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Human violence is an inescapable aspect of our society and culture. As the archaeological record clearly shows, this has always been true. What is its origin? What role does it play in shaping our behavior? How do ritual acts and cultural sanctions make violence acceptable?
These and other questions are addressed by the contributors to The Bioarchaeology of Violence. Organized thematically, the volume opens by laying the groundwork for new theoretical approaches that move beyond interpretation; it then examines case studies from small-scale conflict to warfare to ritualized violence.
Experts on a wide range of ancient societies highlight the meaning and motivation of past uses of violence, revealing how violence often plays an important role in maintaining and suppressing the challenges to the status quo, and how it is frequently a performance meant to be witnessed by others.
The interesting and nuanced insights offered in this volume explore both the costs and the benefits of violence throughout human prehistory.
A Bioarchaeological Perspective
Work and Revolution in Rural Mexico
Studies of Ancient Skeletons
The archaeological site of Gordion is most famous as the home of the Phrygian king Midas and as the place where Alexander the Great cut the Gordian knot on his way to conquer Asia. Located in central Anatolia (present-day Turkey) near the confluence of the Porsuk and Sakarya rivers, Gordion also lies on historic trade routes between east and west as well as north to the Black Sea. Favorably situated for long-distance trade, Gordion's setting is marginal for agricultural cultivation but well suited to pastoral production. It is therefore not surprising that with the exception of a single Chalcolithic site, the earliest settlements in the region are fairly late—they date to the Early Bronze Age (late 3rd millennium B.C.). The earliest known levels of Gordion, too, date to the Early Bronze Age, and occupation of at least some part of the site was nearly continuous through at least Roman times (second half of the 1st century B.C.).
This work is a contribution to both the archaeobotany of west Asia and the archaeology of the site of Gordion. The book's major concern is understanding long-term changes in the environment and in land use. An important finding, with implications for modern land management, is that the most sustainable use of this landscape involves mixed farming of dry-farmed cereals, summer-irrigated garden crops, and animal husbandry. The large number of samples from the 1988-89 seasons analyzed here make this a rich source for understanding other materials from the Gordion excavations and for comparison with other sites in west Asia.
Macrobotanical Remains and the Oliver Phase of Central Indiana, A.D. 1200-1450
Prehistoric plant use in the Late Woodland of central Indiana.
This book explores the extent to which foodways, an important marker of group identity, can be recognized in charred macrobotanical remains from archaeological sites. From analysis of mere bits of burned plants we can discern what ancient people chose to eat, and how they cooked it, stored it, and preserved it.
Leslie Bush compares archaeobotanical remains from 13 Oliver Phase sites in Indiana to other late prehistoric sites through correspondence analysis. The Oliver area is adjacent to the territories of three of the largest and best-known archaeological cultures of the region—Mississippian, Fort Ancient, and Oneota—so findings about Oliver foodways have implications for studies of migration, ethnogenesis, social risk, and culture contact. Historical records of three Native American tribes (Shawnee, Miami, and Huron) are also examined for potential insights into Oliver foodways.
The study determines that people who inhabited central Indiana during late prehistoric times had a distinctive signature of plant use that separates them from other archaeological groups, not just in space and time but also in ideas about appropriate uses of plants. The uniqueness of the Oliver botanical pattern is found to lie in the choice of particular crops, the intensity of growing versus gathering, and the use of a large number of wild resources.
