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The University of Alabama Press

Website: http://www.uapress.ua.edu/catalog/CategoryInfo.aspx?cid=152

The University of Alabama Press was founded in the fall of 1945 with J. B. McMillan as founding director . The Press’s first work was Roscoe Martin’s New Horizons in Public Administration, which appeared in February 1946. In 1964, the Press joined the American Association of University Presses.


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The University of Alabama Press

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The Archaeology of Events Cover

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The Archaeology of Events

Cultural Change and Continuity in the Pre-Columbian Southeast

Across the social sciences, gradualist evolutionary models of historical dynamics are giving way to explanations focused on the punctuated and contingent “events” through which history is actually experienced. The Archaeology of Events is the first book-length work that systematically applies this new eventful approach to major developments in the pre-Columbian Southeast.
 
Traditional accounts of pre-Columbian societies often portray them as “cold” and unchanging for centuries or millennia. Events-based analyses have opened up archaeological discourse to the more nuanced and flexible idea of context-specific, rapidly transpiring, and broadly consequential historical “events” as catalysts of cultural change.
 
The Archaeology of Events, edited by Zackary I. Gilmore and Jason M. O’Donoughue, considers a variety of perspectives on the nature and scale of events and their role in historical change. These perspectives are applied to a broad range of archeological contexts stretching across the Southeast and spanning more than 7,000 years of the region’s pre-Columbian history. New data suggest that several of this region’s most pivotal historical developments, such as the founding of Cahokia, the transformation of Moundville from urban center to vacated necropolis, and the construction of Poverty Point’s Mound A, were not protracted incremental processes, but rather watershed moments that significantly altered the long-term trajectories of indigenous Southeastern societies.
 
In addition to exceptional occurrences that impacted entire communities or peoples, southeastern archaeologists are increasingly recognizing the historical importance of localized, everyday events, such as building a house, crafting a pot, or depositing shell. The essays collected by Gilmore and O’Donoughue show that small-scale events can make significant contributions to the unfolding of broad, regional-scale historical processes and to the reproduction or transformation of social structures.
 
The Archaeology of Events is the first volume to explore the archaeological record of events in the Southeastern United States, the methodologies that archaeologists bring to bear on this kind of research, and considerations of the event as an important theoretical concept. 

The Archaeology of Everyday Life at Early Moundville Cover

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The Archaeology of Everyday Life at Early Moundville

Written by Gregory D. Wilson

Complex Mississippian polities were neither developed nor sustained in a vacuum. A broad range of small-scale social groups played a variety of roles in the emergence of regionally organized political hierarchies that governed large-scale ceremonial centers. Recent research has revealed the extent to which interactions among corporately organized clans led to the development, success, and collapse of Moundville. These insights into Moundville’s social complexity are based primarily on the study of monumental architecture and mortuary ceremonialism. Less is known about how everyday domestic practices produced and were produced by broader networks of power and inequality in the region. 
 
Wilson’s research addresses this gap in our understanding by analyzing and interpreting large-scale architectural and ceramic data sets from domestic contexts. This study has revealed that the early Mississippian Moundville community consisted of numerous spatially discrete multi-household groups, similar to ethnohistorically described kin groups from the southeastern United States. Hosting feasts, dances, and other ceremonial events were important strategies by which elite groups created social debts and legitimized their positions of authority. Non-elite groups, on the other hand, maintained considerable economic and ritual autonomy through diversified production activities, risk sharing, and household ceremonialism. Organizational changes in Moundville’s residential occupation highlight the different ways kin groups defined and redefined their corporate status and identities over the long term.

The Archaeology of Institutional Life Cover

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The Archaeology of Institutional Life

April M. Beisaw

Institutions pervade social life. They express community goals and values by defining the limits of socially acceptable behavior. Institutions are often vested with the resources, authority, and power to enforce the orthodoxy of their time. But institutions are also arenas in which both orthodoxies and authority can be contested. Between power and opposition lies the individual experience of the institutionalized. Whether in a boarding school, hospital, prison, almshouse, commune, or asylum, their experiences can reflect the positive impact of an institution or its greatest failings. This interplay of orthodoxy, authority, opposition, and individual experience are all expressed in the materiality of institutions and are eminently subject to archaeological investigation.
 
