Newsletter of the History of Archaeology Interest Group Society for American Archaeology. Volume 2, Number 4 November PDF

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H A I G Newsletter of the History of Archaeology Interest Group Society for American Archaeology Volume 2, Number 4 November 2012 November 7, 2012 My goal was to get this newsletter out by Halloween, but
H A I G Newsletter of the History of Archaeology Interest Group Society for American Archaeology Volume 2, Number 4 November 2012 November 7, 2012 My goal was to get this newsletter out by Halloween, but that was not to be the case but this will explain the graphic I use to open this newsletter, I hope. As I write this, the northeast especially New Jersey and New York are climbing the long road to recovery following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy. If you are looking for a way to help, you can donatd to the Red Cross at or call RED-CROSS. The following site has information more specific to New York City: On a more positive note, the HAIG-sponsored session on spatial approaches to the history of archaeology grew to 14 papers. We had a couple of very last minute cancellations, but this allowed us to add in two session breaks a new SAA policy with which I am certainly happy. The session and individual paper abstracts are presented in this newsletter for your enjoyment and edification. This newsletter also includes a discussion of some new digital resources dedicated to New Deal archaeology, and two interesting articles: Donald Ball returns with a short piece on early Ohio archaeologist Matthew Canfield Read; and, Frederick Whitling presents archaeologist King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden. The newsletter closes with some recent or noteworthy publications related to the history of archaeology the latter list has had extensive help from Marlin Hawley. Finally, I ve completed editing the proofs and created the index for Shovel Ready: Archaeology and Roosevelt s New Deal for America and I hope to bring a few copies to show at the 2013 SAAs in Honolulu! Aloha, Bernard K. Means I suspect this archaeologist s contributions have been lost to the ages (Images is now in the public domain) 1 History of Archaeology Interest Group (HAIG) Session at the Society for American Archaeology Annual Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii, April 2013 Spatial Approaches to the History of Archaeology Chaired by Neha Gupta and Bernard K. Means Scholars often remark that the practice of archaeology varies regionally. Moreover, archaeologists, including those interested in the history of their discipline, have often observed that specific places are investigated at particular times. What do these statements mean for the practice of archaeology? How and why did these spatial patterns come to be and what we can do about these spatial differences? We argue that seeing where and when archaeologists carried out field studies is a first step to understanding how these patterns emerged and a prerequisite to addressing what we do not know. To that end we invite scholars to employ spatially explicit methods such as geographic information systems (GIS) to visualize where archaeologists have collected field data, and discuss how perceptions of variation in archaeological practices have influenced our understanding of the history of archaeology. We especially welcome papers on challenges faced in employing spatial approaches to the history of the discipline. Contributor Abstracts Geopolitical Concerns, National Interests and the Case of Sanghol in Indian Archaeology Neha Gupta Scholars studying the practice of archaeology in post-colonial societies, such as India, overlook the relationship between local communities - where archaeological field investigations often take place - and state-oriented institutions in archaeological research. In this paper, I discuss field studies in the community of Sanghol, Punjab, India, where, between 1985 and 1990, the Archaeological Survey of India (Survey) - the national department for archaeology and heritage management - carried out excavations with the Punjab State Department of Archaeology and the local community. Excavated in the wake of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's assassination by her Sikh bodyguards, and amid intense competition for sovereignty in Punjab, I demonstrate that geopolitical concerns and the desire for political stability influenced where and when Indian archaeologists excavated and the evidence they deemed acceptable. It is in this context that B. M. Pandey, the former director of the Survey, called Sanghol one of the most important sites not only in the Punjab but in the subcontinent . 2 From Alexander von Humboldt to El Arenal Chickens: Strong Evidence and Strong Denials on Long-Distance Contacts Alice Kehoe Alexander von Humboldt was the first major scientist to recognize and publish (1814) evidence for contacts between Asia and America before Magellan. Twentieth-century scholars contributing to this body of data include Joseph Needham, Carl Sauer, Gordon Ekholm and Robert Heine-Geldern, David H. Kelley, and Paul Tolstoy. Most recently, publication of discovery of Polynesian chicken bones in a 14th-century site in Chile touched off the expected pro-forma rebuttal. Why do archaeologists routinely reject the high probability of Polynesian voyagers making landfall on the continent toward which they have been exploring for centuries? This paper uses history/sociology of science to discuss such steadfast dismissal of scientific probability and cultural data. Rebuilding The Necropolis of Ancon, Central Coast of Peru. New Information in the XXI century about an Excavation of the XX century. Lucia Watson This paper presents new information about The Necropolis of Ancon which is located on the central coast of Peru. The Necropolis of Ancon is one of the biggest and most extensive Pre-Hispanic cemeteries in the Andes. It was excavated by Julio C. Tello- Father of the Peruvian Archaeology- from 1945 to 1949, but he could not finish his task because of his death. After a year and half of project, at the National Museum of Anthropology, Archaeology and History of Peru, digitalizing all of Julio C. Tello field notes, drawings and maps about his excavation in The Necropolis of Ancon, we can now put together all of this information. By these means, and using a geographic information system (GIS), we can visualize spatial distribution of the 1570 tombs and 1455 artifacts which belong to the different moments of occupation in the cemetery (from 200 B.C. to 1534 A.C.) and have a better idea of spatial distribution of the different cultural groups and the status of the people who used The Necropolis of Ancon. 