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Agent of Change
The Deposition and Manipulation of Ash in the Past
Roth, B. J. & Adams, E. C. (eds)
Ash is an important and yet understudied aspect of ritual deposition in the archaeological record of North America. Ash has been found in a wide variety of contexts across many regions and often it is associated with rare or unusual objects or in contexts that suggest its use in the transition or transformation of houses and ritual features. Drawn from across the U.S. and Mesoamerica, the chapters in this volume explore the use, meanings, and cross-cultural patterns present in the use of ash. and highlight the importance of ash in ritual closure, social memory, and cultural transformation.
Area: North America
An Introduction to Archaeology in and of Video Games
Video games exemplify contemporary material objects, resources, and spaces that people use to define their culture. Video games also serve as archaeological sites in the traditional sense as a place, in which evidence of past activity is preserved and has been, or may be, investigated using the discipline of archaeology, and which represents a part of the archaeological record. This book serves as a general introduction to "archaeogaming"; it describes the intersection of archaeology and video games and applies archaeological method and theory into understanding game-spaces as both site and artifact.
Archaeologies of Rules and Regulation
Between Text and Practice
Hausmair, B., Jervis, B., Nugent, R., & Williams, E. (eds)
How can we study the impact of rules on the lives of past people using archaeological evidence? To answer this question, Archaeologies of Rules and Regulation presents case studies drawn from across Europe and the United States. Covering areas as diverse as the use of space in a nineteenth-century U.S. Army camp, the deposition of waste in medieval towns, the experiences of Swedish migrants to North America, the relationship between people and animals in Anglo-Saxon England, these case studies explore the use of archaeological evidence in understanding the relationship between rules, lived experience, and social identity.
At Home on the Waves
Human Habitation of the Sea from the Mesolithic to Today
King, T. J. & Robinson, G. (eds)
Contemporary public discourses about the ocean are routinely characterized by scientific and environmentalist narratives that imagine and idealize marine spaces in which humans are absent. In contrast, this collection explores the variety of ways in which people have long made themselves at home at sea, and continue to live intimately with it. In doing so, it brings together both ethnographic and archaeological research – much of it with an explicit Ingoldian approach – on a wide range of geographical areas and historical periods.
Blurring Timescapes, Subverting Erasure
Remembering Ghosts on the Margins of History
Surface-Evans, S., Garrison, A. E. & Supernant, K. (eds)
What happens when we blur time and allow ourselves to haunt or to become haunted by ghosts of the past? Drawing on archaeological, historical, and ethnographic data, Blurring Timescapes, Subverting Erasure demonstrates the value of conceiving of ghosts not just as metaphors, but as mechanisms for making the past more concrete and allowing the negative specters of enduring historical legacies, such as colonialism and capitalism, to be exorcised.
Captives, Colonists and Craftspeople
Material Culture and Institutional Power in Malta, 1600–1900
Over the course of four centuries, the island of Malta underwent several significant political transformations, including its roles as a Catholic bastion under the Knights of St. John between 1530 and 1798, and as a British maritime hub in the nineteenth century. This innovative study draws on both archival evidence and archeological findings to compare slavery and coerced labor, resource control, globalization, and other historical phenomena in Malta under the two regimes: one feudal, the other colonial. Spanning conventional divides between the early and late modern eras, Russell Palmer offers here a rich analysis of a Mediterranean island against a background of immense European and global change.
Subjects: Colonial History Archaeology
Area: Southern Europe
Communities, Landscapes, and Interaction in Neolithic Greece
Sarris, A., Kalogiropoulou, E., Kalayci, T., & Karimali, E. (eds)
The last three decades have witnessed a period of growing archaeological activity in Greece that have enhanced our awareness of the diversity and variability of ancient communities. New sites offer rich datasets from many aspects of material culture that challenge traditional perceptions and suggest complex interpretations of the past. This volume provides a synthetic overview of recent developments in the study of Neolithic Greece and reconsiders the dynamics of human-environment interactions while recording the growing diversity in layers of social organization. It fills an essential lacuna in contemporary literature and enhances our understanding of the Neolithic communities in the Greek Peninsula.
Area: Southern Europe
Nutritional Anthropology and Archaeological Methods
Chrzan, J. & Brett, J. (eds)
Biocultural and archaeological research on food, past and present, often relies on very specific, precise, methods for data collection and analysis. These are presented here in a broad-based review. Individual chapters provide opportunities to think through the adoption of methods by reviewing the history of their use along with a discussion of research conducted using those methods. A case study from the author's own work is included in each chapter to illustrate why the methods were adopted in that particular case along with abundant additional resources to further develop and explore those methods.
Going Forward by Looking Back
Archaeological Perspectives on Socio-Ecological Crisis, Response, and Collapse
Riede, F. & Sheets, P. (eds)
Catastrophes are on the rise due to climate change, as is their toll in terms of lives and livelihoods as world populations rise and people settle into hazardous places. While disaster response and management are traditionally seen as the domain of the natural and technical sciences, awareness of the importance and role of cultural adaptation is essential. This book catalogues a wide and diverse range of case studies of such disasters and human responses. This serves as inspiration for building culturally sensitive adaptations to present and future calamities, to mitigate their impact, and facilitate recoveries.
