Reports on Crow Indian mummies from Montana and military burials from Missouri and Nebraska continue the exploration into recent historic times.
Human burials provide a rich source of information about people’s lives—who they were, what activities they pursued, and how they may have participated in rituals of death and mourning. This volume is an authoritative statement on both the skeletal biology and bioarchaeology of the entire Northwestern Plains.
The concept of surplus captures the politics of production and also conveys the active material means by which people develop the strategies to navigate everyday life. Surplus: The Politics of Production and the Strategies of Everyday Life examines how surpluses affected ancient economies, governments, and households in civilizations across Mesoamerica, the Southwest United States, the Andes, Northern Europe, West Africa, Mesopotamia, and eastern Asia.
A hallmark of archaeological research on sociopolitical complexity, surplus is central to theories of political inequality and institutional finance. This book investigates surplus as a macro-scalar process on which states or other complex political formations depend and considers how past people—differentially positioned based on age, class, gender, ethnicity, role, and goal—produced, modified, and mobilized their social and physical worlds.
Placing the concept of surplus at the forefront of archaeological discussions on production, consumption, power, strategy, and change, this volume reaches beyond conventional ways of thinking about top-down or bottom-up models and offers a comparative framework to examine surplus, generating new questions and methodologies to elucidate the social and political economies of the past.
Contributors include Douglas J. Bolender, James A. Brown, Cathy L. Costin, Kristin De Lucia, Timothy Earle, John E. Kelly, Heather M. L. Miller, Christopher R. Moore, Christopher T. Morehart, Neil L. Norman, Ann B. Stahl, Victor D. Thompson, T. L. Thurston, and E. Christian Wells.
Ash, bone, and memories are all that remains after cremation. Yet for societies and communities, the act of cremation after death is highly symbolic, rich with complex meaning, touching on what it means to be human. In the process of transforming the dead, the family, the community, and society as a whole create and partake in cultural symbolism. Cremation is a key area of archaeological research, but its complexity has been underappreciated and undertheorized. Transformation by Fire offers a fresh assessment of archaeological research on this widespread social practice.
Editors Ian Kuijt, Colin P. Quinn, and Gabriel Cooney’s volume examines cremation by documenting the material signatures of cremation events and processes, as well as its transformative impact on social relations and concepts of the body. Indeed, examining why and how people chose to cremate their dead serves as an important means of understanding how people in the past dealt with death, the body, and the social world.
The contributors develop new perspectives on cremation as important mortuary practices and social transformations. Varying attitudes and beliefs on cremation and other forms of burial within the same cultural paradigm help us understand what constitutes the body and what occurs during its fiery transformation. In addition, they explore issues and interpretive perspectives in the archaeological study of cremation within and between different cultural contexts.
The global and comparative perspectives on cremation render the book a unique contribution to the literature of anthropological and mortuary archaeology.
In A Universal Theory of Pottery Production, award-winning archaeologist Richard A. Krause presents an ethnographic account of pottery production based on archaeological evidence.
Krause posits that the careful study of an archaeological site’s ceramics can be used to formulate a step-and-stage theory of pottery production for the area. Krause’s work suggests that by comparing the results of inquiries conducted at different sites and for different times, archaeologists may be able to create a general ethnographic theory of pottery production.
Krause demonstrates this process through a comprehensive analysis of potsherds from the highly stratified Puerto Rican site of Paso del Indio. He first provides a comprehensive explanation of the archaeological concepts of attribute, mode, feature, association, site, analysis, and classification. Using these seven concepts, he categorizes the production and decorative techniques in the Paso del Indio site. Krause then applies the concept of “focal form vessels” to the site’s largest fragments to test his step-and-stage theory of production against the evidence they provide. Finally, he assigns the ceramics at Paso del Indio to previously discussed potting traditions.
Unlike other books on the subject that use statistical methods to frame basic archaeological concepts, Krause approaches these topics from the perspective of epistemology and the explicatory practices of empirical science. In A Universal Theory of Pottery Production Krause offers much of interest to North American, Caribbean, and South American archaeologists interested in the manufacture, decoration, and classification of prehistoric pottery, as well as for archaeologists interested in archaeological theory.
Lively, forceful, and impassioned, Unwrapping the Sacred Bundle is a major intervention in debates about the configuration of the discipline of anthropology. In the essays brought together in this provocative collection, prominent anthropologists consider the effects of and alternatives to the standard definition of the discipline as a “holistic” study of humanity based on the integration of the four fields of archaeology, biological anthropology, sociocultural anthropology, and linguistic anthropology. Editors Daniel A. Segal and Sylvia J. Yanagisako provide a powerful introduction to the volume. Unabashed in their criticism of the four-field structure, they argue that North American anthropology is tainted by its roots in nineteenth-century social evolutionary thought.
The essayists consider the complex state of anthropology, its relation to other disciplines and the public sphere beyond academia, the significance of the convergence of linguistic and cultural anthropology, and whether or not anthropology is the best home for archaeology. While the contributors are not in full agreement with one another, they all critique “official” definitions of anthropology as having a fixed, four-field core. The editors are keenly aware that anthropology is too protean to be remade along the lines of any master plan, and this volume does not offer one. It does open discussions of anthropology’s institutional structure to all possible outcomes, including the refashioning of the discipline as it now exists.
Contributors. James Clifford, Ian Hodder, Rena Lederman, Daniel A. Segal, Michael Silverstein, Sylvia J. Yanagisako
One of the most important Postclassic cities, Utatlán, in highland Guatemala, was excavated more than three decades ago. However, the data amassed by archaeologists have not been published until now. Details on architecture, pottery, burials, and artifacts, along with a focus on residential archaeology, make Utatlán: The Constituted Community of the K'iche' Maya of Q'umarkaj a significant contribution to Maya archaeology.
Most information available on Utatlán focuses on the ceremonial center and ignores the city of the commoners. Using the archaeological data, Utatlán attempts to determine the boundaries of the community and to characterize subdivisions within it. Evidence of indigenous nonelite houses, rich burials, and grave goods unlike those found in contemporary sites reveals information about the supporting residence zone. In addition, Babcock applies the concept of "constituted community," interpreting the archaeological data from a prehistoric context, and proposes a theoretical framework for interpreting prehistoric sites with respect to urbanism and political complexity.
Utatlán: The Constituted Community of the K'iche' Maya of Q'umarkaj will be of interest to students and scholars of Mesoamerican anthropology, archaeology, and ethnohistory.