Pioneering Women Archaeologists
At the close of the Victorian era, two generations of intrepid women abandoned Grand Tour travel for the rigors of archaeological expeditions, shining the light of scientific exploration on Old World antiquity. Breaking Ground highlights the remarkable careers of twelve pioneers---a compelling narrative of personal, social, intellectual, and historical achievement. -Claire Lyons, The Getty Museum "Behind these pioneering women lie a wide range of fascinating and inspiring life stories. Though each of their tales is unique, they were all formidable scholars whose important contributions changed the field of archaeology. Kudos to the authors for making their stories and accomplishments known to us all!" -Jodi Magness, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill This book presents twelve fascinating women whose contributions to the development and progress of Old World archaeology---in an area ranging from Italy to Mesopotamia---have been immeasurable. Each essay in this collection examines the life of a pioneer archaeologist in the early days of the discipline, tracing her path from education in the classics to travel and exploration and eventual international recognition in the field of archaeology. The lives of these women may serve as models both for those interested in gender studies and the history of archaeology because in fact, they broke ground both as women and as archaeologists. The interest inherent in these biographies will reach well beyond defined disciplines and subdisciplines, for the life of each of these exciting and accomplished individuals is an adventure story in itself
Integrating Archaeology and History in Oaxaca, Mexico, a Volume in Memory of Bruce E. Byland
Bridging the Gaps: Integrating Archaeology and History in Oaxaca, Mexico does just that: it bridges the gap between archaeology and history of the Precolumbian, Colonial, and Republican eras of the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, a cultural area encompassing several of the longest-enduring literate societies in the world.
Fourteen case studies from an interdisciplinary group of archaeologists, anthropologists, ethnohistorians, and art historians consciously compare and contrast changes and continuities in material culture before and after the Spanish conquest, in pre-Hispanic and Colonial documents, and in oral traditions rooted in the present but reflecting upon the deep past. Contributors consider both indigenous and European perspectives while exposing and addressing the difficulties that arise from the application of this conjunctive approach.
Inspired by the late Dr. Bruce E. Byland’s work in the Mixteca, which exemplified the union of archaeological and historical evidence and inspired new generations of scholars, Bridging the Gaps promotes the practice of integrative studies to explore the complex intersections between social organization and political alliances, religion and sacred landscape, ethnic identity and mobility, colonialism and resistance, and territoriality and economic resources.
Prehistoric Wooden Post Architecture in the Ohio Valley-Great Lakes
The study of ancient architecture reveals much about the social constructs and culture of the architects, builders, and inhabitants of the structures, but few studies bridge the gap between architecture and archaeology. This comprehensive examination of sites in the Ohio Valley, going as far north as Ontario, integrates structural engineering and wood science technology into the toolkit of archaeologists. Presenting the most current research on structures from pre-European contact, Building the Past allows archaeologists to expand their interpretations from simply describing postmold patterns to more fully envisioning the complex architecture of critical locations like Hopewell, Moorehead Circle, and Brown’s Bottom.
Constructing a New Society after the Angel Chiefdom Collapse
An important case study of chiefdom collapse and societal reemergence. Caborn-Welborn, a late Mississippian (A.D. 1400?) farming society centered at the confluence of the Ohio and Wabash Rivers (in what is now southwestern Indiana, southeastern Illinois, and northwestern Kentucky), developed following the collapse of the Angel chiefdom (A.D. 1000?). Using ceramic and settlement data, David Pollack examines the ways in which that new society reconstructed social, political, and economic relationships from the remnants of the Angel chiefdom. Unlike most instances of the demise of a complex society led by elites, the Caborn-Welborn population did not become more inward-looking, as indicated by an increase in extraregional interaction, nor did they disperse to smaller more widely scattered settlements, as evidenced by a continuation of a hierarchy that included large villages. This book makes available for the first time detailed, well-illustrated descriptions of Caborn-Welborn ceramics, identifies ceramic types and attributes that reflect Caborn-Welborn interaction with Oneota tribal groups and central Mississippi valley Mississippian groups, and offers an internal regional chronology. Based on intraregional differences in ceramic decoration, the types of vessels interred with the dead, and cemetery location, Pollack suggests that in addition to the former Angel population, Caborn-Welborn society may have included households that relocated to the Ohio/Wabash confluence from nearby collapsing polities, and that Caborn-Welborn's sociopolitical organization could be better considered as a riverine confederacy. "A fine scholarly presentation of the data, resulting in a new interpretation of this culture. . . . Dr. Pollack has produced an excellent case study of the collapse of a Mississippian society and its subsequent reformation. Since the unfortunate looting of the Slack Farm site in the late 1980s, archaeologists have wanted to see information on this society. . . . The graphics are most impressive." â€”Marvin T. Smith, Valdosta State University David Pollack is Staff Archaeologist with the Kentucky Heritage Council and Director of the Kentucky Archaeological Survey.