Mangroves and rice, six-row brittle barley and einkorn wheat. Ancient crops for prehistoric people. What do they have in common? All tell us about the lives and cultures of long ago, as humans cultivated or collected these plants for food. Exploring these and other important plants used for millennia by humans, Ancient Plants and People presents a wide-angle view of the current state of archaeobotanical research, methods, and theories.
Food has both a public and a private role, and it permeates the life of all people in a society. Food choice, production, and distribution probably represent the most complex indicators of social life, and thus a study of foods consumed by ancient peoples reveals many clues about their lifestyles. But in addition to yielding information about food production, distribution, preparation, and consumption, plant remains recovered from archaeological sites offer precious insights on past landscapes, human adaptation to climate change, and the relationship between human groups and their environment. Revealing important aspects of past human societies, these plant-driven insights widen the spectrum of information available to archaeologists as we seek to understand our history as a biological and cultural species.
Often answers raise more questions. As a result, archaeobotanists are constantly pushed to reflect on the methodological and theoretical aspects of their discipline. The contributors discuss timely methodological issues and engage in debates on a wide range of topics from plant utilization by hunter-gatherers and agriculturalists, to uses of ancient DNA. Ancient Plants and People provides a global perspective on archaeobotanical research, particularly on the sophisticated interplay between the use of plants and their social or environmental context.
Society for American Archaeology Book Award Winner
Many fundamental studies of the origins of states have built upon landscape data, but an overall study of the Near Eastern landscape itself has never been attempted. Spanning thousands of years of history, the ancient Near East presents a bewildering range of landscapes, the understanding of which can greatly enhance our ability to infer past political and social systems.
Tony Wilkinson now shows that throughout the Holocene humans altered the Near Eastern environment so thoroughly that the land has become a human artifact, albeit one that retains the power to shape human societies. In this trailblazing book—the first to describe and explain the development of the Near Eastern landscape using archaeological data—Wilkinson identifies specific landscape signatures for various regions and periods, from the early stages of complex societies in the fifth to sixth millennium B.C. to the close of the Early Islamic period around the tenth century A.D.
From Bronze Age city-states to colonized steppes, these signature landscapes of irrigation systems, tells, and other features changed through time along with changes in social, economic, political, and environmental conditions. By weaving together the record of the human landscape with evidence of settlement, the environment, and social and economic conditions, Wilkinson provides a holistic view of the ancient Near East that complements archaeological excavations, cuneiform texts, and other conventional sources.
Through this overview, culled from thirty years' research, Wilkinson establishes a new framework for understanding the economic and physical infrastructure of the region. By describing the basic attributes of the ancient cultural landscape and placing their development within the context of a dynamic environment, he breaks new ground in landscape archaeology and offers a new context for understanding the ancient Near East.
Archaeological Landscapes on the High Plains combines history, anthropology, archaeology, and geography to take a closer look at the relationships between land and people in this unique North American region.
Focusing on long-term change, this book considers ethnographic literature, archaeological evidence, and environmental data spanning thousands of years of human presence to understand human perception and construction of landscape. The contributors offer cohesive and synthetic studies emphasizing hunter-gatherers and subsistence farmers.
Using landscape as both reality and metaphor, Archaeological Landscapes on the High Plains explores the different and changing ways that people interacted with place in this transitional zone between the Rocky Mountains and the eastern prairies.
The contemporary archaeologists working in this small area have chosen diverse approaches to understand the past and its relationship to the present. Through these ten case studies, this variety is highlighted but leads to a common theme - that the High Plains contains important locales to which people, over generations or millennia, return. Providing both data and theory on a region that has not previously received much attention from archaeologists, especially compared with other regions in North America, this volume is a welcome addition to the literature. Contributors:
o Paul Burnett
o Oskar Burger
o Minette C. Church
o Philip Duke
o Kevin Gilmore
o Eileen Johnson
o Mark D. Mitchell
o Michael R. Peterson
o Lawrence Todd
Plantation sites, especially those in the southeastern United States, have long dominated the archaeological study of slavery. These antebellum estates, however, are not representative of the range of geographic locations and time periods in which slavery has occurred. As archaeologists have begun to investigate slavery in more diverse settings, the need for a broader interpretive framework is now clear.
