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Archaeologies of Colonialism

Consumption, Entanglement, and Violence in Ancient Mediterranean France

Michael Dietler

This book presents a theoretically informed, up-to-date study of interactions between indigenous peoples of Mediterranean France and Etruscan, Greek, and Roman colonists during the first millennium BC. Analyzing archaeological data and ancient texts, Michael Dietler explores these colonial encounters over six centuries, focusing on material culture, urban landscapes, economic practices, and forms of violence. He shows how selective consumption linked native societies and colonists and created transformative relationships for each. Archaeologies of Colonialism also examines the role these ancient encounters played in the formation of modern European identity, colonial ideology, and practices, enumerating the problems for archaeologists attempting to re-examine these past societies.

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Archaeologies of Slavery and Freedom in the Caribbean

Exploring the Spaces in Between

Lynsey A. Bates

"We are reminded that the Caribbean was a more complicated place than we usually imagine."--Kenneth G. Kelly, coeditor of French Colonial Archaeology in the Southeast and Caribbean "These thirteen lucidly written case studies examine diverse communities, histories, and landscapes, demonstrating that the Caribbean offers historical archaeology a great deal more than the study of sugar and slavery."--Theresa A. Singleton, author of Slavery behind the Wall: An Archaeology of a Cuban Coffee Plantation

Caribbean plantations and the forces that shaped them--slavery, sugar, capitalism, and the tropical, sometimes deadly environment--have been studied extensively. This volume brings together alternate stories of sites that fall outside the large cash-crop estates. Employing innovative research tools and integrating data from Dominica, St. Lucia, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Barbados, Nevis, Montserrat, and the British Virgin Islands, the contributors investigate the oft-overlooked interstitial spaces where enslaved Africans sought to maintain their own identities inside and outside the fixed borders of colonialism.

Despite grueling work regimes and social and economic restrictions, people held in bondage carved out places of their own at the margins of slavery's reach. These essays reveal a complex world within and between sprawling plantations--a world of caves, gullies, provision grounds, field houses, fields, and the areas beyond them, where the enslaved networked, interacted, and exchanged goods and information.

The volume also explores the lives of poor whites, Afro-descendant members of military garrisons, and free people of color, demonstrating that binary models of black slaves and white planters do not fully encompass the diversity of Caribbean identities before and after emancipation. Together, the analyses of marginal spaces and postemancipation communities provide a more nuanced understanding of the experiences of those who lived in the historic Caribbean, and who created, nurtured, and ultimately cut the roots of empire.

Lynsey A. Bates is an archaeological analyst for the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS). John M. Chenoweth is assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. James A. Delle, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Shippensburg University, is the editor of The Limits of Tyranny. A volume in the Florida Museum of Natural History: Ripley P. Bullen Series

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Archaeologists as Activists

Can Archaeologists Change the World?

Edited by M. Jay Stottman

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.

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Archaeology and Apprenticeship

Body Knowledge, Identity, and Communities of Practice

Edited by Willeke Wendrich

Archaeologists study a wide array of material remains to propose conclusions about non-material aspects of culture. The intricacies of these findings have increased over recent decades, but only limited attention has been paid to what the archaeological record can tell us about the transfer of cultural knowledge through apprenticeship.

Apprenticeship is broadly defined as the transmission of culture through a formal or informal teacher–pupil relationship. This collection invites a wide discussion, citing case studies from all over the world and yet focuses the scholarship into a concise set of contributions. The chapters in this volume demonstrate how archaeology can benefit greatly from the understanding of the social dimensions of knowledge transfer. This book also examines apprenticeship in archaeology against a backdrop of sociological and cognitive psychology literature, to enrich the understanding of the relationship between material remains and enculturation.

Each of the authors in this collection looks specifically at how material remains can reveal several specific aspects of ancient cultures: What is the human potential for learning? How do people learn? Who is teaching? Why are they learning? What are the results of such learning? How do we recognize knowledge transfer in the archaeological record? These fundamental questions are featured in various forms in all chapters of the book. With case studies from the American Southwest, Alaska, Egypt, Ancient Greece, and Mesopotamia, this book will have broad appeal for scholars—particularly those concerned with cultural transmission and traditions of learning and education—all over the world.

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Archaeology and Geoinformatics

Case Studies from the Caribbean

Edited by Basil A. Reid

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

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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 Identity on the Pacific Coast and Southern Highlands of Mesoamerica

Edited by Claudia García-Des Lauriers and Michael W. Love

The Pacific coast and southern highlands of Chiapas and Guatemala is a region significant to debates about the origins of social complexity, interaction, and colonialism. The area, however, has received uneven attention and much of what we know is largely restricted to the Preclassic period. This theoretically eclectic volume presents greater temporal coverage, is geographically unified, and engages some of the most important questions of each period through a discussion of the archaeology of identity.
     Chapters range from traditional assessments of identity to discussion of practice and relational personhood; all share a concern for how archaeology and ethnohistory provide opportunities and challenges in the reconstruction of identities. The region is one with a multifaceted history of interactions between local populations and those from other parts of Mesoamerica. Linguistic diversity, landscape, and artistic representations have added to the complexities of understanding identity formation here. Rather than providing a unified voice on the issues, Archaeology and Identity on the Pacific Coast and Southern Highlands of Mesoamerica is a dialogue presented through case studies, one that will hopefully encourage future research in this complex and little understood region of Mesoamerica. 

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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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