A few archaeological and historical publications, in widely scattered venues, have examined individual institutional sites. Each work focused on the development of a specific establishment within its narrowly defined historical context; e.g., a fort and its role in a particular war, a schoolhouse viewed in terms of the educational history of its region, an asylum or prison seen as an expression of the prevailing attitudes toward the mentally ill and sociopaths. In contrast, this volume brings together twelve contributors whose research on a broad range of social institutions taken in tandem now illuminates the experience of these institutions. Rather than a culmination of research on institutions, it is a landmark work that will instigate vigorous and wide-ranging discussions on institutions in Western life, and the power of material culture to both enforce and negate cultural norms.

The Archaeology of Ocmulgee Old Fields, Macon, Georgia Cover

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The Archaeology of Ocmulgee Old Fields, Macon, Georgia

Written Carol I. Mason, with foreword by Marvin T. Smith

A Dan Josselyn Memorial Publication

A 17th-century trading post and Indian town in central Georgia reveal evidence of culture contact and change.

Ocmulgee Old Fields near Macon, Georgia, is the site of a Lower Creek village and associated English trading house dating from the late 17th and early 18th centuries. It was excavated in the early 1930s as part of a WPA project directed by A. R. Kelly, which focused primarily on the major Mississippian temple mounds of Macon Plateau. The specific data for the Old Fields was not analyzed until nearly 30 years after the excavation.

Part of the significance of this site lies in its secure identification with a known group of people and the linkage of those people with recognizable archaeological remains. The Old Fields site was among the very first for which this kind of identification was possible and stands at the head of a continuing tradition of historic sites archaeology in the Southeast.

Carol I. Mason's classic study of the Ocmulgee Old Fields site has been a model for contact-period Indian archaeology since the 1960s. The report includes a discussion of the historic setting and an analysis of the archaeological materials with an identification of the Lower Creek town and possibly of the English trader who lived there. Now, for the first time, the original report is widely available in book form. With a new foreword by the author and a new introduction from Southeastern archaeology expert Marvin T. Smith, readers have the benefit of a contemporary view of this very fine piece of careful scholarship.

Carol I. Mason is Adjunct Professor of Archaeology at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, and author of Wisconsin Indians: Prehistory to Statehood. Marvin T. Smith is Professor of Anthropology at Valdosta State University and author of Coosa: The Rise and Fall of a Southeastern Mississippian Chiefdom.

Additional reviews:

"This volume is valuable as a landmark in Southeastern research. It is somewhat outdated in its archaeological comparisons, but it is an excellent source for site findings and historical documentation. . . . The book provides greater insight into more current documents on the topic of these early relationships between the Old and New Worlds in the Southeast. It is a starting point from which to move forward and is valuable as a catalyst for future research."—Southeastern Archaeology

" Mason's work presents the analysis and interpretation of a large body of material excavated by Works Progress Administration archaeologists during the 1930s and, in this case, continued into the 1940s. Large-scale projects, undertaken by field crews numbering in the hundreds of workers, amassed quantities of artifactual material and supporting documentation. In many instances, substantial amounts of material remain unanalyzed and unreported to this day. . . . The Ocmulgee Old Fields site with its mix of indigenous and European people, local material culture and trade goods, and varied functions represents an opportunity to study the Lower Creeks between 1670 and 1717. . . .I recommend (this volume) to all colleagues laboring to understand the early historic peiod in the Southeast."—The Florida Anthropologist

"A masterful blend of meticulous archaeological analysis and wide-ranging historical research . . . with extraordinary style and wisdom."—Journal of Field Archaeology

Archaeology of the Lower Muskogee Creek Indians, 1715-1836 Cover

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Archaeology of the Lower Muskogee Creek Indians, 1715-1836

Written by Howard Thomas Foster, with contributions from Mary Theresa Bonhage-Fr

The Muskogee Indians who lived along the lower Chattahoochee and Flint River watersheds had, and continue to have, a profound influence on the development of the southeastern United States, especially during the historic period (circa 1540–1836). Our knowledge of that culture is limited to what we can learn from their descendants and from archaeological and historical sources.
 
