Religion mattered to the prehistoricSouthwestern people, just as it matters to their descendents today. Examining the role of religion can help to explain architecture, pottery, agriculture, even commerce. But archaeologists have only recently developed the theoretical and methodological tools with which to study this topic. Religion in the Prehispanic Southwest marks the first book-length study of prehistoric religion in the region. Drawing on a rich array of empirical approaches, the contributors show the importance of understanding beliefs and ritual for a range of time periods and southwestern societies. For professional and avocational archaeologists, for religion scholars and students, Religion in the Prehispanic Southwest represents an important contribution.
The mid-thirteenth century AD marks the beginning of tremendous social change among Ancestral Pueblo peoples of the northern US Southwest that foreshadow the emergence of the modern Pueblo world. Regional depopulations, long-distance migrations, and widespread resettlement into large plaza-oriented villages forever altered community life. Archaeologists have tended to view these historical events as adaptive responses to climatic, environmental, and economic conditions. Recently, however, more attention is being given to the central role of religion during these transformative periods, and to how archaeological remains embody the complex social practices through which Ancestral PuebloÊ understandings of sacred concepts were expressed and transformed. The contributors to this volume employ a wide range of archaeological evidence to examine the origin and development of religious ideologies and the ways they shaped Pueblo societies across the Southwest in the centuries prior to European contact. With its fresh theoretical approach, it contributes to a better understanding of both the Pueblo past and the anthropological study of religion in ancient contexts This volume will be of interest to both regional specialists and to scholars who work with the broader dimensions of religion and ritual in the human experience.Ê
Mesa Verde migrations were an integral part of a transformative period that forever changed the course of Pueblo history. Bringing together multiple lines of evidence, including settlement patterns, pottery exchange networks, and changes in ceremonial and civic architecture, Donna M. Glowacki takes a historical perspective that forefronts the social factors underlying the depopulation of Mesa Verde, showing how “living and leaving” were experienced across the region.
Spontaneous acts of violence born of human emotions like anger or greed are probably universal, but social violenceÑviolence resulting from social relationships within and between groups of peopleÑis a much more complex issue with implications beyond archaeology. Recent research has generated multiple interpretations about the forms, intensity, and underlying causes of social violence in the ancient Southwest. Deborah L. Nichols and Patricia L. Crown have gathered nine contributions from a variety of disciplines to examine social violence in the prehispanic American Southwest. Not only offering specific case studies but also delving into theoretical aspects, this volume looks at archaeological interpretations, multidisciplinary approaches, and the implications of archaeological research for Native peoples and how they are impacted by what archaeologists say about their past. Specific chapters address the impacts of raiding and warfare, the possible origins of ritual violence, the evidence for social violence manifested in human skeletal remains, the implications of witchcraft persecution, and an examination of the reasons behind apparent anthropophagy. There is little question that social violence occurred in the American Southwest. These contributions support the need for further discussion and investigation into its causes and the broader implications for archaeology and anthropology. CONTENTS 1. Introduction Patricia Crown and Deborah Nichols 2. Dismembering the Trope: Imagining Cannibalism in the Ancient Pueblo World Randall H. McGuire and Ruth Van Dyke 3. An Outbreak of Violence and Raiding in the Central Mesa Verde Region in the 12th Century AD Brian R. Billman 4. Chaco Horrificus? Wendy Bustard 5. Inscribed in the Body, Written in Bones: The Consequences of Social Violence at La Plata Debra L. Martin, Nancy Akins, Bradley Crenshaw, and Pamela K. Stone 6. Veneration or Violence: A Study of Variations in Patterns of Human Bone Modification at La Quemada Ventura R. PŽrez, Ben A. Nelson, and Debra L. Martin 7. Witches, Practice, and the Context of Pueblo Cannibalism William H. Walker 8. Explanation vs. Sensation: The Discourse of Cannibalism at AwatÕovi Peter Whiteley 9. Devouring Ourselves George J. Armelagos References Cited About the Contributors Index
An Archaeology of the Cosmos seeks answers to two fundamental questions of humanity and human history. The first question concerns that which some use as a defining element of humanity: religious beliefs. Why do so many people believe in supreme beings and holy spirits? The second question concerns changes in those beliefs. What causes beliefs to change? Using archaeological evidence gathered from ancient America, especially case material from the Great Plains and the pre-Columbian American Indian city of Cahokia, Timothy Pauketat explores the logical consequences of these two fundamental questions. Religious beliefs are not more resilient than other aspects of culture and society, and people are not the only causes of historical change. An Archaeology of the Cosmos examines the intimate association of agency and religion by studying how relationships between people, places, and things were bundled together and positioned in ways that constituted the fields of human experience. This rethinking theories of agency and religion provides readers with challenging and thought provoking conclusions that will lead them to reassess the way they approach the past.
