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Archaeology of Southern Urban Landscapes

The rapid growth and development of urban areas in the South have resulted in an increase in the number of urban archaeology projects required by federal and state agencies. These projects provide opportunities not only to investigate marginal areas between the town and countryside but also to recover information long buried beneath the earliest urban structures. Such projects have also created a need for a one-volume update on archaeology as it is practiced in the urban areas of the southeastern United States.

Archaeology of Southern Urban Landscapes will assist practitioners and scholars in the burgeoning fields of urban and landscape archaeology by treating the South as a distinctive social, geographic, and material entity and by focusing on the urban South rather than the stereotypical South of rural plantations. The case studies in this volume span the entire southeastern United States, from Annapolis to New Orleans and from colonial times to the 19th century. The authors address questions involving the function of cities, interregional diversity, the evolution of the urban landscape, and the impact of the urban landscape on southern culture. By identifying the relationship between southern culture and the South's urban landscapes, this book will help us understand the built landscape of the past and predict future growth in the region.

The volume includes:
 

Introduction: Urban Archaeology in the South, Amy L. Young
 

Southern Town Plans, Storytelling, and Historical Archaeology, Linda Derry
 

Mobile's Waterfront: The Development of a Port City, Bonnie L. Gums and George W. Shorter Jr.
 

Urbanism in the Colonial South: The Development of Seventeenth-Century Jamestown, Audrey J. Horning
 

Archaeology at Covington, Kentucky: A Particularly "Northern-looking" Southern City, Robert A. Genheimer
 

Charleston's Powder Magazine and the Development of a Southern City, Martha A. Zierden
 

Archaeology and the African-American Experience in the Urban South, J. W. Joseph
 

Ethnicity in the Urban Landscape: The Archaeology of Creole New Orleans, Shannon Lee Dawdy
 

Developing Town Life in the South: Archaeological Investigations at Blount Mansion, Amy L. Young
 

The Making of the Ancient City: Annapolis in the Antebellum Era, Christopher N. Matthews
 

Urban Archaeology in Tennessee: Exploring the Cities of the Old South, Patrick H. Garrow
 

Archaeological Views of Southern Culture and Urban Life, Paul R. Mullins and Terry H. Klein

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The Archaeology of the Caddo

Timothy K. Perttula

This landmark volume provides the most comprehensive overview to date of the prehistory and archaeology of the Caddo peoples. The Caddos lived in the Southeastern Woodlands for more than 900 years beginning around A.D. 800–900, before being forced to relocate to Oklahoma in 1859. They left behind a spectacular archaeological record, including the famous Spiro Mound site in Oklahoma as well as many other mound centers, plazas, farmsteads, villages, and cemeteries.

The Archaeology of the Caddo examines new advances in studying the history of the Caddo peoples, including ceramic analysis, reconstructions of settlement and regional histories of different Caddo communities, Geographic Information Systems and geophysical landscape studies at several spatial scales, the cosmological significance of mound and structure placements, and better ways to understand mortuary practices. Findings from major sites and drainages such as the Crenshaw site, mounds in the Arkansas River basin, Spiro Mound, the Oak Hill Village site, the George C. Davis site, the Willow Chute Bayou Locality, the Hughes site, Big Cypress Creek basin, and the McClelland and Joe Clark sites are also summarized and interpreted. This volume reintroduces the Caddos’ heritage, creativity, and political and religious complexity.

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Archaeology of the Central Mississippi Valley

A classic work detailing an 11,000-year period of human culture within the largest river system of North America.

The earliest recorded description of the Central Mississippi Valley and its inhabitants is contained within the DeSoto chronicles written after the conquistadors passed through the area between 1539 and 1543. In 1882 a field agent for the Bureau of American Ethnology conducted the first systematic archaeological survey of the region, an area that extends from near the mouth of the Ohio River to the mouth of the Arkansas River, bounded on the east by the Mississippi River and on the west by the Ozark Highlands and Grand Prairie. One hundred years later, the authors produced this first comprehensive overview of all of the archaeological research conducted in the valley during the interim. It is a well-organized compendium, written with both the professional archaeologist and the layperson in mind, and is profusely illustrated with maps, charts, artifact photographs, and drawings. This volume was the first published history of the archaeology of the region and stands as the basic resource for that work today.


 

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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.

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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.

