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Ancient Paquimé and the Casas Grandes World Cover

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Ancient Paquimé and the Casas Grandes World

Edited by Paul E. Minnis and Michael E. Whalen

Paquimé, the great multistoried pre-Hispanic settlement also known as Casas Grandes, was the center of an ancient region with hundreds of related neighbors. It also participated in massive networks that stretched their fingers through northwestern Mexico and the U.S. Southwest. Paquimé is widely considered one of the most important and influential communities in ancient northern Mexico and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ancient Paquimé and the Casas Grandes World, edited by Paul E. Minnis and Michael E. Whalen, summarizes the four decades of research since the Amerind Foundation and Charles Di Peso published the results of the Joint Casas Grandes Expeditions in 1974.
 
The Joint Casas Grandes Expedition revealed the extraordinary nature of this site: monumental architecture, massive ball courts, ritual mounds, over a ton of shell artifacts, hundreds of skeletons of multicolored macaw and their pens, copper from west Mexico, and rich political and religious life with Mesoamerican-related images and rituals. Paquimé was not one sole community but was surrounded by hundreds of outlying villages in the region, indicating a zone that sustained thousands of inhabitants and influenced groups much farther afield.
 
In celebration of the Amerind Foundation’s seventieth anniversary, sixteen scholars with direct and substantial experience in Casas Grandes archaeology present nine chapters covering its economy, chronology, history, religion, regional organization, and importance. The two final chapters examine Paquimé in broader geographic perspectives. This volume sheds new light on Casas Grandes/Paquimé, a great town well-adapted to its physical and economic environment that disappeared just before Spanish contact.

Ancient Plants and People Cover

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Ancient Plants and People

Contemporary Trends in Archaeobotany

Edited by Marco Madella, Carla Lancelotti, and Manon Savard

Mangroves and rice, six-row brittle barley and einkorn wheat. Ancient crops for prehistoric people. What do they have in common? All tell us about the lives and cultures of long ago, as humans cultivated or collected these plants for food. Exploring these and other important plants used for millennia by humans, Ancient Plants and People presents a wide-angle view of the current state of archaeobotanical research, methods, and theories.

Food has a public and private role, and it permeates the life of all people in a society. Food choice, production, and distribution probably represent the most complex indicators of social life, and thus a study of foods consumed by ancient peoples reveals many clues about their lifestyles. But in addition to yielding information about food production, distribution, preparation, and consumption, plant remains recovered from archaeological sites offer precious insights on past landscapes, human adaptation to climate change, and the relationship between human groups and their environment. Revealing important aspects of past human societies, these plant-driven insights widen the spectrum of information available to archaeologists as we seek to understand our history as a biological and cultural species.

Often answers raise more questions. As a result, archaeobotanists are constantly pushed to reflect on the methodological and theoretical aspects of their discipline. The contributors discuss timely methodological issues and engage in debates on a wide range of topics from plant utilization in hunter-gatherers and agriculturalists to uses of ancient DNA. Ancient Plants and People provides a global perspective on archaeobotanical research, particularly on the sophisticated interplay between the use of plants and their social or environmental context.

Ancient Wine Cover

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Ancient Wine

The Search for the Origins of Viniculture

Patrick E. McGovern

The history of civilization is, in many ways, the history of wine. This book is the first comprehensive and up-to-date account of the earliest stages of vinicultural history and prehistory, which extends back into the Neolithic period and beyond. Elegantly written and richly illustrated, Ancient Wine opens up whole new chapters in the fascinating story of wine and the vine by drawing upon recent archaeological discoveries, molecular and DNA sleuthing, and the texts and art of long-forgotten peoples.

Patrick McGovern takes us on a personal odyssey back to the beginnings of this consequential beverage when early hominids probably enjoyed a wild grape wine. We follow the course of human ingenuity in domesticating the Eurasian vine and learning how to make and preserve wine some 7,000 years ago. Early winemakers must have marveled at the seemingly miraculous process of fermentation. From success to success, viniculture stretched out its tentacles and entwined itself with one culture after another (whether Egyptian, Iranian, Israelite, or Greek) and laid the foundation for civilization itself. As medicine, social lubricant, mind-altering substance, and highly valued commodity, wine became the focus of religious cults, pharmacopoeias, cuisines, economies, and society. As an evocative symbol of blood, it was used in temple ceremonies and occupies the heart of the Eucharist. Kings celebrated their victories with wine and made certain that they had plenty for the afterlife. (Among the colorful examples in the book is McGovern's famous chemical reconstruction of the funerary feast--and mixed beverage--of "King Midas.") Some peoples truly became "wine cultures."

When we sip a glass of wine today, we recapitulate this dynamic history in which a single grape species was harnessed to yield an almost infinite range of tastes and bouquets. Ancient Wine is a book that wine lovers and archaeological sleuths alike will raise their glasses to.

