Brings together the nation's leading scholars on the prehistory and early history of Alabama and the southeastern US
This fascinating collection was born of a concern with Alabama's past and the need to explore and explain that legacy, so often hidden by the veils of time, ignorance, or misunderstanding. In 1981 The University of Alabama celebrated its 150th anniversary, and each College contributed to the celebration by sponsoring a special symposium. The College of Arts and Sciences brought together the nation's leading scholars on the prehistory and early history of Alabama and the Southeastern United States, and for two memorable days in September 1981 several hundred interested listeners heard those scholars present their interpretations of Alabama's remarkable past.
The organizers of the symposium deliberately chose to focus on Alabama's history before statehood. Alabama as a constituent state of the Old South is well known. Alabama as a home of Indian cultures and civilizations of a high order, as an object of desire, exploration, and conquest in the sixteenth century, and as a borderland disputed by rival European nationalities for almost 300 years is less well known. The resulting essays in this collection prove as interesting, enlightening, and provocative to the casual reader as to the professional scholar, for they are intended to bring to the general reader artifacts and documents that reveal the realities and romance of that older Alabama.
Topics in the collection range from the Mississippian Period in archaeology and the de Soto expedition (and other early European explorations and settlements of Alabama) to the 1780 Siege of Mobile.
From prehistory to the present, the Indigenous peoples of the Andes have used a visual symbol system—that is, art—to express their sense of the sacred and its immanence in the natural world. Many visual motifs that originated prior to the Incas still appear in Andean art today, despite the onslaught of cultural disruption that native Andeans have endured over several centuries. Indeed, art has always been a unifying power through which Andeans maintain their spirituality, pride, and culture while resisting the oppression of the dominant society.
In this book, Mary Strong takes a significantly new approach to Andean art that links prehistoric to contemporary forms through an ethnographic understanding of Indigenous Andean culture. In the first part of the book, she provides a broad historical survey of Andean art that explores how Andean religious concepts have been expressed in art and how artists have responded to cultural encounters and impositions, ranging from invasion and conquest to international labor migration and the internet. In the second part, Strong looks at eight contemporary art types—the scissors dance (danza de tijeras), home altars (retablos), carved gourds (mates), ceramics (ceramica), painted boards (tablas), weavings (textiles), tinware (hojalateria), and Huamanga stone carvings (piedra de Huamanga). She includes prehistoric and historic information about each art form, its religious meaning, the natural environment and sociopolitical processes that help to shape its expression, and how it is constructed or performed by today’s artists, many of whom are quoted in the book.
In 1996, America abolished its long-standing welfare system in favor of a new and largely untried public assistance program. Welfare as we knew it arose in turn from a previous generation's rejection of an even earlier system of aid. That generation introduced welfare in order to eliminate orphanages.This book examines the connection between the decline of the orphanage and the rise of welfare. Matthew Crenson argues that the prehistory of the welfare system was played out not on the stage of national politics or class conflict but in the micropolitics of institutional management. New arrangements for child welfare policy emerged gradually as superintendents, visiting agents, and charity officials responded to the difficulties that they encountered in running orphanages or creating systems that served as alternatives to institutional care.Crenson also follows the decades-long debate about the relative merits of family care or institutional care for dependent children. Leaving poor children at home with their mothers emerged as the most generally acceptable alternative to the orphanage, along with an ambitious new conception of social reform. Instead of sheltering vulnerable children in institutions designed to transform them into virtuous citizens, the reformers of the Progressive era tried to integrate poor children into the larger society, while protecting them from its perils.
Hailed as a classic when initially published in 1961, Eat Not This Flesh was the first book that explored, from a historical and cultural perspective, taboos against eating certain kinds of flesh. Frederick J. Simoons's research remains original and invaluable, the only attempt of its kind to reconstruct the origin and spread of food avoidances while challenging current Western explanations. In this expanded and updated edition, Simoons integrates new research as he examines the use and avoidance of flesh foods—including beef, pork, chicken, and eggs, camel, dog, horse, and fish—from antiquity to the present day.
Simoons suggests that Westerners are too ready, even in the absence of supporting evidence, to cite contemporary thinking about disease and environmental factors to explain why certain cultures avoid particular kinds of meat. He demonstrates how historical and archaeological evidence fails to support such explanations. He examines the origin of pork rejection in the Near East, explores the concept of the sacred cow in India and the ensuing ban on beef, and reveals how some African women abstain from chicken and eggs, fearing infertility.
While no single explanation exists for food taboos, Simoons finds that the powerful, recurrent theme of maintaining ritual purity, good health, and well-being underlies diet habits. He emphasizes that only a full range of factors can explain eating patterns, and he stresses the interplay of religious, moral, hygienic, ecological, and economic factors in the context of human culture. Maps, drawings, and photos highlighting food avoidance patterns in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Pacific provide additional information throughout the book.
