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Bioarchaeology of East Asia Cover

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Bioarchaeology of East Asia

Movement, Contact, Health

Edited by Kate Pechenkina and Marc Oxenham

East Asia spans more than 10 million square kilometers. The human remains examined by the contributors in this volume date from the Early Neolithic (more than 12,000 years ago) to the Iron Age (up to AD 500).

Bioarchaeology of East Asia interprets human skeletal collections from a region where millets, rice, and several other important cereals were cultivated, leading to attendant forms of agricultural development that were accompanied by significant technological innovations. The contributors follow the diffusion of these advanced ideas to other parts of Asia, and unravel a maze of population movements. In addition, they explore the biological implications of relatively rare subsistence strategies more or less unique to East Asia: millet agriculture, mobile pastoralism with limited cereal farming, and rice farming combined with reliance on marine resources.

Diverse scholarly traditions--from China, Japan, Mongolia, Russia, Australia, and the United States--supply a constructive mix of conceptual frameworks and methodologies. Chinese-to-English translations make chapters available that might not otherwise be published outside of China. Ideas stemming from this collection will significantly boost collaborative work among bioarchaeologists and other scientists working in East Asia.

The Bioarchaeology of Individuals Cover

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The Bioarchaeology of Individuals

Ann L.W. Stodder

From Bronze Age Thailand to Viking Iceland, from an Egyptian oasis to a family farm in Canada, The Bioarchaeology of Individuals invites readers to unearth the daily lives of people throughout history. Covering a span of more than four thousand years of human history and focusing on individuals who lived between 3200 BC and the nineteenth century, the essays in this book examine the lives of nomads, warriors, artisans, farmers, and healers.

The contributors employ a wide range of tools, including traditional macroscopic skeletal analysis, bone chemistry, ancient DNA, grave contexts, and local legends, sagas, and other historical information. The collection as a whole presents a series of osteobiographies--profiles of the lives of specific individuals whose remains were excavated from archaeological sites. The result offers a more "personal" approach to mortuary archaeology; this is a book about people--not just bones.

The Bioarchaeology of the Human Head Cover

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The Bioarchaeology of the Human Head

Decapitation, Decoration, and Deformation

Edited by Michelle Bonogofsky

Building on the notion that human remains provide a window into the past, especially regarding identity, the contributors to this volume reflect on intentional and ritualized practices of manipulating the human head within ancient societies. These essays explore the human head’s symbolic role in political, social, economic, and religious ritual over the centuries.

By focusing on the various ways in which the head was treated at the time of death, as well as before and following, scholars uncover the significant social meaning of such treatment. This illuminating collection highlights biological and cultural manipulations of human heads, ultimately revealing whose skulls and heads were collected and why, whether as ancestors or enemies, as insiders or outsiders, as males, females, or children.

Featuring a wealth of case studies from scholars across the globe, this volume emphasizes social identity and the use of the body in ritual, making it particularly helpful to all those interested in the cross-cultural handling of skulls and heads.

The Bioarchaeology of Violence Cover

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The Bioarchaeology of Violence

Debra L. Martin

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.

Biocultural Histories in La Florida Cover

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Biocultural Histories in La Florida

A Bioarchaeological Perspective

Written by Christopher Stojanowski

Indigenous populations respond to colonial expansion.
 
This book examines the effects of the Spanish mission system on population structure and genetic variability in indigenous communities living in northern Florida and southern Georgia during the 16th and 17th centuries. Data on tooth size were collected from 26 archaeological samples representing three time periods:  Late Precontact (~1200-1500), Early Mission (~1600-1650), and Late Mission (~1650-1700) and were subjected to a series of statistical tests evaluating genetic variability. Predicted changes in phenotypic population variability are related to models of group interaction, population demo-graphy, and genetic admixture as suggested by ethnohistoric and archaeological data.

Results suggest considerable differences in diachronic responses to the mission environment for each cultural province. The Apalachee demonstrate a marked increase in variability while the Guale demonstrate a decline in variability. Demographic models of population collapse are therefore inconsistent with predicted changes based on population geneticsl, and the determinants of population structure seem largely local in nature. This book highlights the specificity with which indigenous communities responded to European contact and the resulting transformations in their social worlds.