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Archaeology of the Rivas Region, Nicaragua

Central America before the Spanish Conquest has often been considered by North American archaeologists as a “backwater” of peripheral importance located between the advanced ancient civilizations of South America and Mesoamerica (Mexican–Maya country). Recent archaeological research has revealed that this area played a much more significant role in New World cultural history than was previously thought. Healy’s study examines the archaeological record of one subarea of Southern Central America, the Rivas region of Pacific Nicaragua. The work gives a detailed analysis of excavations and of artifacts recovered at seven significant prehistoric sites. A critical pioneering effort, the monograph documents cultural changes occurring over a 2,000–year time period—changes in technology, material culture, settlement, subsistence, and socio–political organization.

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The Archaeology of Wak'as

Explorations of the Sacred in the Pre-Columbian Andes

edited by Tamara L. Bray

In this edited volume, Andean wak'as—idols, statues, sacred places, images, and oratories—play a central role in understanding Andean social philosophies, cosmologies, materialities, temporalities, and constructions of personhood. Top Andean scholars from a variety of disciplines cross regional, theoretical, and material boundaries in their chapters, offering innovative methods and theoretical frameworks for interpreting the cultural particulars of Andean ontologies and notions of the sacred.

Wak'as were understood as agentive, nonhuman persons within many Andean communities and were fundamental to conceptions of place, alimentation, fertility, identity, and memory and the political construction of ecology and life cycles. The ethnohistoric record indicates that wak'as were thought to speak, hear, and communicate, both among themselves and with humans. In their capacity as nonhuman persons, they shared familial relations with members of the community, for instance, young women were wed to local wak'as made of stone and wak'as had sons and daughters who were identified as the mummified remains of the community's revered ancestors.

Integrating linguistic, ethnohistoric, ethnographic, and archaeological data, The Archaeology of Wak'as advances our understanding of the nature and culture of wak'as and contributes to the larger theoretical discussions on the meaning and role of–"the sacred” in ancient contexts.

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Archaeology

The Discipline of Things

Bjørnar Olsen

Archaeology has always been marked by its particular care, obligation, and loyalty to things. While archaeologists may not share similar perspectives or practices, they find common ground in their concern for objects monumental and mundane. This book considers the myriad ways that archaeologists engage with things in order to craft stories, both big and small, concerning our relations with materials and the nature of the past.

Literally the "science of old things," archaeology does not discover the past as it was but must work with what remains. Such work involves the tangible mediation of past and present, of people and their cultural fabric, for things cannot be separated from society. Things are us. This book does not set forth a sweeping new theory. It does not seek to transform the discipline of archaeology. Rather, it aims to understand precisely what archaeologists do and to urge practitioners toward a renewed focus on and care for things.

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Archaeology without Borders

Contact, Commerce, and Change in the U.S. Southwest and Northwestern Mexico

Edited by Laurie D. Webster and Maxine E. McBrinn

Archaeology without Borders presents new research by leading U.S. and Mexican scholars and explores the impacts on archaeology of the border between the United States and Mexico. Including data previously not readily available to English-speaking readers, the twenty-four essays discuss early agricultural adaptations in the region and groundbreaking archaeological research on social identity and cultural landscapes, as well as economic and social interactions within the area now encompassed by northern Mexico and the U.S. Southwest. Contributors examining early agriculture offer models for understanding the transition to agriculture, explore relationships between the spread of agriculture and Uto-Aztecan migrations, and present data from Arizona, New Mexico, and Chihuahua. Contributors focusing on social identity discuss migration, enculturation, social boundaries, and ethnic identities. They draw on case studies that include diverse artifact classes - rock art, lithics, architecture, murals, ceramics, cordage, sandals, baskets, faunal remains, and oral histories. Mexican scholars present data from Chihuahua, Durango, Zacatecas, Michoacan, Coahuila, and Nuevo Leon. They address topics including Spanish-indigenous conflicts, archaeological history, cultural landscapes, and interactions among Mesoamerica, northern Mexico, and the U.S. Southwest.

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Archaeometallurgy in Mesoamerica

Current Approaches and New Perspectives

Edited by Scott E. Simmons and Aaron N. Shugar

Presenting the latest in archaeometallurgical research in a Mesoamerican context, Archaeometallurgy in Mesoamerica brings together up-to-date research from the most notable scholars in the field. These contributors analyze data from a variety of sites, examining current approaches to the study of archaeometallurgy in the region as well as new perspectives on the significance metallurgy and metal objects had in the lives of its ancient peoples.

The chapters are organized following the cyclical nature of metals—beginning with extracting and mining ore, moving to smelting and casting of finished objects, and ending with recycling and deterioration back to the original state once the object is no longer in use. Data obtained from archaeological investigations, ethnohistoric sources, ethnographic studies, along with materials science analyses, are brought to bear on questions related to the integration of metallurgy into local and regional economies, the sacred connotations of copper objects, metallurgy as specialized crafting, and the nature of mining, alloy technology, and metal fabrication.

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