The publication in 1962 of Lew Binford’s paper "Archaeology as Anthropology" is generally considered to mark the birth of processualism—a critical turning point in American archaeology. In the hands of Binford and other young University of Chicago graduates of the 1960s, this "new" archaeology became the mainstream approach in the U.S. The realignment that the processualists proposed was so thorough that its effects are still being felt today. Predictably, processualism also spun off a number of other "isms," several of which grew up to challenge its supremacy.
Archaeology as a Process traces the intellectual history of Americanist archaeology in terms of the research groups that were at the forefront of these various approaches, concentrating as much on the archaeologists as it does on method and theory, thus setting it apart from other treatments published in the last fifteen years.
Peppered with rare photographs of well-known archaeologists in some interesting settings, the book documents the swirl and excitement of archaeological controversy for the past forty years with over 1,600 references and an in-depth treatment of all the major intellectual approaches. The contributors examine how archaeology is conducted—the ins and outs of how various groups work to promote themselves—and how personal ambition and animosities can function to further rather than retard the development of the discipline.
Until now, the research of applied zooarchaeologists has not had a significant impact on the work of conservation scientists. This book is designed to show how zooarchaeology can productively inform conservation science. Conservation Biology and Applied Zooarchaeology offers a set of case studies that use animal remains from archaeological and paleontological sites to provide information that has direct implications for wildlife management and conservation biology. It introduces conservation biologists to zooarchaeology, a sub-field of archaeology and ethnobiology, and provides a brief historical account of the development of applied zooarchaeology.
The case studies, which utilize palaeozoological data, cover a variety of animals and environments, including the marine ecology of shellfish and fish, potential restoration sites for Sandhill Cranes, freshwater mussel biogeography and stream ecology, conservation of terrestrial mammals such as American black bears, and even a consideration of the validity of the Pleistocene “rewilding” movement. The volume closes with an important new essay on the history, value, and application of applied zooarchaeology by R. Lee Lyman, which updates his classic 1996 paper that encouraged zooarchaeologists to apply their findings to present-day environmental challenges.
Each case study provides detailed analysis using the approaches of zooarchaeology and concludes with precise implications for conservation biology. Essays also address issues of political and social ecology, which have frequently been missing from the discussions of conservation scientists. As the editors note, all conservation actions occur in economic, social, and political contexts. Until now, however, the management implications of zooarchaeological research have rarely been spelled out so clearly.
This collection of Ford's works focuses on the development of ceramic chronology—a key tool in Americanist archaeology.
When James Ford began archaeological fieldwork in 1927, scholars divided time simply into prehistory and history. Though certainly influenced by his colleagues, Ford devoted his life to establishing a chronology for prehistory based on ceramic types, and today he deserves credit for bringing chronological order to the vast archaeological record of the Mississippi Valley.
This book collects Ford's seminal writings showing the importance of pottery styles in dating sites, population movements, and cultures. These works defined the development of ceramic chronology that culminated in the major volume Archaeological Survey in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley, 1940-1947, which Ford wrote with Philip Phillips and James B. Griffin. In addition to Ford's early writings, the collection includes articles written with Griffin and Gordon Willey, as well as other key papers by Henry Collins and Fred Kniffen.
Editors Michael O'Brien and Lee Lyman have written an introduction that sets the stage for each chapter and provides a cohesive framework from which to examine Ford's ideas. A foreword by Willey, himself a participant in this chronology development, looks back on the origin of that method. Measuring the Flow of Time traces the development of culture history in American archaeology by providing a single reference for all of Ford's writing on chronology. It chronicles the formation of one of the most important tools for understanding the prehistory of North America and shows its lasting relevance.
This invaluable classic provides the framework for the development of American archaeology during the last half of the 20th century.
In 1958 Gordon R. Willey and Philip Phillips first published Method and Theory in American Archaeology—a volume that went through five printings, the last in 1967 at the height of what became known as the new, or processual, archaeology. The advent of processual archaeology, according to Willey and Phillips, represented a "theoretical debate . . . a question of whether archaeology should be the study of cultural history or the study of cultural process."
Willey and Phillips suggested that little interpretation had taken place in American archaeology, and their book offered an analytical perspective; the methods they described and the structural framework they used for synthesizing American prehistory were all geared toward interpretation. Method and Theory served as the catalyst and primary reader on the topic for over a decade.