The Helmand Baluch
A Native Ethnography of the People of Southwest Afghanistan
Amiri, G. R.
In the 1970s, in his capacity as government representative from the Afghan Institute of Archaeology, Ghulam Rahman Amiri accompanied a joint Afghan-US archaeological mission to the Sistan region of southwest Afghanistan. The results of his work were published in Farsi as a descriptive ethnographic monograph. The Helmand Baluch is the first English translation of Amiri’s extraordinary encounters. This rich ethnography describes the cultural, political, and economic systems of the Baluch people living in the lower Helmand River Valley of Afghanistan. It is an area that has received little study since the early 20th Century, yet is a region with a remarkable history in one of the most volatile territories in the world.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Archaeology
Area: Middle East & Israel
House of the Waterlily
A Novel of the Ancient Maya World
Set in the Maya civilization’s Late Classic Period House of the Waterlily is a historical novel centered on Lady Winik, a young Maya royal. Through tribulations that mirror the political calamities of the Late Classic world, Winik’s personal story immerses the reader not only in her daily life, but also in the difficult decisions Maya men and women must have faced as they tried to navigate a rapidly changing world. Kelli Carmean’s novel brings to life a people and an era remote from our own, yet recognizably human all the same.
Island Historical Ecology
Socionatural Landscapes of the Eastern and Southern Caribbean
Siegel, P. (ed)
In the first book-length treatise on historical ecology of the West Indies, Island Historical Ecology addresses Caribbean island ecologies from the perspective of social and cultural interventions over approximately eight millennia of human occupations. Environmental coring carried out in carefully selected wetlands allowed for the reconstruction of pre-colonial and colonial landscapes on islands between Venezuela and Puerto Rico. Comparisons with well-documented patterns in the Mediterranean and Pacific islands place this case study into a larger context of island historical ecology.
Rethinking Our Evolutionary Past
Martin, M. K.
What set our ancestors off on a separate evolutionary trajectory was the ability to flex their reproductive and social strategies in response to changing environmental conditions. Exploring new cross-disciplinary research that links this capacity to critical changes in the organization of the primate brain, Social DNA presents a new synthesis of ideas on human social origins – challenging models that trace our beginnings to traits shaped by ancient hunting economies, or to genetic platforms shared with contemporary apes.
Subjects: Anthropology (General) Archaeology
The Sound of Silence
Indigenous Perspectives on the Historical Archaeology of Colonialism
Äikäs, T. & Salmi, A.-K. (eds)
Colonial encounters between indigenous peoples and European state powers are overarching themes in the historical archaeology of the modern era, and postcolonial historical archaeology has repeatedly emphasized the complex two-way nature of colonial encounters. This volume examines common trajectories in indigenous colonial histories, and explores new ways to understand cultural contact, hybridization and power relations between indigenous peoples and colonial powers from the indigenous point of view. By bringing together a wide geographical range and combining multiple sources such as oral histories, historical records, and contemporary discourses with archaeological data, the volume finds new multivocal interpretations of colonial histories.
The Southeast Asia Connection
Trade and Polities in the Eurasian World Economy, 500 BC–AD 500
Chew, S. C.
The contribution of Southeast Asia to the world economy (during the late prehistoric and early historic periods) has not received much attention. It has often been viewed as a region of peripheral entrepôts, especially in the early centuries of the current era. Recent archaeological evidence revealed the existence of established and productive polities in Southeast Asia in the early parts of the historic period and earlier. This book recalibrates these interactions of Southeast Asia with other parts of the world economy, and gives the region its due instead of treating it as little more than of marginal interest.
Unlocking the Love-Lock
The History and Heritage of a Contemporary Custom
A padlock is a mundane object, designed to fulfil a specific – and secular – purpose. A contemporary custom has given padlocks new significance. This custom is ‘love-locking’, where padlocks are engraved with names and attached to bridges in declaration of romantic commitment. This custom became popular in the 2000s, and its dissemination was rapid, geographically unbound, and highly divisive, with love-locks emerging in locations as diverse as Paris and Taiwan; New York and Seoul; Melbourne and Moscow. This book explores the worldwide popularity of the love-lock as a ritual token of love and commitment by considering its history, symbolism, and heritage.
World Heritage Craze in China
Universal Discourse, National Culture, and Local Memory
There is a World Heritage Craze in China. China claims to have the longest continuous civilization in the world and is seeking recognition from UNESCO. This book explores three dimensions of the UNESCO World Heritage initiative with particular relevance for China: the universal agenda, the national practices, and the local responses. With a sociological lens, this book offers comprehensive insights into World Heritage, as well as China’s deep social, cultural, and political structures.
Areas: Asia Asia-Pacific
World Heritage on the Ground
Brumann, C. & Berliner, D. (eds)
The UNESCO World Heritage Convention of 1972 set the contemporary standard for cultural and natural conservation. Today, a place on the World Heritage List is much sought after for tourism promotion, development funding, and national prestige. Presenting case studies from across the globe, particularly from Africa and Asia, anthropologists with situated expertise in specific World Heritage sites explore the consequences of the World Heritage framework and the global spread of the UNESCO heritage regime. This book shows how local and national circumstances interact with the global institutional framework in complex and unexpected ways. Often, the communities around World Heritage sites are constrained by these heritage regimes rather than empowered by them.