"Stojanowski's work is like man's DNA, the structure of a lifeform, but here it is the structure or glue that holds together the historic puzzle with its Apalachee, Timucua, Guale, and Spanish pieces that other scholars have been trying to put together."--Keith P. Jacobi, author of Last Rites for the Tipu Maya

Christopher Stojanowski is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and a specialist in bioarchaeology.

Biography of a Hacienda Cover

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Biography of a Hacienda

Work and Revolution in Rural Mexico

Elizabeth Terese Newman

Biography of a Hacienda is a many-voiced reconstruction of events leading up to the Mexican Revolution and the legacy that remains to the present day. Drawing on ethnohistorical, archaeological, and ethnographic data, Elizabeth Terese Newman creates a fascinating model of the interplay between the great events of the Revolution and the lives of everyday people.

In 1910 the Mexican Revolution erupted out of a century of tension surrounding land ownership and control over labor. During the previous century, the elite ruling classes acquired ever-increasingly large tracts of land while peasants saw their subsistence and community independence vanish. Rural working conditions became so oppressive that many resorted to armed rebellion. After the war, new efforts were made to promote agrarian reform, and many of Mexico’s rural poor were awarded the land they had farmed for generations. 

Weaving together fiction, memoir, and data from her fieldwork, Newman reconstructs life at the Hacienda San Miguel Acocotla, a site located near a remote village in the Valley of Atlixco, Puebla, Mexico. Exploring people’s daily lives and how they affected the buildup to the Revolution and subsequent agrarian reforms, the author draws on nearly a decade of interdisciplinary study of the Hacienda Acocotla and its descendant community. Newman’s archaeological research recovered information about the lives of indigenous people living and working there in the one hundred years leading up to the Mexican Revolution.

Newman shows how women were central to starting the revolt, and she adds their voices to the master narrative. Biography of a Hacienda concludes with a thoughtful discussion of the contribution of the agrarian revolution to Mexico’s history and whether it has succeeded or simply transformed rural Mexico into a new “global hacienda system.”

Bones of the Maya Cover

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Bones of the Maya

Studies of Ancient Skeletons

Edited by Stephen L. Whittington and David M. Reed, with contributions from Lori

Landmark research underrepresented in the study of Maya civilization.
 
This volume, which includes an indexed bibliography of the first 150 years of Maya osteology, pulls together for the first time a broad spectrum of bioarchaeologists that reveal remarkable data on Maya genetic relationship, demographic, and diseases.
 
Stephen L. Whittington is Director of the Museum of Anthropology at Wake Forest University. David M. Reed is a research scientist at the University of Michigan.
 
Contribuors:
Carl Armstrong, Jane E. Buikstra, Diane Z. Chase, Mark N. Cohen, Della Collins Cook, Marie Elaine Danforth, Andrés del Ángel, Robert E. Ferrell, John P. Gerry, Karen D. Gettelman, Lorena M. Havill, Keith P. Jacobi, Harold W. Krueger, Nora M. López Olivares, Lourdes Márquez, , Virginia K. Massey, D. Andrew Merriwether, Kathleen O'Connor, K. Anne Pyburn, David M. Reed, Frank P. Saul, Julie Mather Saul, D. Gentry Steele, Rebecca Storey, Diane M. Warren, David Webster, Christine D. White, Stephen L. Whittington, Lori E. Wright

Botanical Aspects of Environment and Economy at Gordion, Turkey Cover

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Botanical Aspects of Environment and Economy at Gordion, Turkey

By Naomi F. Miller

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.

Boundary Conditions Cover

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Boundary Conditions

Macrobotanical Remains and the Oliver Phase of Central Indiana, A.D. 1200-1450

Written by Leslie L. Bush

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.

Breaking Ground Cover

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Breaking Ground

Pioneering Women Archaeologists

Getzel M. Cohen and Martha Sharp Joukowsky, Editors

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

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