This facsimile reprint edition of the original University of Chicago Press volume includes a new foreword by Gordon R. Willey, which outlines the state of American archaeology at the time of the original publication, and a new introduction by the editors to place the book in historical context. The bibliography is exhaustive. Academic libraries, students, professionals, and knowledgeable amateurs will welcome this new edition of a standard-maker among texts on American archaeology.
This collection elucidates the key role played by the National Research Council seminars, reports, and pamphlets in setting an agenda that has guided American archaeology in the 20th century.
In the 1920s and 1930s, the fascination that Americans had for the continent's prehistoric past was leading to a widespread and general destruction of archaeological evidence. In a drive toward the commercialization of antiquities, amateur collectors and "pot hunters" pillaged premier and lesser-known sites before the archaeological record could be properly investigated and documented. Adding to the problem was a dearth of professionals and scholars in the field to conduct professional investigations and to educate the public about the need for preservation and scientific research methods.
In stepped the National Research Council, a division of the National Academy of Sciences, the Committee on State Archaeological Surveys. The CSAS initiated an enormously successful outreach program to enlist the aid of everyday citizens in preserving the fragile but valuable prehistoric past. Meetings held in St. Louis, Birmingham, and Indianapolis provided nuts-and-bolts demonstrations by trained archaeologists and laid out research agendas that both professionals and amateurs could follow.
Setting the Agenda contains the complete reports of the three NRC conferences, a short publication on the methods and techniques for conducting archaeological surveys, and a guide for amateur archaeologists. An extensive introduction by the editors sets these documents in context and provides insight into the intentions of the NRC committee members as they guided the development of American archaeology.
This book explains the deep influence of biological methods and theories on the practice of Americanist archaeology by exploring W. C. McKern's use of Linnaean taxonomy as the model for development of a pottery classification system.
By the early 20th century, North American archaeologists had found evidence of a plethora of prehistoric cultures displaying disparate geographic and chronological distributions. But there were no standards or algorithms for specifying when a culture was distinct or identical to another in a nearby or distant region.
Will Carleton McKern of the Milwaukee Public Museum addressed this fundamental problem of cultural classification beginning in 1929. He modeled his solution—known as the Midwestern Taxonomic Method—on the Linnaean biological taxonomy because he wanted the ability to draw historical and cultural "relationships" among cultures. McKern was assisted during development of the method by Carl E. Guthe, Thorne Deuel, James B. Griffin, and William Ritchie.
This book studies the 1930s correspondence between McKern and his contemporaries as they hashed out the method's nuances. It compares the several different versions of the method and examines the Linnaean biological taxonomy as it was understood and used at the time McKern adapted it to archaeological problems. Finally, this volume reveals how and why the method failed to provide the analytical solution envisioned by McKern and his colleagues and how it influenced the later development of Americanist archaeology.
The Woodland Southeast
Edited by David G. Anderson and Robert C. Mainfort University of Alabama Press, 2002 Library of Congress E99.W84W66 2002 | Dewey Decimal 976.01
This collection presents, for the first time, a much-needed synthesis of the major research themes and findings that characterize the Woodland Period in the southeastern United States.
The Woodland Period (ca. 1200 B.C. to A.D. 1000) has been the subject of a great deal of archaeological research over the past 25 years. Researchers have learned that in this approximately 2000-year era the peoples of the Southeast experienced increasing sedentism, population growth, and organizational complexity. At the beginning of the period, people are assumed to have been living in small groups, loosely bound by collective burial rituals. But by the first millennium A.D., some parts of the region had densely packed civic ceremonial centers ruled by hereditary elites. Maize was now the primary food crop. Perhaps most importantly, the ancient animal-focused and hunting-based religion and cosmology were being replaced by solar and warfare iconography, consistent with societies dependent on agriculture, and whose elites were increasingly in competition with one another. This volume synthesizes the research on what happened during this era and how these changes came about while analyzing the period's archaeological record.
In gathering the latest research available on the Woodland Period, the editors have included contributions from the full range of specialists working in the field, highlighted major themes, and directed readers to the proper primary sources. Of interest to archaeologists and anthropologists, both professional and amateur, this will be a valuable reference work essential to understanding the Woodland Period in the Southeast.