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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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Archaeologists as Activists Cover

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Archaeologists as Activists

Can Archaeologists Change the World?

Edited by M. Jay Stottman, with contributions from Jodi A. Barnes, Robert Chides

Could archaeologists benefit contemporary cultures and be a factor in solving world problems? Can archaeologists help individuals? Can archaeologists change the world? These questions form the root of “archaeology activism” or “activist archaeology”: using archaeology to advocate for and affect change in contemporary communities.

 

Archaeologists currently change the world through the products of their archaeological research that contribute to our collective historical and cultural knowledge. Their work helps to shape and reshape our perceptions of the past and our understanding of written history. Archaeologists affect contemporary communities through the consequences of their work as they become embroiled in controversies over negotiating the past and the present with native peoples. Beyond the obvious economic contributions to local communities caused by heritage tourism established on the research of archaeologists at cultural sites, archaeologists have begun to use the process of their work as a means to benefit the public and even advocate for communities.

 

In this volume, Stottman and his colleagues examine the various ways in which archaeologists can and do use their research to forge a partnership with the past and guide the ongoing dialogue between the archaeological record and the various contemporary stakeholders. They draw inspiration and guidance from applied anthropology, social history, public history, heritage studies, museum studies, historic preservation, philosophy, and education to develop an activist approach to archaeology—theoretically, methodologically, and ethically.

Archaeology and Geoinformatics Cover

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Archaeology and Geoinformatics

Case Studies from the Caribbean

Edited by Basil A. Reid, with contributions from Joshua M. Torres, David W Knigh

Addressing the use of geoinformatics in Caribbean archaeology, this volume is based on case studies drawn from specific island territories, namely, Barbados, St. John, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Nevis, St. Eustatius, and Trinidad and Tobago, as well as inter-island interaction and landscape conceptualization in the Caribbean region. Geoinformatics is especially critical within the Caribbean where site destruction is intense due to storm surges, hurricanes, ocean and riverine erosion, urbanization, industrialization, and agriculture, as well as commercial development along the very waterfronts that were home to many prehistoric peoples. By demonstrating that the region is fertile ground for the application of geoinformatics in archaeology, this volume places a well-needed scholarly spotlight on the Caribbean.

Contributors:
Douglas V. Armstrong, Ivor Conolley, Kevin Farmer, R. Grant Gilmore III, Mark W. Hauser, Eric Klingelhofer, David W. Knight, Roger H. Leech, Stephan Lenik, Parris Lyew-Ayee, Bheshem Ramlal, Basil A. Reid, Reniel Rodríguez, Joshua M. Torres

Archaeology at Shiloh Indian Mounds, 1899-1999 Cover

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Archaeology at Shiloh Indian Mounds, 1899-1999

Written by Paul D. Welch

100 years of archaeological excavations at an important American landmark.

The Shiloh Indian Mounds archaeological site, a National Historic Landmark, is a late prehistoric community within the boundaries of the Shiloh National Military Park on the banks of the Tennessee River, where one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War was fought in April 1862. Dating between AD 1000 and 1450, the archaeological site includes at least eight mounds and more than 100 houses. It is unique in that the land has never been plowed, so visitors can walk around the area and find the collapsed remains of 800-year-old houses and the 900-meter-long palisade with bastions that protected the village in prehistoric times. Although its location within a National Park boundary has protected the area from the recent ravages of man, river bank erosion began to undermine the site in the 1970s. In the mid-1990s, Paul Welch began a four-year investigation culminating in a comprehensive report to the National Park Service on the Shiloh Indian Mounds. 
 
These published findings confirm that the Shiloh site was one of at least fourteen Mississippian mound sites located within a 50 km area and that Shiloh was abandoned  in approximately AD 1450. It also establishes other parameters for the Shiloh archaeological phase. This current volume is intended to make information about the first 100 years of excavations at the Shiloh site available to the archaeological community.

Paul D. Welch is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Southern Illionois University, Carbondale, and is the authro of Moundville's Economy.

Archaeology, History, and Predictive Modeling Cover

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Archaeology, History, and Predictive Modeling

Research at Fort Polk, 1972-2002

Written by David G. Anderson and Steven D. Smith, with contributions from Joseph

Fort Polk Military Reservation encompasses approximately 139,000 acres in western Louisiana 40 miles southwest of Alexandria. As a result of federal mandates for cultural resource investigation, more archaeological work has been undertaken there, beginning in the 1970s, than has occurred at any other comparably sized area in Louisiana or at most other localities in the southeastern United States. The extensive program of survey, excavation, testing, and large-scale data and artifact recovery, as well as historic and archival research, has yielded a massive amount of information. While superbly curated by the U.S. Army, the material has been difficult to examine and comprehend in its totality.

With this volume, Anderson and Smith collate and synthesize all the information into a comprehensive whole. Included are previous investigations, an overview of local environmental conditions, base military history and architecture, and the prehistoric and historic cultural sequence. An analysis of location, environmental, and assemblage data employing a sample of more than 2,800 sites and isolated finds was used to develop a predictive model that identifies areas where significant cultural resources are likely to occur. Developed in 1995, this model has already proven to be highly accurate and easy to use.

Archaeology, History, and Predictive Modeling will allow scholars to more easily examine the record of human activity over the past 13,000 or more years in this part of western Louisiana and adjacent portions of east Texas. It will be useful to southeastern archaeologists and anthropologists, both professional and amateur.

David G. Anderson is an archaeologist with the National Park Service's Southeast Archeological Center in Tallahassee, Florida, and coeditor of The Woodland Southeast. Steven D. Smith is with SCIAA in Columbia, South Carolina. J.W. Joseph and Mary Beth Reed are with New South Associates in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

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.

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