3 From Colonial Chronicles to Bootstrap Analysis: the Evolution of Research Methods for Studying Inca Spatial Organization Anastasiya Travina Changes in the technology available to researchers may reflect changes in approaches to analyzing the spatial and administrative organization of an imperial society. This paper examines specific archaeological research projects conducted in Peru in the 1980 s, which used historic analysis and descriptive statistical methods for analyzing Inca excavations, and contrasts these methods with the contemporary application of GIS software and modern inferential statistics. These excavations served to analyze the settlement and storage house location patterns of the Incas. In this paper, they are compared with the analysis of spatial organization of the same settlements and storage localities in the milieu of geospatial and statistical analysis laboratories of U.S. universities. Through exploring theses differences, the paper demonstrates how integrating such instruments as Google Earth, bootstrapping, and Monte-Carlo analysis has altered the perception of the Inca Empire s spatial organization and the view of the Inca domination. Spatial and Temporal Differences in Photographing Archaeological Sites in the Mid-Twentieth Century Charlotte Young Archaeological landscapes captured by the camera is a significant area of research, as it is these images which have had a great impact for the visualization of archaeology, its methods and practices, according to the historical context in which the images were created and published. My PhD project questions how archaeological photographs shape our knowledge of the past, and influence our visual perceptions of archaeology as a discipline during the mid-twentieth century. Using agency theory, art theories, theories of viewing and contextual hermeneutics, my aim is to gain a greater understanding in the thought processes and scientific and artistic influences which shaped archaeological site photographs from the 1950s to 1970s, in relation to the great changes occurring in the study of New Archaeology in Britain and America. In this paper, I will discuss data gathered from several surveys on archaeological site photographs I have conducted in British and American, Classical and Prehistoric, archaeological journals during this period. The results from these surveys highlight the extent to which archaeological photographs mirror the developments and debates in New Archaeology in the 1960s, including spatial and temporal differences in the visual representation of gender, racial, colonial, artistic and scientific aspects. 4 The Infertile Crescent Revisited: A Case (Study) for the History of Archaeology Jennifer Bracewell This paper examines the history of archaeological research concerning the eastern coast of James Bay in northern Quebec. This area is one of the most remote and heavily forested in Canada. Very little actual fieldwork was undertaken here until rescue excavations in the 1970s. Despite this, the region s prehistory had already been defined by archaeologists: it was thought to have changed very little in subsistence or culture since the area was occupied, as it was part of the Infertile Crescent of the Canadian North. The construction of prehistory in northern Quebec began with the earliest contact of Europeans with Native Canadians and has developed from religious explanations to classical evolutionary ones to culture-historical ones to neo-evolutionary scientific ones. Although the theoretical interpretations have changed, the content has remained surprisingly constant. The remoteness and size of the Shield, and the challenges of research in the area, led to generalizations that telescoped thousands of years and eight million square miles into a single interpretation, based ultimately on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century assumptions about hunter-gatherers, environmental determinism and race. This paper traces how these assumptions have affected the archaeology of the twentieth century in James Bay and northern Quebec. From Cultural Complexes to Complex Social Topography: A History of Spatial Approaches to Native Cultural Landscapes in the Middle Atlantic Elizabeth Bollwerk Over the past 150 years Middle Atlantic archaeologists have used a variety of spatial approaches to depict past Native social landscapes. The primary model used throughout the early twentieth century generated cultural group territories encompassing hundreds of miles. In the second half of the twentieth century the Midwestern Taxonomic System and Cultural Complexes were in vogue. While these approaches emphasized different material traits, the predominant use of cultural territories and complexes to depict prehistoric archaeological cultures modeled past Native societies as isolated, static, and rigidly bounded. In the last half of the twentieth century and the first decades of the twenty-first century Middle Atlantic archaeologists have provided alternatives to previous depictions by using different methodological and theoretical approaches and interpretative frameworks when considering variation in Native material culture. These approaches have revealed dynamic aspects of Native social landscapes that were overlooked by previous models. However, the acknowledgment of social complexity introduces the challenge of how to depict more the more intricate social networks of past Native communities. The conclusion of this paper will explore how what archaeologists can learn from Digital Humanities approaches to Geographic Information Systems to improve the cartographic conventions we use to illustrate Native social topography. 5 Geographic Variation in New Deal Archaeology Across the Lower 48 States Bernard K. Means An examination of New Deal archaeology survey and excavation projects across the lower 48 states has revealed considerable geographic variation in the nature and extent of work relief archaeology projects. Some of this variation can be linked to strong regional personalities (e.g. William S. Webb and Tennessee Valley Authority archaeology), while other variation depended on local political acceptance or resistance of New Deal programs in general. In some cases, the nature of the archaeological record itself influenced the amount of New Deal archaeology conducted within a region. One challenge to examining geographic variation in New Deal archaeology is the fact that much of this work is unpublished or is only published in low circulation local archaeology or local historical society journals. Other challenges include the lack of specificity of the type of relief agency that funded individual archaeology projects, which renders it difficult to find further information. How an examination of geographic variation in New Deal archaeology can