Chiefdoms And Other Archaeological Delusions / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $26.75
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 10%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (10) from $26.75   
  • New (7) from $26.75   
  • Used (3) from $27.87   

Overview

In recent decades anthropology, especially ethnography, has supplied the prevailing models of how human beings have constructed, and been constructed by, their social arrangements. In turn, archaeologists have all too often relied on these models to reconstruct the lives of ancient peoples. In lively, engaging, and informed prose, Timothy Pauketat debunks much of this social-evolutionary theorizing about human development, as he ponders the evidence of 'chiefdoms' left behind by the Mississippian culture of the American southern heartland. This book challenges all students of history and prehistory to reexamine the actual evidence that archaeology has made available, and to do so with an open mind.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Choice
In this intriguing study of the prehistory of the eastern U.S. and how it compares to that of the Southwest, Oaxaca, and the Near East, Pauketat eschews the study of institutions and social evolution for the study of people and their interactions: Instead of looking to check off the attributes of institutions or organizations—were there palaces, royal tombs, writing?—we look instead for a series of relationships that played out historically. How were central places built, central orders memorialized, and producer autonomy sacrificed? His is 'a backdoor approach to building a historical theory of civilization,' considering non-elite agency as well as activities of the elites. In all of the areas Pauketat examines, he sees migrations and the dislocations and opportunities they provide as critical in catapulting societies toward urbanism. This volume will repay rereading and careful study, and this reviewer intends to assign it in her North American prehistory course in the spring. Highly recommended.
Canadian Journal Of Archaeology
This book is a passionate polemic about several 'delusions' Pauketat believes lead archaeologists into serious theoretical and methodological errors. This is a very entertaining, creative, and irritating book. It would enliven a seminar class on complexity, archaeological theory, or North American archaeology.
Steve Lekson
Pauketat's bold thinking should move Mississippi Valley prehistory out from the shadows and onto archaeology's center stage, where it belongs–alongside the world's other civilizations, Old and New. Readers accustomed to wigwams,chiefs, and mound-builders are in for a shock. Native history in North America was far grander, far more interesting, than old textbooks allow. This book is really interesting! Pauketat is taking American archaeology in exciting new directions.
David G. Anderson
A top flight synthesis of the development of complex societies in Eastern North America, from a theoretical perspective refreshingly different from the mainstream. A cross between Walter Taylor’s A Study of Archeology and Kent Flannery’s The Early Mesoamerican Village, Pauketat pulls no punches while humorously and incisively summarizing current research and thinking on the subject in the region and beyond, and in telling us how we can do better. Any archaeologist interested in North American archaeology or in the exploration of complex societies needs to read this book. Some of you are going to love it; some, I suspect, are going to hate it. But this volume provides, I believe, a good picture of how many scholars are going to be thinking about these subjects in the years to come.
Kit Wesler
In Chiefdoms and Other Archaeological Delusions, Timothy Pauketat confronts his colleagues with the stereotypes that guide our interpretations of past societies. Do our ethnographic models serve archaeology well? Do they reflect the full range of societies in the past, or are archaeologists imitatively forcing great variety and creativity into a few shallow ideological niches? Are North American archaeologists taught to systematically diminish the accomplishments of Native North American societies? Wrapped around a deceptively simple question—“What was Cahokia?”—Pauketat’s sometimes colloquial, sometimes sharply incisive discussion challenges us to review our biases, cast off social-evolutionary shackles, and go boldly into a historically nuanced and broadly comparative American past.
Gregory Wilson
Chiefdoms and Other Archaeological Delusions is not your typical book about Mississippian archaeology; there is more theorizing, critique, and cross-cultural comparison. Then again Pauketat is not your typical Mississippian archaeologist. Borrowing a page from Flannery's Early Mesoamerican Village, Pauketat invents a cast of colorful characters to critically evaluate the problems and potential for the archaeology of complexity in the Southeastern United States.
CHOICE
In this intriguing study of the prehistory of the eastern U.S. and how it compares to that of the Southwest, Oaxaca, and the Near East, Pauketat eschews the study of institutions and social evolution for the study of people and their interactions: Instead of looking to check off the attributes of institutions or organizations—were there palaces, royal tombs, writing?—we look instead for a series of relationships that played out historically. How were central places built, central orders memorialized, and producer autonomy sacrificed?" His is 'a backdoor approach to building a historical theory of civilization,' considering non-elite agency as well as activities of the elites. In all of the areas Pauketat examines, he sees migrations and the dislocations and opportunities they provide as critical in catapulting societies toward urbanism. This volume will repay rereading and careful study, and this reviewer intends to assign it in her North American prehistory course in the spring. Highly recommended.
Canadian Journal of Archaeology
This book is a passionate polemic about several 'delusions' Pauketat believes lead archaeologists into serious theoretical and methodological errors. This is a very entertaining, creative, and irritating book. It would enliven a seminar class on complexity, archaeological theory, or North American archaeology.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780759108295
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2007
  • Series: Issues in Eastern Woodlands Archaeology Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 270
  • Product dimensions: 6.09 (w) x 9.11 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

Timothy Pauketat is professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Principles and Principals Chapter 2 A Crisis in Mississippian Archaeology Chapter 3 Breaking the Law of Cultural Dominance Chapter 4 Parsing Mississippian Chiefdoms Chapter 5 The X-Factor Chapter 6 Yoffee's Rule and Cahokia Chapter 7 What Constitutes Civilization? Community and Control in the Southwest, Mexico, and Mesopotamia Chapter 8 Truth, Justice, and the Archaeological Way
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)