Andean Expressions Cover

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Andean Expressions

Art and Archaeology of the Recuay Culture

George F. Lau

Flourishing from A.D. 1 to 700, the Recuay inhabited lands in northern Peru just below the imposing glaciers of the highest mountain chain in the tropics. Thriving on an economy of high-altitude crops and camelid herding, they left behind finely made artworks and grand palatial buildings with an unprecedented aesthetic and a high degree of technical sophistication. In this first in-depth study of these peoples, George Lau situates the Recuay within the great diversification of cultural styles associated with the Early Intermediate Period, provides new and significant evidence to evaluate models of social complexity, and offers fresh theories about life, settlement, art, and cosmology in the high Andes.
 
Lau crafts a nuanced social and historical model in order to evaluate the record of Recuay developments as part of a wider Andean prehistory. He analyzes the rise and decline of Recuay groups as well as their special interactions with the Andean landscape. Their  coherence was expressed as shared culture, community, and corporate identity, but Lau also reveals its diversity through time and space in order to challenge the monolithic characterizations of Recuay society pervasive in the literature today.
 
Many of the innovations in Recuay culture, revealed for the first time in this landmark volume, left a lasting impact on Andean history and continue to have relevance today. The author highlights the ways that material things intervened in ancient social and political life, rather than being merely passive reflections of historical change, to show that Recuay public art, exchange, technological innovations, warfare, and religion offer key insights into the emergence of social hierarchy and chiefly leadership and the formation, interaction, and later dissolution of large discrete polities. By presenting Recuay artifacts as fundamentally social in the sense of creating and negotiating relations among persons, places, and things, he recognizes in the complexities of the past an enduring order and intelligence that shape the contours of history.

 

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Animals and Inequality in the Ancient World

Edited by Benjamin S. Arbuckle and Sue Ann McCarty

Animals and Inequality in the Ancient World explores the current trends in the social archaeology of human-animal relationships, focusing on the ways in which animals are used to structure, create, support, and even deconstruct social inequalities.

The authors provide a global range of case studies from both New and Old World archaeology—a royal Aztec dog burial, the monumental horse tombs of Central Asia, and the ceremonial macaw cages of ancient Mexico among them. They explore the complex relationships between people and animals in social, economic, political, and ritual contexts, incorporating animal remains from archaeological sites with artifacts, texts, and iconography to develop their interpretations.

Animals and Inequality in the Ancient World presents new data and interpretations that reveal the role of animals, their products, and their symbolism in structuring social inequalities in the ancient world. The volume will be of interest to archaeologists, especially zooarchaeologists, and classical scholars of pre-modern civilizations and societies.

Antiquities of the Southern Indians, Particularly of the Georgia Tribes Cover

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Antiquities of the Southern Indians, Particularly of the Georgia Tribes

Written by Charles C. Jones and edited with an introduciton by Frank T. Schnell

A Dan Josselyn Memorial Publication

This reissue of Charles Jones's classic investigations of the Mound Builders will be an invaluable resource for archaeologists today.

Long a classic of southeastern archaeology, Charles Jones'sAntiquities of the Southern Indians was a groundbreaking work that linked historic tribes with prehistoric "antiquities." Published in 1873, it predated the work of Cyrus Thomas and Clarence Moore and remains a rich resource for modern scholars.

Jones was a pioneer of archaeology who not only excavated important sites but also related his findings to other sites, to contemporary Indians, and to artifacts from other areas. His work covers all of the southeastern states, from Virginia to Louisiana, and is noted for its insights into the De Soto expedition and the history of the Creek Indians.

Best known for refuting the popular myth of the Mound Builders, Jones proposed a connection between living Native Americans of the 1800s and the prehistoric peoples who had created the Southeast's large earthen mounds. His early research and culture comparisons led to the eventual demise of the Mound Builder myth.

For this reissue of Jones's book, a new introduction by Frank Schnell places Jones's work in the context of his times and relates it to current research in the Southeast. An engagingly written work enhanced by numerous maps and engravings, Antiquities of the Southern Indians will serve today's scholars and fascinate all readers interested in the region's prehistory.

Frank T. Schnell Jr. is an Archaeologist and Historian at the Columbus Museum in Columbus, Georgia.