The Archaeology of Slavery: A Comparative Approach to Captivity and Coercion, edited by Lydia Wilson Marshall, develops an interregional and cross-temporal framework for the interpretation of slavery. Contributors consider how to define slavery, identify it in the archaeological record, and study it as a diachronic process from enslavement to emancipation and beyond.
Essays cover the potential material representations of slavery, slave owners’ strategies of coercion and enslaved people’s methods of resisting this coercion, and the legacies of slavery as confronted by formerly enslaved people and their descendants. Among the peoples, sites, and periods examined are a late nineteenth-century Chinese laborer population in Carlin, Nevada; a castle slave habitation at San Domingo and a more elite trading center at nearby Juffure in the Gambia; two eighteenth-century plantations in Dominica; Benin’s Hueda Kingdom in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; plantations in Zanzibar; and three fugitive slave sites on Mauritius—an underground lava tunnel, a mountain, and a karst cave.
This essay collection seeks to analyze slavery as a process organized by larger economic and social forces with effects that can be both durable and wide-ranging. It presents a comparative approach that significantly enriches our understanding of slavery.
Groundbreaking essays in urban archaeology highlight the impact of towns and cities on the southern landscape
The rapid growth and development of urban areas in the South have resulted in an increase in the number of urban archaeology projects required by federal and state agencies. These projects provide opportunities not only to investigate marginal areas between the town and countryside but also to recover information long buried beneath the earliest urban structures. Such projects have also created a need for a one-volume update on archaeology as it is practiced in the urban areas of the southeastern United States.
Archaeology of Southern Urban Landscapes will assist practitioners and scholars in the burgeoning fields of urban and landscape archaeology by treating the South as a distinctive social, geographic, and material entity and by focusing on the urban South rather than the stereotypical South of rural plantations. The case studies in this volume span the entire southeastern United States, from Annapolis to New Orleans and from colonial times to the 19th century. The authors address questions involving the function of cities, interregional diversity, the evolution of the urban landscape, and the impact of the urban landscape on southern culture. By identifying the relationship between southern culture and the South's urban landscapes, this book will help us understand the built landscape of the past and predict future growth in the region.
Increasingly, the role of heritage management is to anticipate and guide future environmental change rather than to simply protect landscapes of the past. This charge presents a paradox for those invested in the preservation of the past: in order to preserve the historic environment, they have to collaborate with others who wish to change it, and in order to apply their expert knowledge, they must demonstrate its benefits for policy and society. The solution advocated here is an integrative landscape approach that draws on multiple disciplines and establishes links between archaeological-historical heritage and planning and between research and policy.
Detachment from Place is the first comparative and interdisciplinary volume on the archaeology of settlement abandonment, with contributions focusing on materiality, ideology, the environment, and social construction of space. The volume sheds new light on an important but underexamined aspect of settlement abandonment wherein sedentary groups undergoing the process of abandonment leave behind many meaningful elements of their inhabited landscape. The process of detaching from place—which could last centuries—transformed inhabitants into migrants and transformed settled, constructed, and agricultural landscapes into imagined ones that continued to figure significantly in the identities of migrant groups.
Drawing on case studies from the Americas, Africa, and Asia, the volume explores how relationships between ancient peoples and the places they lived were transformed as they migrated elsewhere. Contributors focus on social structure, ecology, and ideology to study how people and places both disentangled from each other and remained tied together during this process. From Huron-Wendat villages and Classic Maya palaces to historical villages in Togo and the great Southeast Asian Medieval capital of Bagan, specific cultural, historical, and environmental factors led ancient peoples to detach from their homes and embark on migrations that altered social memory and cultural identity—as evidenced in the archaeological record. Detachment from Place provides new insights into transfigurations of community identity, political organization, social and economic relations, religion, warfare, and agricultural practices and will be of interest to landscape archaeologists as well as researchers focused on collective memory, population movement, migratory patterns, and interaction.
Tomas Q. Barrientos, Jennifer Birch, Eduardo José Bustamante Luna, Catherine M. Cameron, Marcello A. Canuto, Jeffrey H. Cohen, Michael D. Danti, Phillip de Barros, Pete Demarte, Donna M. Glowacki, Gyles Iannone, Louis Lesage, Patricia A. McAnany, Asa R. Randall, Kenneth E. Sassaman
Distant Madagascar, the island at the end of the world, has many lessons to teach. The ancestors of the Malagasy people established themselves at least 1500 years ago. Again and again since their arrival, the Malagasy have created new kinds of political communities. This study concerns archaeological survey and excavations in the indigenous state of Imerina in the central highlands.
