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The Archaeology of Hybrid Material Culture

Edited by Jeb J. Card

Publication Year: 2013

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.

Published by: Southern Illinois University Press

Title Page, Other Works in the Series, Copyright

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pp. 2-5


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pp. v-vii


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pp. viii-xiii

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p. xiii-xiii

...19-2. Relief of Three Matres from Ashcroft, Cirencester, United Kingdom 45820-1. Map showing location of Arslantepe and ?local? and ?Uruk? sites 2-1. Definitions of synonyms for cultural mixture and resulting 3-1. Ethnohistoric references to pottery manufacture in the Caribbean 573-2. Ceramic change over time in Cinnamon Bay, St. John, Virgin ...

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p. xiv-xiv

... I wish to thank all the authors and researchers for their contributions to The Archaeology of Hybrid Material Culture. They answered a call to tackle a subject that by its nature can be difficult to pin down as one thing or another and did so with a diversity of data and ideas that nonetheless provides key elements in com-mon. I particularly send thanks to Kathleen Deagan and Stephen W. Silliman for ...

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-22

... A minimalist but formal definition of hybrid material culture would be ?the production of material objects incorporating elements of multiple exist-ing stylistic or technological traditions.? Basic definitions similar to this state-ment are found (along with elaboration and criticism) in the discussion chapters, by Kathleen Deagan and Stephen Silliman, of this volume, though both discus-...

I. Ceramic Change in Colonial Latin America and the Caribbean

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2. Parsing Hybridity: Archaeologies of Amalgamation in Seventeenth-Century New Mexico

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pp. 25-49

Abstract: In recent years, archaeologists have used the term hybridity with in-creasing frequency to describe and interpret amalgamated forms of material culture. But do postcolonial notions of hybridity (sensu Bhabha 1994; Hall 1990; Young 1995) differ in any meaningful ways from models of cultural mixture traditionally employed by anthropologists, such as syncretism, creolization, ...

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3. Of Earth and Clay: Caribbean Ceramics in the African Atlantic

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pp. 50-79

Abstract: This paper offers an overview of ceramic traditions in the Carib-bean associated with the African Diaspora. This pottery is not a single type or kind of ceramic but instead is highly variable. Bespeaking the complex and interwoven histories of Caribbean peoples, this pottery offers a differ-ent and unique set of lenses on the cultural experience of displaced, inden-...

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4. Continuity and Change in Early Eighteenth-Century Apalachee Colonowares

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pp. 80-99

Abstract: Colonowares from Mission San Luis, Florida, are examples of ?hy-brid material culture.? This pottery consists of plain and red-painted pottery made in European vessel shapes by Apalachee potters between 1650 and 1704. It is presumed that this pottery was made at the direct instigation of Spaniards to supplement scarce imported tablewares. Traditional Apalachee-style pot-...

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5. Italianate Pipil Potters: Mesoamerican Transformation of Renaissance Material Culture in Early Spanish Colonial San Salvador

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pp. 100-130

Abstract: Brimmed plates were the primary serving vessel of the early to mid-sixteenth-century Spanish colonial villa of San Salvador, today the archaeologi-cal site of Ciudad Vieja, El Salvador. Nahua Pipil artisans produced and deco-rated these vessels in traditional fashion but incorporated plate forms from the Renaissance Mediterranean world. Fads, fashions, demographic change, ...

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6. Worshipping with Hybrid Objects: Assessing Culture Contact through Use Context

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pp. 131-132

The Archaeology of Hybrid Material Culture, edited by Jeb J. Card. Center for Archaeological Inves-tigations, Occasional Paper No. 39. ? 2013 by the Board of Trustees, Southern Illinois University. All rights reserved. ISBN 978-0-8093-3314-1. Part of this chapter has been reprinted from Journal of Archaeological Science, 37/4, Melissa Chatfield, Tracing Firing Technology through Clay Prop-erties in Cuzco Peru, 727?737, Copyright (2010), with permission from Elsevier....

II. Ethnicity and Material Culture in Latin America

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7. Long-Term Patterns of Ethnogenesis in Indigenous Amazonia

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pp. 165-184

Abstract: This chapter explores how ethnogenesis, hybridity, persistent iden-tities, and related concepts are currently being developed in Amazonianist an-thropology. The theoretical approach builds on James Clifford?s characteriza-tion (2004) of ethnogenesis as a process of ?authentically remaking? new social identities through creatively rediscovering and refashioning components of ...

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8. Classic Maya Ceramic Hybridity in the Sibun Valley of Belize

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pp. 185-206

Abstract: Hybrid Maya ceramics in the Sibun valley, Belize, integrating ?foreign? styles and technology, suggest marked changes during the Terminal Classic (ca. a.d. 780?900)?a period characterized by increased population movements and shifting political and economic power. The decline of numerous political centers in the ?Maya heartland? of Pet?n, Guatemala, along with sites in the upper Belize ...

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9. Hybrid Cultures . . . and Hybrid Peoples: Bioarchaeology of Genetic Change, Religious Architecture, and Burial Ritual in the Colonial Andes

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pp. 207-238

Abstract: The aftermath of conquest in South America has only recently be-come a focus of archaeological research. In this chapter, I consider linkages between ethnogenesis, hybridity, and biocultural change on the north coast of Peru. Excavation of the colonial-era Chapel of San Pedro de M?rrope (a.d. 1536?1751) in the Lambayeque region indicates hybridity was not particu-...