Archaeological Approaches to Market Exchange in Ancient Societies Cover

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Archaeological Approaches to Market Exchange in Ancient Societies

Edited by Christopher P. Garraty and Barbara L. Stark

"These significant contributions to economic anthropology should encourage comparative cross-cultural diologues and foster new approaches to the study of premodern market exchange... The Garraty & Stark volume is a giant step forward in understanding market systems, market places, and sociocultural and religious parameters that impinge upon the economic structure of preindustrial societies."—Charles C. Kolb, The Cambridge Archaeological Journal

Ancient market activities are dynamic in the economies of most ancient states, yet they have received little research from the archaeological community. Archaeological Approaches to Market Exchange in Ancient Societies is the first book to address the development, change, and organizational complexity of ancient markets from a comparative archaeological perspective. Drawing from historical documents and archaeological records from Mesoamerica, the U.S. Southwest, East Africa, and the Andes, this volume reveals the complexity of ancient marketplace development and economic behavior both in hierarchical and non-hierarchical societies. Highlighting four principal themes-the defining characteristics of market exchange; the recognition of market exchange archaeologically; the relationship among market, political, and other social institutions; and the conditions in which market systems develop and change-the book contains a strong methodological and theoretical focus on market exchange. Diverse contributions from noted scholars show the history of market exchange and other activities to be more dynamic than scholars previously appreciated. Archaeological Approaches to Market Exchange in Ancient Societies will be of interest to archaeologists, anthropologists, material-culture theorists, economists, and historians.

Archaeological Landscapes on the High Plains Cover

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Archaeological Landscapes on the High Plains

Edited by Laura L. Scheiber and Bonnie J. Clark

"All anthropologists and Plains scholars should have this book, especially geographers and historians, as well as biological and paleoenvironmental scientists. The volume is a good and easy read provindg a fresh perspective on the Plains."—Marcel Kornfeld, Great Plains Research

Archaeological Landscapes on the High Plains combines history, anthropology, archaeology, and geography to take a closer look at the relationships between land and people in this unique North American region. Focusing on long-term change, this book considers ethnographic literature, archaeological evidence, and environmental data spanning thousands of years of human presence to understand human perception and construction of landscape. The contributors offer cohesive and synthetic studies emphasizing hunter-gatherers and subsistence farmers. Using landscape as both reality and metaphor, Archaeological Landscapes on the High Plains explores the different and changing ways that people interacted with place in this transitional zone between the Rocky Mountains and the eastern prairies. The contemporary archaeologists working in this small area have chosen diverse approaches to understand the past and its relationship to the present. Through these ten case studies, this variety is highlighted but leads to a common theme - that the High Plains contains important locales to which people, over generations or millennia, return. Providing both data and theory on a region that has not previously received much attention from archaeologists, especially compared with other regions in North America, this volume is a welcome addition to the literature

Archaeological Researches at Teotihuacan, Mexico Cover

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Archaeological Researches at Teotihuacan, Mexico

Written by Sigvald Linne, foreword by Staffan Brunius and introduction by George

The field data and archaeological analysis of the first controlled excavations of the vast "City of the Gods" in central Mexico.

In 1932, the Ethnographical Museum of Sweden sent an archaeological expedition to Mexico under the direction of Sigvald Linné to determine the full extent of this ancient Teotihuacan occupation and to collect exhibit-quality artifacts. Of an estimated 2000-plus residential compounds at Teotihuacan, only 20 apartmentlike structures were excavated at the time. Yet Linné's work revealed residential patterns that have been confirmed later in other locations. Some of the curated objects from the Valley of Mexico and the adjacent state of Puebla are among the most rare and unique artifacts yet found. Another important aspect of this research was that, with the aid of the Museum of Natural History in Washington, Linné's team conducted ethnographic interviews with remnant native Mexican peoples whose culture had not been entirely destroyed by the Conquest, thereby collecting and preserving valuable information for later research.

Sigvald Linné was Professor of Ethnography at the University of Stockholm and Director of the Swedish National Museum of Ethnography until 1969. He published several other books, including The Technique of South American Ceramics. Staffan Brunius is Curator of the Americas at the National Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm. George L. Cowgillis Professor of Anthropology at Arizona State University and coeditor of The Collapse of Ancient States and Civilizations.

Archaeological Salvage in the Walter F. George Basin of the Chattahoochee River Cover

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Archaeological Salvage in the Walter F. George Basin of the Chattahoochee River

Written by David DeJarnette and edited by Historic Chattahoochee Commission

David L. DeJarnette, the founder of scientific archaeology in the state of Alabama, reports on archaeological surveys and excavations undertaken in the Chattahoochee River Valley between 1947 and 1962. The three contributors, Wesley R. Hurt, Edward B. Kurjack, and Fred Lamar Pearson Jr., each made signal contributions to the archaeology of the southeastern states. With their mentor, David L. DeJarnette, they worked out a viable cultural chronology of the region from the earliest Paleoindian and Archaic foragers to the period of early European-Indian contact. They excavated key sites, including the Woodland period Shorter Mound, the protohistoric Abercrombie village, and Spanish Fort Apalachicola, in addition to a number of important Creek Indian town sites of the eighteenth century. All are here, illustrated abundantly by site photographs, maps, and of course, the artifacts recovered from these remarkable investigations.
 
Copublication with the Historic Chattahoochee Commission
 
 

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