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.
Humans have occupied mountain environments and relied on mountain resources since the terminal Pleistocene. Their continuous interaction with the land from generation to generation has left material imprints ranging from anthropogenic fires to vision quest sites. The diverse case studies presented in this collection explore the material record of North American mountain dwellers and habitual users of high-elevation resources in terms of social investment—the intergenerational commitment of a group to a particular landscape. Contributors look creatively at the significance of social investment and its material and nonmaterial consequences, addressing landscape engineering at different times through diverse theoretical standpoints and archaeological, historical, and ethnographic data from varied mountain environments. Together, these original contributions demonstrate that social investment encompasses timeless ecological and ritual knowledge as well as innovation born from daily practice, tradition, and periodic adjustment to fit new social and political imperatives. Engineering Mountain Landscapes offers both substantive ideas of broad intellectual interest, specific case studies with state-of-art methodology, and a wealth of comparative data.
This volume contains thirty-five papers from a 2010 conference on landscape archaeology focusing on the definition of landscape as used by processual archaeologists, earth scientists, and most historical geographers, in contrast to the definition favored by postprocessual archaeologists, cultural geographers, and anthropologists. This tension provides a rich foundation for discussion, and the papers in this collection cover a variety of topics including: how do landscapes change; how to improve temporal, chronological, and transformational frameworks; how to link lowlands with mountainous areas; applications of scale; new directions in digital prospection and modeling techniques; and the future of landscape archaeology.
A growing number of archaeologists are applying Geographic Information Science (GIS) technologies to their research problems and questions. Advances in GIS and its use across disciplines allows for collaboration and enables archaeologists to ask ever more sophisticated questions and develop increasingly elaborate models on numerous aspects of past human behavior. Least cost analysis (LCA) is one such avenue of inquiry. While least cost studies are not new to the social sciences in general, LCA is relatively new to archaeology; until now, there has been no systematic exploration of its use within the field.
This edited volume presents a series of case studies illustrating the intersection of archaeology and LCA modeling at the practical, methodological, and theoretical levels. Designed to be a guidebook for archaeologists interested in using LCA in their own research, it presents a wide cross-section of practical examples for both novices and experts. The contributors to the volume showcase the richness and diversity of LCA’s application to archaeological questions, demonstrate that even simple applications can be used to explore sophisticated research questions, and highlight the challenges that come with injecting geospatial technologies into the archaeological research process.
Political Landscapes of Capital Cities investigates the processes of transformation of the natural landscape into the culturally constructed and ideologically defined political environments of capital cities. In this spatially inclusive, socially dynamic interpretation, an interdisciplinary group of authors including archaeologists, anthropologists, and art historians uses the methodology put forth in Adam T. Smith’s The Political Landscape: Constellations of Authority in Early Complex Polities to expose the intimate associations between human-made environments and the natural landscape that accommodate the sociopolitical needs of governmental authority.
Political Landscapes of Capital Cities blends the historical, political, and cultural narratives of capital cities such as Bangkok, Cusco, Rome, and Tehran with a careful visual analysis, hinging on the methodological tools of not only architectural and urban design but also cultural, historiographical, and anthropological studies. The collection provides further ways to conceive of how processes of urbanization, monumentalization, ritualization, naturalization, and unification affected capitals differently without losing grasp of local distinctive architectural and spatial features. The essays also articulate the many complex political and ideological agendas of a diverse set of sovereign entities that planned, constructed, displayed, and performed their societal ideals in the spaces of their capitals, ultimately confirming that political authority is profoundly spatial.
Contributors: Jelena Bogdanović, Jessica Joyce Christie, Talinn Grigor, Eulogio Guzmán, Gregor Kalas, Stephanie Pilat, Melody Rod-ari, Anne Parmly Toxey, Alexei Vranich
This distinctive book is the first to address the topic of landscape archaeology in early states from a truly global perspective. It provides an excellent introduction to—and overview of—the discipline today. The volume grew out of the Fifth Biennial Meeting of the Complex Societies Group, whose theme, States and the Landscape, paid tribute to the work of Robert McC. Adams. When Adams began publishing in the 1960s, the interdependence of cities and their countrysides, and the information revealed through the spatial patterning of communities, went largely unrecognized. Today, as this useful collection makes clear, these interpretive insights are fundamental to all archaeologists who investigate the roles of complex polities in their landscapes.
