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The Archaeology and Historical Ecology of Small Scale Economies

Most research into humans' impact on the environment has focused on large-scale societies; a corollary assumption has been that small scale economies are sustainable and in harmony with nature. The contributors to this volume challenge this notion, revealing how such communities shaped their environment--and not always in a positive way.

Offering case studies from around the world--from Brazil to Japan, Denmark to the Rocky Mountains--the chapters empirically demonstrate the substantial transformations of the surrounding landscape made by hunter-gatherer and limited horticultural societies. Summarizing previous research as well as presenting new data, this book shows that the environmental impact and legacy of societies are not always proportional their size.

Understanding that our species leaves a footprint wherever it has been leads to both a better understanding of our prehistoric past and to deeper implications for our future relationship to the world around us.

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Archaeology and the Old Testament

James B. Pritchard

Archaeology is a science in which progress can be measured by the advances made backward into the past. The last one hundred years of archaeology have added a score of centuries to the story of the growth of our cultural and religious heritage, as the ancient world has been recovered from the sands and caves of the modern Near East-Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq. Measured by the number of centuries which have been annexed to man's history in a relatively few years, progress has been truly phenomenal. This book deals with the recent advance and with those pioneers to the past who made it possible. Interest in biblical history has played an important part in this recovery. Names such as Babylon, Nineveh, Jericho, Jerusalem, and others prominent on the pages of the Bible, have gripped the popular imagination and worked like magic to gain support for excavations.

This book is written from the widely shared conviction that the discovery of the ancient Near East has shed significant light on the Bible. Indeed, the newly-discovered ancient world has effected a revolution in the understanding of the Bible, its people, and their history. My purpose is to assess, in non-technical language which the layman can understand, the kind of change in viewing the biblical past which archaeology has brought about in the last century. Since the text of the Bible has remained constant over this period, it is obvious that any new light on its meaning must provide a better perspective for seeing the events which it describes. In short, I am concerned with the question, How has history as written in the Bible been changed, enlarged, or substantiated by the past century of the archaeological work?--from the Preface

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Archaeology at El Perú-Waka’

Ancient Maya Performances of Ritual, Memory, and Power

Edited by Olivia C. Navarro-Farr and Michelle Rich

Archaeology at El Perú-Waka’ is the first book to summarize long-term research at this major Maya site. The results of fieldwork and subsequent analyses conducted by members of the El Perú-Waka’ Regional Archaeological Project are coupled with theoretical approaches treating the topics of ritual, memory, and power as deciphered through material remains discovered at Waka’.  The book is site-centered, yet the fifteen wide-ranging contributions offer readers greater insight to the richness and complexity of Classic-period Maya culture, as well as to the ways in which archaeologists believe ancient peoples negotiated their ritual lives and comprehended their own pasts.
 
El Perú-Waka’ is an ancient Maya city located in present-day northwestern Petén, Guatemala. Rediscovered by petroleum exploration workers in the mid-1960s, it is the largest known archaeological site in the Laguna del Tigre National Park in Guatemala’s Maya Biosphere Reserve. The El Perú-Waka’ Regional Archaeological Project initiated scientific investigations in 2003, and through excavation and survey, researchers established that Waka’ was a key political and economic center well integrated into Classic-period lowland Maya civilization, and reconstructed many aspects of Maya life and ritual activity in this ancient community. The research detailed in this volume provides a wealth of new, substantive, and scientifically excavated data, which contributors approach with fresh theoretical insights. In the process, they lay out sound strategies for understanding the ritual manipulation of monuments, landscapes, buildings, objects, and memories, as well as related topics encompassing the performance and negotiation of power throughout the city’s extensive sociopolitical history.

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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.

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Archaeology, Cultural Heritage, and the Antiquities Trade

Edited by Neil Brodie, Morag M. Kersel, Christina Luke, and Kathryn Walker Tubb

Archaeological artifacts have become a traded commodity in large part because the global reach of Western society allows easy access to the world's archaeological heritage. Acquired by the world's leading museums and private collectors, antiquities have been removed from archaeological sites, monuments, or cultural institutions and illegally traded. This collection of essays by world-recognized experts investigates the ways that com-modifying artifacts fuels the destruction of archaeological heritage and considers what can be done to protect it. Despite growing national and international legislation to protect cultural heritage, increasing numbers of archaeological sites--among them, war-torn Afghanistan and Iraq--are subject to pillage as the monetary value of artifacts rises. Offering comprehensive examinations of archaeological site looting, the antiquities trade, the ruin of cultural heritage resources, and the international efforts to combat their destruction, the authors argue that the antiquities market impacts cultural heritage around the world and is a burgeoning global crisis.