Ancestors and Elites examines prehispanic ritual behaviors characteristic of the Casas Grandes region of Chihuahua, Mexico. Gordon Rakita analyzes the archaeological data from the site with respect to broader anthropological theories regarding both religious practices and the rise of complex societies. This confluence of empirical fact and general theory allows Rakita to explore in detail the complex, reciprocal relationship between ritual practices and developing social complexity at PaquimZ, one of the best-documented archaeological sites in the region.
Prehistoric burial practices provide an unparalleled opportunity for understanding and reconstructing ancient civilizations and for identifying the influences that helped shape them.
This book tackles the topic of religion, a broad subject exciting renewed interest across the social and historical sciences. The volume is tightly focused on the early farming village of Çatalhöyük, which has generated much interest both within and outside of archaeology, especially for its contributions to the understanding of early religion. The volume discusses contemporary themes such as materiality, animism, object vitality, and material dimensions of spirituality while at the same time exploring broad evolutionary changes in the ways in which religion has influenced society. The volume results from a unique collaboration between an archaeological team and a range of specialists in ritual and religion.
The American Southwest is one of the most important archaeological regions in the world, with many of the best-studied examples of hunter-gatherer and village-based societies. Research has been carried out in the region for well over a century, and during this time the Southwest has repeatedly stood at the forefront of the development of new archaeological methods and theories. Moreover, research in the Southwest has long been a key site of collaboration between archaeologists, ethnographers, historians, linguists, biological anthropologists, and indigenous intellectuals. This volume marks the most ambitious effort to take stock of the empirical evidence, theoretical orientations, and historical reconstructions of the American Southwest. Over seventy top scholars have joined forces to produce an unparalleled survey of state of archaeological knowledge in the region. Themed chapters on particular methods and theories are accompanied by comprehensive overviews of the culture histories of particular archaeological sequences, from the initial Paleoindian occupation, to the rise of a major ritual center in Chaco Canyon, to the onset of the Spanish and American imperial projects. The result is an essential volume for any researcher working in the region as well as any archaeologist looking to take the pulse of contemporary trends in this key research tradition.
These eighteen papers on the archaeology of tribal societies are derived from a Symposium held at the Annual Meetings of the Society for American Archaeology held in Chicago, Illinois, in 1999.
"Sixteen scholars on both sides of the border present recent research on the economy, history, religion, and far-reaching influence of Casas Grandes. Macaw feathers, copper, shells, ritual mounds, and ball fields all reveal the secrets of Casas Grandes, a massive town whose trading network extended from the Chihuahua Desert up through the American Southwest"--Provided by publisher.
This volume examines the ways in which urbanisation and religion intersected in pre-Columbian central Mexico. It provides a materially informed history of religion and an archaeology of cities that considers religion as a generative force in societal change
A comprehensive examination of the Native American rock art found in the South Mountains near Phoenix, with many photographs, illustations, and interpretations of the petroglyphs based on Native American ethnographic accounts.
