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Ancient Zapotec Religion

An Ethnohistorical and Archaeological Perspective

Michael Lind

Ancient Zapotec Religion is the first comprehensive study of Zapotec religion as it existed in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca on the eve of the Spanish Conquest. Author Michael Lind brings a new perspective, focusing not on underlying theological principles but on the material and spatial expressions of religious practice.

Using sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Spanish colonial documents and archaeological findings related to the time period leading up to the Spanish Conquest, he presents new information on deities, ancestor worship and sacred bundles, the Zapotec cosmos, the priesthood, religious ceremonies and rituals, the nature of temples, the distinctive features of the sacred and solar calendars, and the religious significance of the murals of Mitla—the most sacred and holy center. He also shows how Zapotec religion served to integrate Zapotec city-state structure throughout the valley of Oaxaca, neighboring mountain regions, and the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.

Ancient Zapotec Religion is the first in-depth and interdisciplinary book on the Zapotecs and their religious practices and will be of great interest to archaeologists, epigraphers, historians, and specialists in Native American, Latin American, and religious studies.

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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.

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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.

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The Archaeoclimatology Atlas of Oregon

The Modeled Distribution in Space and Time of Past Climates

Research on the effects of climate change on people and the environment has its roots in decades of study by archaeologists and meteorologists. The Archaeoclimatology Atlas of Oregon provides an in-depth look at the modeled climatic and environmental history of the region over the past 14,000 years and analyzes the relationship between climatic variables and people in the past.

The Macrophysical Climate Model (MCM) used for the atlas presents an innovative means of modeling past climate that has been rigorously tested and verified against field evidence worldwide. Broad-scale reconstructions of specific times in the past provide detailed site-specific graphs of precipitation, temperature, evaporation, and snowfall for more than 75 locations in Oregon.

Applications of the model and its implications for human populations in Oregon are explored for each region of the state, demonstrating the variability of human-climate interactions.

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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.

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The Archaeological Guide to Iowa

William E. Whittaker, Lynn M. Alex, Mary De La Garza

Iowa has the reputation of being one big corn field, so you may be surprised to learn it boasts a rich crop of recorded archaeological sites as well—approximately 27,000 at last count. Some are spectacular, such as the one hundred mounds at Sny Magill in Effigy Mounds National Monument, while others consist of old abandoned farmsteads or small scatters of prehistoric flakes and heated rocks. Untold numbers are completely gone or badly disturbed—destroyed by plowing, erosion, or development.

Fortunately, there are many sites open to the public where the remnants of the past are visible, either in their original location or in nearby museum exhibits. Few things are more inspiring than walking among the Malchow Mounds, packed so tightly it is hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. Strolling around downtown Des Moines is a lot more interesting when you are aware of the mounds, Indian villages, and the fort that once stood there. And, although you can’t visit the Wanampito site, you can see the splendid seventeenth-century artifacts excavated from it at Heery Woods State Park.

For people who want to experience Iowa’s archaeological heritage first hand, this one-of-a-kind guidebook shows the way to sixty-eight important sites. Many are open to visitors or can be seen from a public location; others, on private land or no longer visible on the landscape, live on through artifact displays. The guide also includes a few important sites that are not open to visitors because these places have unique stories to tell. Sites of every type, from every time period, and in every corner of the state are featured. Whether you have a few hours to indulge your curiosity or are planning a road trip across the state, this guide will take you to places where Iowa’s deep history comes to life.

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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

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Archaeological Perspectives on the Southern Appalachians

A Multiscalar Approach

In the last four decades, southeastern archaeology has increasingly developed a processual method of looking at archaeological data through varying levels of scale. By adjusting the scale, archaeologists can further define societal interactions and exchanges, which is particularly useful to those researching the Mississippian period, as the rise and fall of chiefdoms was both internally complex and externally influenced by broader regional factors. This use of the most current research methods has enabled a more comprehensive understanding of prehistoric and historic sociopolitical entities.
            In Archaeological Perspectives of the Southern Appalachians, Ramie A. Gougeon and Maureen S. Meyers have brought together a dozen archaeologists to delineate multiscalar approaches to Native American sites throughout southern Appalachia. The essays range in topic from ceramic assemblages in northern Georgia to public architecture in North Carolina to the frontiers of southern Appalachia in Virginia. Throughout the volume, the contributors discuss varying scales of analysis in their own research to flesh out the importance of maintaining different perspectives when evaluating archaeological evidence.
            Additionally, the volume makes particular reference to the work of David Hally, whose influence on not only the editors and contributors but on southeastern archaeology as a whole cannot be overstated. While Hally was neither a pioneer nor vocal champion of scale variation, his impeccable research, culminating with the publication of his magnum opus King: The Social Archaeology of a Late Mississippian Town in Northwestern Georgia paved the way for younger scholars to truly develop research methods for holistic social archaeology.
 
Ramie A. Gougeon is an assistant professor with the Division of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of West Florida. He has contributed chapters to Architectural Variability in the Southeast and Ancient Households of the Americas.

Maureen S. Meyers is an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Mississippi. Her articles have appeared in Southeastern Archaeology, Native South, and the anthology Mapping the Mississippian Shatter Zone.

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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.

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