By Michael J. O'Brien, Robert C. Dunnell
Fourteen specialists study the present nation of crucial Valley prehistoric learn and supply a tremendous touchstone for destiny archaeological research of the zone. The Mississippi Valley quarter has lengthy performed a serious position within the improvement of yankee archaeology and is still well known for the most important learn of the early Fifties. To carry the archaeological checklist brand new, fourteen important Valley specialists tackle different subject matters together with the distribution of artifacts around the panorama, inner configurations of enormous fortified settlements, human-bone chemistry, and ceramic know-how. The authors reveal that a lot is to be realized from the wealthy and sundry archaeological checklist of the quarter and that the tools and strategies used to review the list have replaced dramatically during the last part century. working on the leading edge of present study options, those archaeologists offer a clean examine previous difficulties in crucial Mississippi Valley research.
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Additional resources for Changing Perspectives on the Archaeology of the Central Mississippi Valley
The first serious challenge to the validity of the central Mississippi Valley phases was by Gregory Fox (1992; see also O'Brien and Fox 1994a), almost four decades after publication of Williams's dissertation. html[20/10/2010 12:39:07] page_22 < previous page page_22 next page > Page 22 Chapter 2. No serious challenge to the pottery types has appeared, in large part because they do what Ford and others intended them to dotell timeand, for the most part, they do it fairly well. The Genesis of Federal Archaeology As noted earlier, Depression-era federal archaeology had limited impact in the central Mississippi Valley.
Although I focus specifically on that area, I suspect the findings have broad applicability to the central Mississippi Valley. My examination of Mississippian-period phases in southeastern Missouri was stimulated by two realities. First, despite forty years of archaeological research in the region, the initial classifications of cultural phenomena made by Stephen Williams in the early 1950s (Williams 1954) have remained essentially unchanged. , Klippel 1969; Marshall 1965; J. R. Williams 1967, 1968, 1972) have difficulty assigning many archaeological components to the existing phases.
Phillips's essentialist stance was laid out in two papers in American Anthropologist (Phillips and Willey 1953; Willey and Phillips 1955) that later were revised and combined as Method and Theory in American Archaeology (Willey and Phillips 1958). html[20/10/2010 12:39:07] page_21 < previous page page_21 next page > Page 21 chaeological record in terms of time, space, and form. Willey and Phillips added time and space to cultural content, thus changing the older focus (McKern 1939, 1940) into phase, which they defined as "an archaeological unit possessing traits sufficiently characteristic to distinguish it from all other units similarly conceived, whether of the same or other cultures or civilizations, spatially limited to the order of magnitude of a locality or region and chronologically limited to a brief span of time" (Willey and Phillips 1958:22).
Changing Perspectives on the Archaeology of the Central Mississippi Valley by Michael J. O'Brien, Robert C. Dunnell