The Oxford Handbook of Mesoamerican Archaeology provides a current and comprehensive guide to the recent and on-going archaeology of Mesoamerica. Though the emphasis is on prehispanic societies, this Handbook also includes coverage of important new work by archaeologists on the Colonial and Republican periods. Unique among recent works, the text brings together in a single volume article-length regional syntheses and topical overviews written by active scholars in the field of Mesoamerican archaeology. The first section of the Handbook provides an overview of recent history and trends of Mesoamerica and articles on national archaeology programs and practice in Central America and Mexico written by archaeologists from these countries. These are followed by regional syntheses organized by time period, beginning with early hunter-gatherer societies and the first farmers of Mesoamerica and concluding with a discussion of the Spanish Conquest and frontiers and peripheries of Mesoamerica. Topical and comparative articles comprise the remainder of Handbook. They cover important dimensions of prehispanic societies--from ecology, economy, and environment to social and political relations--and discuss significant methodological contributions, such as geo-chemical source studies, as well as new theories and diverse theoretical perspectives. The Handbook concludes with a section on the archaeology of the Spanish conquest and the Colonial and Republican periods to connect the prehispanic, proto-historic, and historic periods. This volume will be a must-read for students and professional archaeologists, as well as other scholars including historians, art historians, geographers, and ethnographers with an interest in Mesoamerica.
The goal of cultural psychology is to explain the ways in which human cultural constructions -- for example, rituals, stereotypes, and meanings -- organize and direct human acting, feeling, and thinking in different social contexts. A rapidly growing, international field of scholarship, cultural psychology is ready for an interdisciplinary, primary resource. Linking psychology, anthropology, sociology, archaeology, and history, The Oxford Handbook of Culture and Psychology is the quintessential volume that unites the variable perspectives from these disciplines. Comprised of over fifty contributed chapters, this book provides a necessary, comprehensive overview of contemporary cultural psychology. Bridging psychological, sociological, and anthropological perspectives, one will find in this handbook: - A concise history of psychology that includes valuable resources for innovation in psychology in general and cultural psychology in particular - Interdisciplinary chapters including insights into cultural anthropology, cross-cultural psychology, culture and conceptions of the self, and semiotics and cultural connections - Close, conceptual links with contemporary biological sciences, especially developmental biology, and with other social sciences - A section detailing potential methodological innovations for cultural psychology By comparing cultures and the (often differing) human psychological functions occuring within them, The Oxford Handbook of Culture and Psychology is the ideal resource for making sense of complex and varied human phenomena.
Warfare is a constant in human history. According to the contributors to this volume, archaeologists have assumed thatÑwithin certain socioenvironmental parametersÑwar is always essentially the same phenomenon and follows a common logic, breaking out under similar conditions and having analogous effects on the people involved. In pursuit of this idea, archaeologists have built models to account for the occurrence of war in various times and places. The models are then tested against prehistoric evidence to make the causes and conduct of war predictable and data-based. However, contributors argue, this model-and-evidence approach has given rise to multiple competing hypotheses and ambiguity rather than to full, coherent explanations of what turns out to be surprisingly complex acts of war. The chapters in Warfare in Cultural Context contend that agency and culture, inherited values and dispositions (such as religion and other cultural practices), beliefs, and institutions are always woven into the conduct of war. This revealing book focuses on the ways that specific people construed their interests and life projects, and their problems and possibilities, and consequently chose among alternative courses of action. Using archaeological and ethnohistorical data from various parts of the world, the contributors explore the multiple avenues for the cultural study of warfare that these ideas make possible. Contributions focus on cultural aspects of warfare in Mesoamerica, South America, North America, and Southeast Asia. Case studies include warfare among the Maya, Inca, southwestern Pueblos, Mississippian cultures, and the Enga of Papua New Guinea.
Quantitative Analysis in Archaeology introduces the application of quantitative methods in archaeology. It outlines conceptual and statistical principles, illustrates their application, and provides problem sets for practice. Discusses both methodological frameworks and quantitative methods of archaeological analysis Presents statistical material in a clear and straightforward manner ideal for students and professionals in the field Includes illustrative problem sets and practice exercises in each chapter that reinforce practical application of quantitative analysis
Drawing from ethnographic examples found throughout the world, this text covers what anthropologists know or think about religion, how they have studied it, and how they interpret or explain it. A key text for students of upper division courses in the anthropological study of religion.

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