Polities and Power features detailed studies from an intentionally disparate array of regions, including Mesoamerica, Andean South America, southwestern Asia, East Africa, and the Indian subcontinent. Each chapter or pair of chapters is followed by a critical commentary. In concert, these studies strive to infer social, political, and economic meaning from archaeologically discerned landscapes associated with societies that incorporate some expression of state authority. The contributions engage a variety of themes, including the significance of landscapes as they condition and reflect complex polities; the interplay of natural and cultural elements in defining landscapes of state; archaeological landscapes as ever-dynamic entities; and archaeological landscapes as recursive structures, reflected in palimpsests of human activity.
Individually, many of these contributions are provocative, even controversial. Taken together, they reveal the contours of landscape archaeology at this particular evolutionary moment.
In this rich study of the construction and reconstruction of a colonized landscape, Prudence M. Rice takes an implicit political ecology approach in exploring encounters of colonization in Moquegua, a small valley of southern Peru. Building on theories of spatiality, spatialization, and place, she examines how politically mediated human interaction transformed the physical landscape, the people who inhabited it, and the resources and goods produced in this poorly known area.
Space-Time Perspectives on Early Colonial Moquegua looks at the encounters between existing populations and newcomers from successive waves of colonization, from indigenous expansion states (Wari, Tiwanaku, and Inka) to the foreign Spaniards, and the way each group “re-spatialized” the landscape according to its own political and economic ends. Viewing these spatializations from political, economic, and religious perspectives, Rice considers both the ideological and material occurrences.
Concluding with a special focus on the multiple space-time considerations involved in Spanish-inspired ceramics from the region, Space-Time Perspectives on Early Colonial Moquegua integrates the local and rural with the global and urban in analyzing the events and processes of colonialism. It is a vital contribution to the literature of Andean studies and will appeal to students and scholars of archaeology, historical archaeology, history, ethnohistory, and globalization.
This 43rd volume of the ASLU series presents a useful GIS procedure to study settlement patterns in landscape archaeology. In several Mediterranean regions, archaeological sites have been mapped by fieldwalking surveys, producing large amounts of data. These legacy site-based survey data represent an important resource to study ancient settlement organization. Methodological procedures are necessary to cope with the limits of these data, and more importantly with the distortions on data patterns caused by biasing factors.
This book develops and applies a GIS procedure to use legacy survey data in settlement pattern analysis. It consists of two parts. One part regards the assessment of biases that can affect the spatial patterns exhibited by survey data. The other part aims to shed light on the location preferences and settlement strategy of ancient communities underlying site patterns. In this book, a case-study shows how the method works in practice. As part of the research by the Landscapes of Early Roman Colonization project (NWO, Leiden University, KNIR) site-based datasets produced by survey projects in central-southern Italy are examined in a comparative framework to investigate settlement patterns in the early Roman colonial period (3rd century B.C.).
In the modern world, objects and buildings speak eloquently about their creators. Status, gender identity, and cultural affiliations are just a few characteristics we can often infer about such material culture. But can we make similar deductions about the inhabitants of the first millennium BCE Greek world? Theoretical Approaches to the Archaeology of Ancient Greece offers a series of case studies exploring how a theoretical approach to the archaeology of this area provides insight into aspects of ancient society.
An introductory section exploring the emergence and growth of theoretical approaches is followed by examinations of the potential insights these approaches provide. The authors probe some of the meanings attached to ancient objects, townscapes, and cemeteries, for those who created, and used, or inhabited them.
The range of contexts stretches from the early Greek communities during the eighth and seventh centuries BCE, through Athens between the eighth and fifth centuries BCE, and on into present day Turkey and the Levant during the third and second centuries BCE. The authors examine a range of practices, from the creation of individual items such as ceramic vessels and figurines, through to the construction of civic buildings, monuments, and cemeteries. At the same time they interrogate a range of spheres, from craft production, through civic and religious practices, to funerary ritual.