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The Development of Southeastern Archaeology

Edited by Jay K. Johnson, with contributions from Jon L. Gibson, Kristen J. Grem

Publication Year: 1993

Ten scholars whose specialties range from ethnohistory to remote sensing and lithic analysis to bioarchaeology chronicle changes in the way prehistory in the Southeast has been studied since the 19th century. Each brings to the task the particular perspective of his or her own subdiscipline in this multifaceted overview of the history of archaeology in a region that has had an important but variable role in the overall development of North American archaeology.

Some of the specialties discussed in this book were traditionally relegated to appendixes or ignored completely in site reports more than 20 years old. Today, most are integral parts of such reports, but this integration has been hard won. Other specialties have been and will continue to be of central concern to archaeologists. Each chapter details the way changes in method can be related to changes in theory by reviewing major landmarks in the literature. As a consequence, the reader can compare the development of each subdiscipline.

As the first book of this kind to deal specifically with the region, it be will valuable to archaeologists everywhere. The general reader will find the book of interest because the development of southeastern archaeology reflects trends in the development of social science as a whole.

Contributors include:

Jay K. Johnson, David S. Brose, Jon L. Gibson, Maria O. Smith, Patricia K. Galloway, Elizabeth J. Reitz, Kristen J. Gremillion, Ronald L. Bishop, Veletta Canouts, and W. Fredrick Limp

Published by: The University of Alabama Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. ix

THIS BOOK is a good example of serendipity. Not that it does not represent hard work as welt but it never hurts to be in the right place at the right time. It all started when I attended a workshop on remote sensing and archaeology at Boston University in the summer of 1987. Among the many interesting people I met there was...

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pp. xiii

IT SEEMS as if I have been working on this book for a long time and there are several people I would like to recognize. First, I thank Anna Roosevelt and Rolfe Sinclair for their part in bringing about the symposium that started the whole thing. Of course, I am grateful for the cooperation of the contributors who believed in the project enough to take...

Title Page

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1. Changing Paradigms in the Explanation of Southeastern Prehistory

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pp. 1-17

IN 1990 the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) was held in New Orleans. Rolfe Sinclair, director of physical sciences at the National Science Foundation, wished to give participants some sense of the place in which they were meeting. He asked Jay Johnson to chair a symposium acquainting them with...

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2. Ceramics

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pp. 18-35

CERAMIC ANALYSIS is a southern tradition, like sippin' juleps on the veranda and laissez les bons temps rouler dans Ie bayou. Since the beginning of the modern archaeological era over fifty years ago, pottery has been the most important resource in the South. Its long and faithful service prompted Haag (1961:18) to liken pottery to Greek...

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3. Lithics

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pp. 36-52

THIS CHAPTER concentrates on the development of chipped stone analysis in southeastern archaeology. In this, trends are illustrated by examining a representative sample of major analyses in chronological perspective. What was done in these analyses is discussed and, to the extent it is possible, the analytical techniques employed are related to...

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4. Physical Anthropology

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pp. 53-77

IN 1980 the first edited volume devoted to the physical anthropology of the prehistoric skeletal populations of the Southeast was published. The volume (Willey and Smith 1980) contained seven original research articles and, in ensuing years, has been frequently cited. What is not generally known is that 35 letters were mailed to solicit contributors...

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5. Ethnohistory

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pp. 78-108

ARCHAEOLOGISTS IN THE SOUTHEAST have long made use of ethnographic data from historical sources to establish the ethnic identities of the people who inhabited archaeological sites and to explain the fragmentary material evidence they left behind. Yet ethnohistorical evidence has rarely been fully exploited and has often been...

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6. Zooarchaeology

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pp. 109-131

ZOO ARCHAEOLOGY refers to the study of animal remains from archaeological sites. This field applies biological, ecological, and anthropological concepts and methods to the study of archaeological faunal data. From its beginnings in the 1800s, zooarchaeology has changed from a tool for the study of zoogeographical relationships by zoologists and...

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7. Paleoethnobotany

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pp. 132-159

ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION of plant remains has lagged behind other avenues of archaeological investigation in the South-This is largely because most of the data needed to answer questions about the origins, nature, and significance of food production and its antecedents have only been made available within the past...

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8. Archaeometry

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pp. 160-183

IN RECENT YEARS, southeastern archaeologists have begun to write the history of their intellectual development. This exercise has been caused in part by the golden anniversaries of archaeological societies such as the Society for American Archaeology (Watson, ed. 1985) and more particularly, the Southeastern Archaeological Conference...

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9. Multispectral Digital Imagery

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pp. 184-206

ALL WHO HAVE HAD THE PLEASURE to do fieldwork in the Southeast can attest that it is simultaneously an environment of extraordinary archaeological richness and one which presents almost insurmountable impediments to fieldwork with profuse vegetation, extensive swamps, muggy heat, and no end to things that...

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10. Conclusion

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pp. 207-213

I AM DONE WITH IMPOSING on my friends to add another manuscript deadline to already full schedules. I am done with writing cajoling letters when they miss that deadline. I am done with wrestling word processors. I am done with editing. Now comes the fun part. As the first person to read (and reread) these papers as a group, I have been...

References Cited

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pp. 215-325


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pp. 327-329


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pp. 331-343

E-ISBN-13: 9780817383749
Print-ISBN-13: 9780817306007

Page Count: 360
Publication Year: 1993

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Archaeology -- Southern States.
  • Indians of North America -- Southern States -- Antiquities.
  • Southern States -- Antiquities.
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