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10. A Change of Dress on the Coast of Peru: Technological and Material Hybridity in Colonial Peruvian Textiles

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pp. 239-259

Abstract: More than 3,000 textiles excavated from the colonial town of Magda-lena de Cao Viejo on the north coast of Peru include examples of indigenous, European, and hybrid cloth. By carefully examining the structure of these textiles, we can deduce the techniques used in their manufacture and investi-gate changes in Andean textile technology under Spanish occupation. Details ...

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11. Hybridity, Identity, and Archaeological Practice

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pp. 260-276

... This collection of chapters makes it clear that in hybridity, identity, and ethnogenesis we are confronting a set of concepts that do not lend themselves to easy definition or consensus. It is also clear that the ways in which archaeologists have approached material hybridity and its relationship to culture are as diverse So Jeb Card?s question in framing the conference was a challenging one: ...

III. Culture Contact and Transformation in Technological Style

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12. The Châtelperronian: Hybrid Culture or Independent Innovation?

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pp. 279-294

Abstract: The introduction of new technology at the transition from the Mid-dle to Upper Palaeolithic in western Europe includes changes in the produc-tion of stone tools, and the introduction of bone, antler, and ivory tools. This chapter will focus on the latter technological innovation. Worked bone, antler, and ivory were associated with modern humans who migrated into western ...

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13. The Industrious Exiles: An Analysis of Flaked Glass Tools from the Leprosarium at Kalawao, Moloka‘i

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pp. 295-317

Abstract: Archaeological investigation of the leprosarium at Kalawao, Moloka?i, Hawaii, recovered a small assemblage of flaked glass tools, used by people diagnosed with Hansen?s disease (leprosy) and exiled to the remote Kalaupapa peninsula between 1866 and 1969. Flaked glass is commonly documented on postcontact archaeological sites in Oceania and elsewhere and can be considered ...

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14. Innovation and Identity: The Language and Reality of Prehistoric Imitation and Technological Change

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pp. 318-341

Abstract: Skeuomorphism?defined here as the conscious imitation in one mate -rial of objects typically made in another?is frequently invoked by archaeolo-gists seeking to explain changes in technology and value systems in the past. I will focus on the use of skeuomorphism as a ?one-size-fits-all? interpretative tool for understanding culture change and the introduction of novel materials, ...

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15. Bones, Stones, and Metal Tools: Experiments in Middle Missouri Bone Working

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pp. 342-363

Abstract: Postcontact technological change is often modeled on very simple assumptions that metal tools quickly and inevitably replace stone and bone technology, a view that portrays the Native Americans as passive recipients. Detailed analysis reveals a much more complex picture. Assemblages from five prehistoric and historic Middle Missouri village sites indicate that the Mandan ...

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16. “Style” in Crafting Hybrid Material Culture on the Fringes of Empire: An Example from the Native North American Midcontinent

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pp. 364-396

Abstract: In northeastern North America, early (sixteenth- and seventeenth-century) encounters between native peoples and Europeans were accompa-nied by exchanges of foreign materials and objects that were of immediate and lasting interest to native consumers. Goods moved into the interior with surprising rapidity, appearing in the Mississippi valley well before Europeans ...

IV. Materiality and Identity

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17. The Kayenta Diaspora and Salado Meta-identity in the Late Precontact U.S. Southwest

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pp. 399-424

Abstract: Two common ways that human populations deal with severe de-mographic stress are migration and aggregation, responses found at all lev-els of social complexity. Following large-scale immigration, mixed popula-tions can aggregate to form multicultural coalescent communities (Kowalewski 2007). In these communities, new economic, ideological, and political institu-...

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18. Small Beginnings: Experimental Technologies and Implications for Hybridity

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pp. 425-448

Abstract: Substantial interaction between African American and Native Ameri-can populations in New England is apparent in historical records. From cen-suses with racial designations to more recent court cases in which racial as-criptions are brought to bear on tribal recognition, the colonial response to the centuries-old entanglement is clear, but the foundations of that relationship ...

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19. Set in Stone: On Hybrid Images and Social Relationships in Prehistoric and Roman Europe

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pp. 449-465

Abstract: This chapter explores how the hybridization of images informs re-search on cultural contact. Poststructural approaches to meaning and significa-tion suggest that each act of artistic creation and interpretation takes place in reference to the past experiences of the creator and interpreter. The social groups in which people participate place limitations on the total potential experiences ...

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20. Architectural Spaces and Hybrid Practices in Ancient Northern Mesopotamia

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pp. 466-485

Abstract: In this chapter, I investigate the sociocultural meanings of hybrid practices in ritual-architectural spaces from a northern Mesopotamian Late Chalcolithic period archaeological site. Northern Mesopotamian sites reveal widespread distribution during the fourth millennium b.c. of southern Uruk-style material cultural elements along with indigenous styles. Recent archaeo-...

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21. What, Where, and When Is Hybridity

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pp. 486-500

Abstract: This chapter offers concluding comments on the volume?s contribu-tions with a twofold purpose. On the one hand, it considers the various ways that authors in this volume have defined and used hybridity as a conceptual entry into the topics of ethnogenesis, syncretism, and materiality. A primary objective is to see if hybridity offers helpful new perspectives or analytical ...


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pp. 501-503


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pp. 504-510

E-ISBN-13: 9780809333165
E-ISBN-10: 0809333163
Print-ISBN-13: 9780809333141
Print-ISBN-10: 0809333147

Page Count: 524
Illustrations: 159
Publication Year: 2013