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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.

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Archaeology in South Carolina

Exploring the Hidden Heritage of the Palmetto State

Adam King

Adam King’s Archaeology in South Carolina contains an overview of the fascinating archaeological research currently ongoing in the Palmetto state featuring essays by twenty scholars studying South Carolina’s past through archaeological research. The scholarly contributions are enhanced by more than one hundred black and white and thirty-eight color images of some of the most important and interesting sites and artifacts found in the state. South Carolina has an extraordinarily rich history encompassing the first human habitation of North America to the lives of people at the dawn of the modern era. King begins the anthology with the basic hows and whys of archeology and introduces readers to the current issues influencing the field of research. The contributors are all recognized experts from universities, state agencies, and private consulting firms, reflecting the diversity of people and institutions that engage in archaeology. The volume begins with investigations of some of the earliest Paleo-Indian and Native American cultures that thrived in South Carolina, including work at the Topper Site along the Savannah River. Other essays explore the creation of early communities at the Stallings Island site, the emergence of large and complex Native American polities before the coming of Europeans,the impact of the coming of European settlers on Native American groups along the Savannah River, and the archaeology of the Yamassee, apeople whose history is tightly bound to the emerging European society. The focus then shifts to Euro-Americans with an examination of a long-term project seeking to understand George Galphin’s trading post established on the Savannah River in the eighteenth century. A discussion of Middleburg Plantation, one of the oldest plantation houses in the South Carolina lowcountry, is followed by a fascinating glimpse into how the city of Charleston and the lives of its inhabitants changed during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Essays on underwater archaeological research cover several Civil War-era vessels located in Winyah Bay near Georgetown and Station Creek near Beaufort, as well as one of the most famous Civil War naval vessels—the H.L. Hunley. The volume concludes with the recollections of a life spent in the field by South Carolina’s preeminent historical archaeologist Stanley South, now retired from the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology at the University of South Carolina.

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Archaeology in the Great Basin and Southwest

Papers in Honor of Don D. Fowler

Archaeology in the Great Basin and Southwest is a compilation of papers by friends and colleagues that honor Don D. Fowler. The volume encompasses the breadth and depth of Fowler’s work in archaeology and sister disciplines with original scholarship on the human past of the arid west. Included are theoretical, methodological, and empirical papers that synthesize and present fresh perspectives on Great Basin and Southwest archaeology and cover a sweep of topics from Paleoindian research to collaboration with Native Americans. Fowler has continually reminded scholars that to understand the past we must know how the local and specific is regionally and transculturally contextualized, how what we know came to be recognized, studied, and interpreted—in short, how the past still affects the present—and how regional and topical archaeology is part of a disciplinary endeavor that is as concerned with rigorous and inclusive knowledge production as it is with site description and cultural syntheses.

Readers will learn about the nature of archaeological careers, how archaeology has been conceptualized and conducted, the strengths and limitations of past and present approaches, and the institution building and political processes in which archaeologists engage. Contributors posit new thoughts designed to stimulate new lines of research and reflect on the state of our current knowledge about a wealth of topics. Each paper asks four questions about what Great Basin and southwestern archaeologists currently know: Where have we been? Where are we now? What do we still need to learn? Where are we going? This comprehensive volume will be of interest to those practicing or teaching archaeology and to students seeking to understand the intricacies of Great Basin and Southwest archaeology.

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Archaeology of Ancestors

Death, Memory, and Veneration

Hill/Hageman

Contributors to this landmark volume demonstrate that ancestor veneration was about much more than claiming property rights: the spirits of the dead were central to domestic disputes, displays of wealth, and power and status relationships. Case studies from China, Africa, Europe, and Mesoamerica use the evidence of art, architecture, ritual, and burial practices to explore the complex roles of ancestors in the past. Including a comprehensive overview of nearly two hundred years of anthropological research, The Archaeology of Ancestors reveals how and why societies remember and revere the dead. Through analyses of human remains, ritual deposits, and historical documents, contributors explain how ancestors were woven into the social fabric of the living.

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The Archaeology of Andean Pastoralism

José M. Capriles

In this book leading experts uncover and discuss archaeological topics and themes surrounding the long-term trajectory of camelid (llama and alpaca) pastoralism in the Andean highlands of South America. The chapters open up these studies to a wider world by exploring the themes of intensification of herding over time, animal-human relationships, and social transformations, as well as navigating four areas of recent research: the origins of domesticated camelids, variation in the development of pastoralist traditions, ritual and animal sacrifice, and social interaction through caravans. Andeanists and pastoral scholars alike will find this comprehensive work an invaluable contribution to their library and studies.

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