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Historical Archaeology

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Ben Slade

on 3 March 2013

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Transcript of Historical Archaeology

Historical Archaeology Benjamin Slade & Steven England March 4th, 2013 Influence from Classical/Biblical Archaeology Primarily, that of using documents to find sites/materials; interpret evidence and support/refute theories, etc. Basic excavation methods begin developing during Antiquarian phase, and are further refined through the successive decades. Historical Archaeology Important People in Historical Archaeology James Deetz - Sometimes called a the 'Father of Historical Archaeology'. Concerned himself with culture change, cultural studies in New England.

Franz Boas - Early American Anthropologist. Introduced the concept of Cultural Relativism (though he never coined the term).

Bruce Trigger - Author; cultural studies of Native populations in North America; examination of cultural development in separate contexts. Important concepts/theories/methods Material culture & seriation studies (Seriation series as a model)

Cultural ecology & Ethnography

Taphonomy (Stratigraphy, site formation, etc.)

Alternative histories (Oral traditions, symbolic records, art)

Zooarchaeology (Diet reconstruction - Fort Orange)

Battlefield Archaeology (Custer's Last Stand)

Underwater Archaeology (George Bass; La Belle & Bertrand shipwrecks)

Community / public Archaeology (Historical recreations; raises awareness and educates)

Problems Prehistory vs. historic periods / precontact vs postcontact:
Where do we draw the line?

Usefulness of documents and alternative histories:
Are they really telling the truth?

Cultural ecology debate: Is the environment really all important in cultural development? Arch 4411 Kent Flannery - Mesoamerican cultural studies

Charles E. Orser Jr. - Author

Michael Schiffer - Behavioural Archaeology and site formation. More People and Places of Importance Frameworks for Thought Questions? Comments?
Complaints? Smithsonian Institute 'Local' Heroes: Barry Gaulton, Amanda Crompton, Amelia Fay, Mike Deal. Work by people like Heinrich Schliemann exemplifies this practice of text use. Archaeology of place; settlement patterns & globalization (Modern development)

Gender/Feminist Archaeology - (M. Conkey; Art and gender roles)

Capitalist (Modern development) & Marxist (Proletariat/Class) Archaeologies

Processual & Post-processual theories An interdisciplinary sub-discipline of an interdisciplinary discipline Archaeology that examines culture(s) with use of written documents. Development of the modern era (examining the past ~500-600 years.)

Some say that Historical Archaeology should be limited to the Colonial period, others still debate whether pre-contact Native contexts can be considered in the study.
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