Combining historical documents and archaeological research on all known Lower Muskogee Creek sites, Thomas Foster has accurately pinpointed town locations discussed in the literature and reported in contemporary Creek oral histories. In so doing, this volume synthesizes the archaeological diversity and variation within the Lower Creek Indians between 1715 and 1836. The book is a study of archaeological methods because it analyzes the temporal and geographic variation within a single archaeological phase and the biases of that archaeological data. Foster's research segregates the variation between Lower Creek Indian towns through a regional and direct historic approach. Consequently, he is able to discern the unique differences between individual Creek Indian towns. 
 
Foster argues that the study of Creek Indian history should be at the level of towns instead of archaeological phases and that there is significant continuity between the culture of the Historic Period Indians and the Prehistoric and Protohistoric peoples.
  
H. Thomas Foster II, a specialist in archaeology and human ecology, is Lecturer of Anthropology at Northern Kentucky University and editor ofThe Collected Works of Benjamin Hawkins, 1796–1810Mary Theresa Bonhage-Freund is a specialist in archaeobotanical analysis at Alma College. Lisa O'Steen is a specialist in zooarchaeological analysis at Wildcat Ridge, Watkinsville, Georgia.

Archaeology of the Moundville Chiefdom Cover

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Archaeology of the Moundville Chiefdom

Chronology, Content, Contest

Edited by Vernon J. Knight and Vincas P. Steponaitis, with foreword by Chistophe

At its height the Moundville ceremonial center was a densely occupied town of approximately 1,000 residents, with at least 29 earthen mounds surrounding a central plaza. Today, Moundville is not only one the largest and best-preserved Mississippian sites in the United States, but also one of the most intensively studied. This volume brings together nine Moundville specialists who trace the site’s evolution and eventual decline.

The Archaeology of Town Creek Cover

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The Archaeology of Town Creek

Written by Edmond A. Boudreaux

The sequence of change for public architecture during the Mississippian period may reflect a centralization of political power through time. In the research presented here, some of the community-level assumptions attributed to the appearance of Mississippian mounds are tested against the archaeological record of the Town Creek site—the remains of a town located on the northeastern edge of the Mississippian culture area. In particular, the archaeological record of Town Creek is used to test the idea that the appearance of Mississippian platform mounds was accompanied by the centralization of political authority in the hands of a powerful chief.
 
A compelling argument has been made that mounds were the seats and symbols of political power within Mississippian societies. While platform mounds have been a part of Southeastern Native American communities since at least 100 B.C., around A.D. 400 leaders in some communities began to place their houses on top of earthen mounds—an act that has been interpreted as an attempt to legitimize personal authority by a community leader through the appropriation of a powerful, traditional, community-oriented symbol. Platform mounds at a number of sites were preceded by a distinctive type of building called an earthlodge—a structure with earth-embanked walls and an entrance indicated by short, parallel wall trenches. Earthlodges in the Southeast have been interpreted as places where a council of community leaders came together to make decisions based on consensus. In contrast to the more inclusive function proposed for premound earthlodges, it has been argued that access to the buildings on top of Mississippian platform mounds was limited to a much smaller subset of the community. If this was the case and if ground-level earthlodges were more accessible than mound-summit structures, then access to leaders and leadership may have decreased through time.
 
Excavations at the Town Creek archaeological site have shown that the public architecture there follows the earthlodge-to-platform mound sequence that is well known across the South Appalachian subarea of the Mississippian world. The clear changes in public architecture coupled with the extensive exposure of the site's domestic sphere make Town Creek an excellent case study for examining the relationship among changes in public architecture and leadership within a Mississippian society.

Archeology of the Funeral Mound Cover

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Archeology of the Funeral Mound

Ocmulgee National Monument, Georgia

Written by Charles Fairbanks, with introducitons by Frank M. Setzler and Mark Wi

A Dan Josselyn Memorial Publication

A premier mound site offers a wealth of primary data on mortuary practices in the Mississippian Period.