The prehistoric agricultural systems of the New World provided the foundations for a diverse set of complex social developments ranging from the puebloan societies of the American Southwest to the archaic state polities of Mesoamerica and the Andean region. From the tropical forests of Central America to the arid environments or northern New Mexico, Native American farmers made use of a distinctive set of cultigens and cropping systems that supported—with varying degrees of success—growing populations and expanding economies. Lacking most domesticated animals, so important to the mixed agricultural systems of the Old World, Precolumbian farmers developed intensive and resilient systems of agricultural production. These systems supported large societies of people who altered the landscapes they inhabited and generated a unique archaeological record of the evolution of farming in the New World.
A chronicle of the renaissance in kinship studies, these seventeen articles pay tribute to Per Hage, one of the founding fathers of the movement and long-time faculty member of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Utah. With mathematician Frank Harary, Hage pioneered the use of graph theoretical models in anthropology, a systematic analysis of diverse cognitive, social, and cultural components that provides a common technical vocabulary for the entire field. Anthropological studies have benefited from quantitative evaluation, particularly kinship, which is newly appreciated for its application to all social sciences. The chapters of this book, some original works by the contributors and some unpublished Hage material, attest to the importance of the continual study of kinship.
University of Utah Anthropological Paper No. 123
This study examines prehistoric use of the Stillwater Marsh in the Carson Desert of western Nevada and the adjacent Stillwater Mountains based on an archaeological survey undertaken in 1980 and 1981, and excavations conducted in 1987. Much of the argument about the use of wetlands revolved around whether they were used be sedentary hunter-gatherers, were just one stop of a family’s seasonal round, or were used only as backup resources. As a result, this report focuses on the issues of hunter-gatherer subsistence and mobility.
The Central Mississippi Valley, defined as the region along the Mississippi River from where the Ohio River joins in the north to its confluence with the Arkansas River in the south, lies between the two most important archaeological areas of the Southeast: American Bottom/Cahokia and the Lower Yazoo Basin. The valley has been influenced by these major centers and has a complex history of its own. Contributions from experts throughout the region present current, if sometimes conflicting, views of the regional cultural sequences supported by data from recent surveys and excavations, as well as radiocarbon and chronometric determinations. By examining this new information and reevaluating earlier interpretations of local archaeological sequences, this volume provides a comprehensive overview of the valley and defines future research goals.
Early humans did not simply drift northward from their African origins as their abilities to cope with cooler climates evolved. The initial settlement of places like Europe and northern Asia, as well as the later movement into the Arctic and the Americas, actually occurred in relatively rapid bursts of expansion. A Prehistory of the North is the first full-length study to tell the complex story, spanning almost two million years, of how humans inhabited some of the coldest places on earth.
In an account rich with illustrations, John Hoffecker traces the history of anatomical adaptations, diet modifications, and technological developments, such as clothing and shelter, which allowed humans the continued ability to push the boundaries of their habitation. The book concludes by showing how in the last few thousand years, peoples living in the circumpolar zone—with the exception of western and central Siberia—developed a thriving maritime economy.
Written in nontechnical language, A Prehistory of the North provides compelling new insights and valuable information for professionals and students.
The Northeastern Trans-Pecos region of Texas is an unforgiving environment for anyone living off the land, yet nomadic hunters and gatherers roamed its deserts and mountains and sheltered in caves and sinkholes from around AD 200 to 1450. This book provides detailed insights into the lifeways of these little-known prehistoric peoples. It places their occupation of the region in a wider temporal and cultural framework through a comprehensive description and analysis of the archaeological remains excavated by Donny L. Hamilton at Granado Cave in 1978.
Hamilton begins with a brief overview of the geology and environment of the Granado Cave area and reviews previous archaeological investigations. Then he and other researchers present detailed analyses of the burials and other material remains found in the cave, as well as the results of radiocarbon dating. From these findings, he reconstructs the subsistence patterns and burial practices of these Native Americans, whom he identifies as a distinct group that was pushed into the environment by surrounding peoples. He proposes that they should be represented by a new archaeological phase, thus helping to clarify the poorly understood late prehistory of the Trans-Pecos.
Dendrochronology, the science of assigning precise calendar dates to annual growth rings in trees, provided accurate dates at a time when North American archaeologists had no absolute dating techniques available to guide their analyses. Time, Trees, and Prehistory examines the growth, development, application, and interpretive implications of North American archaeological tree-ring dating from 1914 to 1950.
The development of dendrochronology forced archaeologists to radically revise their understanding of the prehistoric past, compressing by nearly fifty percent the time scale of the archaeological record. Basketmaker sites, for instance, were once thought to be four thousand years old; tree-ring application demonstrated that these sites dated well into the present millennium. Classic sites in Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde were believed occupied for nearly a thousand years, but tree-ring dates demonstrated that such sites were often built, occupied, and abandoned in just over a century. Other similar changes in temporal scale forced archaeologists to reconsider their interpretations of the rate of prehistoric cultural change, population growth, and the degree of social and political complexity in the Southwest.
Time, Trees, and Prehistory examines archaeological practices of the 1920s, 30s, and 40s and demonstrates that tree-ring dating set the stage that enabled revolutionary developments in archaeological method and theory in succeeding decades.
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