Theory, Method, and Practice in Modern Archaeology

Theory, Method, and Practice in Modern Archaeology


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This book presents 18 essays by leading scholars covering mortuary analysis, the archaeology of foraging and agricultural societies, cultural evolution, and archaeological method and theory, which transcend the processual/postprocessual debate in archaeology and provide examples of how archaeologists think about, and go about, studying the past.

As archaeology encounters the 21st century, debate over the nature of the discipline dominates professional discourse. Archaeologists are embattled over isms: processualism, postprocessualism, scientism, and humanism are ubiquitous buzzwords in the literature. Yet archaeology is a craft practiced by individuals, learned from and influenced by other individuals. Sometimes a peson, through sheer force of intellectual spirit, rises above the debate to make a mark on the field in ways that cross out schools, paradigms, and factions.

It is fitting to look back at the influence one such individual has had on archaeological methods, theory, data collection, and syntheses over the last half century. This volume draws on the experience of students and colleagues who worked with and were strongly influenced by James A. Brown's approach to the past. The volume is divided into five categories, each reflecting one distinctive facet of Brown's affect on archaeology: mortuary analysis, foraging and horticultural societies, complex agriculturalists, proto-historic and historic societies, and method and theory. These diverse categories, with articles by archaeologists of many backgrounds, are drawn together by the threads of Brown's intellectual legacy. Not all authors here are in agreement with Brown's views on their subjects, but all acknolwedge that his work in the area sets a standard that needs to be met if one is to succeed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780897897488
Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
Publication date: 03/30/2003
Pages: 408
Product dimensions: 6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.94(d)

About the Author

ROBERT J. JESKE is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and is Director of the Archaeological Research Laboratory.

DOUGLAS K. CHARLES is Professor and Chair of the Department of Anthropology at Wesleyan University.

Table of Contents

Mortuary Studies

Practice and Record: Mortuary Analysis and Archaeological theory by Robert Chapman

Making Sense of Mortuary Practices? Chinchorro Mummies and the Archaic Period on the South-Central Andean Coast by Karen Wise

The Chiribaya and the Emergence of Inequality: A Bioarchaeological Case Study by Jane E. Buikstra, Maria Cecilia Lozada Carna, and Paula Tomczak

Foraging and Horticultural Societies

Complex Foragers? by T. Douglas Price

Koster Research and the Archaic by David L. Carlson

Chronological Relationships Among Ohio Hopewell Sites by N'omi B. Greber

Rethinking Hopewell: Consideration of Politics, Economics, and Gender by Douglas K. Charles

Mississippian Societies

Distinctions Among High and Low Status People at Cathokia by George R. Milner

Mississippian Period Warfare and Palisade Construction at Cathokia by Mary Beth Trubitt

Strangers in Paradise or Ethnic Mortuary Variation at the Fringe of Cahokia? by Thomas E. Emerson and Eve Hargrave

Painted Maces and Shell Cups: The Scientific Use of Artifacts Without Context by April Kay Sievert

Upper Mississippian and Historic Societies

An Interpretation of Late Prehistoric Cultural Developments in the Eastern Ozarks by Mark J. Laynott

Temporal, Spatial, and Social Trends: Late Prehistoric and Proto-Historic Group Interaction by M. Catherine Bird

Lithic Procurement and Use within Mississippian Social Networks by Robert J. Jeske

Rethinking Jean Nicolet's Route to the Winnebago in 1634 by Robert L. Hall

Agricultural Places and the Oneota Lifeway in Wisconsin by Robert F. Sasso

Methods and Theory

Sacred Sites and Profane Conflicts: The Use of Burial Facilities and Other Sacred Locations as Territorial Markers—Ethnographic Evidence by Lawrence A. Kuznar

Like Everywhere You've Never Been: Strange Archaelogical Tales from Papua New Guinea by Robin Torrence

Archaelogical Research, and Graduate Training by Lynne Goldstein

References Cited

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