The largest prehistoric mound site in Georgia is located in modern-day Macon and is known as Ocmulgee. It was first recorded in August 1739 by General James Oglethorpe’s rangers during an expedition to the territory of the Lower Creeks. The botanist William Bartram wrote extensively of the ecology of the area during his visit in 1773, but the 1873 volume by Charles C. Jones, Antiquities of the Southern Indians, Particularly of the Georgia Tribes, was the first to treat the archaeological significance of the site.

Professional excavations began at Ocmulgee in 1933 under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution, using Civil Works Administration labor. Investigations continued under a variety of sponsorships until December 1936, when the locality was formally named a national monument. Excavation of the mounds, village sites, earth lodge, and funeral mound revealed an occupation of the Macon Plateau spanning more than 7,000 years. The funeral mound was found to contain log tombs, bundles of disarticulated bones, flexed burials, and cremations. Grave goods included uniquely patterned copper sun disks that were found at only one other site in the Southeast—the Bessemer site in Alabama—so the two ceremonial centers were established as contemporaries.

In this classic work of archaeological research and analysis, Charles Fairbanks has not only offered a full treatment of the cultural development and lifeways of the builders of Ocmulgee but has also related them effectively to other known cultures of the prehistoric Southeast.

 

Architectural Body Cover

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Architectural Body

Written by Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins

This manifesto is a verbal articulation of the authors' visionary theory of how the human body, architecture, and creativity define and sustain one another.

This revolutionary work by artist-architects Arakawa and Madeline Gins demonstrates the inter-connectedness of innovative architectural design, the poetic process, and philosophical inquiry. Together, they have created an experimental and widely admired body of work--museum installations, landscape and park commissions, home and office designs, avant-garde films, poetry collections--that challenges traditional notions about the built environment. This book promotes a deliberate use of architecture and design in dealing with the blight of the human condition; it recommends that people seek architectural and aesthetic solutions to the dilemma of mortality.

In 1997 the Guggenheim Museum presented an Arakawa/Gins retrospective and published a comprehensive volume of their work titled Reversible Destiny: We Have Decided Not to Die. Architectural Body continues the philosophical definition of that project and demands a fundamental rethinking of the terms "human" and "being." When organisms assume full responsibility for inventing themselves, where they live and how they live will merge. The artists believe that a thorough re-visioning of architecture will redefine life and its limitations and render death passe. The authors explain that "Another way to read reversible destiny . . . Is as an open challenge to our species to reinvent itself and to desist from foreclosing on any possibility."

Audacious and liberating, this volume will be of interest to students and scholars of 20th-century poetry, postmodern critical theory, conceptual art and architecture, contemporary avant-garde poetics, and to serious readers interested in architecture's influence on imaginative expression.

Architectural Variability in the Southeast Cover

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Architectural Variability in the Southeast

Edited by Cameron H. Lacquement, with contributions from Lynne P. Sullivan, Robe

Some of the most visible expressions of human culture are illustrated architecturally. Unfortunately for archaeologists, the architecture being studied is not always visible and must be inferred from soil inconsistencies or charred remains. This study deals with research into roughly a millennium of Native American architecture in the Southeast and includes research on the variation of construction techniques employed both above and below ground. Most of the architecture discussed is that of domestic houses with some emphasis on large public buildings and sweat lodges. The authors use an array of methods and techniques in examining native architecture including experimental archaeology, ethnohistory, ethnography, multi-variant analysis, structural engineering, and wood science technology. A major portion of the work, and probably the most important in terms of overall significance, is that it addresses the debate of early Mississippian houses and what they looked like above ground and the changes that occurred both before and after the arrival of Europeans.
 
Contributors:
Dennis B. Blanton
Tamira K. Brennan
 Ramie A. Gougeon
Tom H. Gresham
Vernon J. Knight Jr.
 Cameron H. Lacquement
 Robert H. Lafferty, III
Mark A. McConaughy
Nelson A. Reed
 Robert J. Scott
Lynne P. Sullivan

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