contribute to understanding the development of American Archaeology is addressed as well. 6 Cause and Effect: Social Networks and Archaeological Excavations Katie V.Kirakosian Understanding the complexities of local social networks is a critical area of study for any regional history within American archaeology. As a case study, I present a (working) social network that spans seven generations of Massachusetts archaeology. I illustrate how various archaeological excavations were made possible because of already established ties within this social network. Conversely, I consider a more recent trend in which archaeological excavations create new ties while also strengthening others as well. Finally, I consider reasons for these changes through time. The Geography of Innovation: How Jeffries Wyman put Florida and Shell Mounds on the Map ( ) Asa Randall The state of Florida is an intermittent flashpoint of archaeological innovation, particularly regarding shell mound research. This process was initiated in the nineteenth century by Jeffries Wyman, whose 1875 publication Fresh-Water Shell Mounds of the St. John's River, Florida highlighted stratigraphy, ceramic typology, zooarchaeology, regional survey, and other methods now commonplace to American archaeology. Beyond its status as a historic footnote, Wyman s contribution has structured successive research; his monograph remains an irreplaceable compendium of shell-bearing sites that have since been destroyed. Although Wyman s innovation is often attributed to familiarity with the Scandinavian shell midden school, in this paper I examine how Wyman s experience engaging with the archaeology and geography of northeast Florida structured his observations and interpretations. I employ GIS to reconstruct Wyman s travels throughout the St. Johns River basin drawing on Wyman s daily field journals between 1867 and Data including the location, duration, characteristics of his encampments, and nearby sites will be considered. By visualizing the how and where of Wyman s field methods, this paper will consider why he emphasized certain sites and observations over others. The results have significance not only for local researchers, but anyone interested in incorporating early archaeological field work into contemporary research. Big Sites, Big Questions, Big Data, Big Problems: Scales of Investigation and Perceptions of Southeastern North American Archaeology John Cottier and Cameron Wesson At least since the 1920s, archaeological investigations in Southeastern North America have placed a priority on expansive, near-complete, excavations of major sites in the region. Although there are many advantages for large-scale field research, such projects are also accompanied by a series of challenges in regards to the comparability, integrity, and consistency of recovered data. This paper examines the history of large-scale excavations in the Southeast and general views within the discipline that the region has contributed little to the big questions of American archaeology. Recently published analyses of decades-old data derived from Southeastern sites reveals both the positive and negative aspects of field research conducted at scales much larger than normally undertaken in archaeology. 7 Space, Place, and Fluid Landscapes of Archaeology in the American Southwest Samuel Duwe The American Southwest contains one of the most intensively studied archaeological records in the world. Spanning the entirety of the American tradition of anthropological research, the history of archaeological fieldwork in the region provides a framework for investigating theoretical, methodological, and political changes in the discipline. This paper explores the spatial history of archaeological research in northern New Mexico (i.e., focus on small/big sites, uplands/lowlands, excavation/survey) to understand how archaeologists ideas of space and place influence interpretations of the past, and how ideas and forces - both inside and outside of anthropology - influence research priorities. The Contribution and Biases of Highway Projects to the History of Archaeology in the St. Louis Region: A Spatial Assessment John Kelly Since the early 1960s highway archaeology has contributed significantly to the region s culture history and its ongoing interpretation. While there have been no claims to these projects as a representative sample of the region s past, the linear nature of many of the region s large-scale transportation corridors does pose a problem that can be examined through spatial analysis. We will provide an historical perspective on this recent history by employing various spatial measures to assess the history of these efforts vis-a-vis other large scale projects in the region. This presentation thus provides a spatial-historical perspective on the last fifty years of research and its place in the history of archaeology. Legislative and Business Influences On Our Understanding of American Archaeology Brent Hicks Many of the geographically largest archaeological projects conducted in the United States have occurred due to requirements for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA). Where these projects occurred, the archaeological record swelled with greater amounts and more kinds of archaeological data that often led to substantial revisions in the culture history, paleoenvironmental record, and recognition of site/feature types in that region. In the next decade, the collections resulting from such large projects were plumbed for numerous dissertations and theses that focused on particular assemblages, features, and environmental reconstructions particular to their locales. This represents a major bias in regional archaeological records because such projects topography and other environmental contexts are not necessarily representative of the balance of the region. Using the Columbia Plateau as an example region, this paper explores the factors of the timing of release of the regulations implementing NEPA and NHPA, combined with cycles of business/agency investments that followed, that limited the spatial representation of the greatest expansion of the American archaeological record. 8 What s New in New Deal Archaeology? HAIG members might be interested in two initiatives related to making information on New Deal archaeological projects more widely available and accessible. WPA crew at site Hn o 4x3 (Courtesy of Big Canoe Press) The first is a new digital publication series from Big Canoe Press (, a digital imprint dedicated to digitizing original documents associated with New Deal archaeology projects and making them available for a nominal fee. The folks at Big Canoe Press have shared their first effort with me: Mere
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