On the Edge of Purgatory
An Archaeology of Place in Hispanic Colorado
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of Nebraska Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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Scholarly research is widely perceived as a solitary act. For archaeologists, whose work is broadly collaborative and often derived from field research, nothing could be further from the truth. Although this project began as my dissertation...
Introduction: Finding Purgatory
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The identity of the Spanish-speaking explorer who named the Purgatoire River has been lost to time, but he chose well to evoke a kingdom that is neither heaven nor hell. The river flows through a region of southeastern Colorado that remains...
1. Hispanic Colorado
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If you find yourself driving south through Colorado, take a look around. You might notice the character of the state changing. Place names provide perhaps the most obvious clue. Colorado Springs gives way to Conejos, and Leadville to...
2. Inhabiting the Lower Purgatory
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The countryside of the Purgatoire River elicits a wide range of responses. On a clear day, someone standing on the broad steppes of the prairie above the river can see the Rocky Mountains many miles to the west. For many people the open...
3. Making a Living and a Life
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Perhaps the most enduring romantic figure in the history of the American West is the cowboy. As the myths portray him, the cowboy rides a beautiful mount through picturesque territory, and the close-up reveals a rugged, typically white...
4. Plazas and Community
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My work as an archaeologist has taken me to canyons, valleys, and prairies across the American West to investigate historic sites. Many of these sites were rural farms or ranches with a single dwelling, a few out-buildings...
5. Lessons from the Landscape
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One of the tools I most enjoy teaching my students is the concept of the cultural landscape. When recast as cultural landscape, the world around them is an artifact, a document written and rewritten by generations who came before...
Conclusion: The Archaeology of Places
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At some level, all sites are evidence of human investment in the landscape. Working for the most part on historic sites in the western United States, I have seen my fair share of places where people did only the minimum to shelter...
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In the Historical Archaeology of the American West series
Page Count: 176
Illustrations: 26 illustrations, 6 maps, 6 tables
Publication Year: 2012
Series Title: Historical Archaeology of the American West Series