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UC Davis Tuition 2010-2011 Undergraduates, State Residents $13,079.91 PSU Tuition 2010-2011 PowerPoint Presentation
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UC Davis Tuition 2010-2011 Undergraduates, State Residents $13,079.91 PSU Tuition 2010-2011 Undergraduates, State Residents $19,320 Difference = 6,240 13,079/6240 = 2.1x. In the US, the culture-historical approach was widely adopted after 1910.

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UC Davis Tuition 2010-2011

  • Undergraduates, State Residents $13,079.91
  • PSU Tuition 2010-2011
  • Undergraduates, State Residents $19,320
  • Difference = 6,240
  • 13,079/6240 = 2.1x

In the US, the culture-historical approach was widely adopted after 1910.

    • Increasing familiarity with a growing body of archaeological evidence
    • Influence from the Boas school of anthropology
  • Archaeological research led to discovery of evidence not easily explained by migration or diffusion.
  • In 1927, Late Pleistocene sites in Folsom, New Mexico demonstrated that Native Americans lived in New World much longer than previously believed.
  • Thus, Indigenous cultures changed over a longer time frame than previously assumed.

The concept of an archaeological culture developed somewhat differently in the US than in Europe.

  • In US
    • Archaeologists early on aware of geographically bounded cultural manifestations. Early emphasis on the Moundbuilders
    • 1890s, G.P. Thurston defined Stone Grave “race”
    • 1902, William C. Mills distinguished the Fort Ancient and Hopewell “cultures”
    • 1909, William Moorehead defined the Glacial Kame culture
    • These archaeological “cultures” were largely cultural-geographical rather than culture-historical

1913, Berthold Laufer identified the main shortcoming of American archaeology as a lack of chronological control.

  • Stratigraphicexcavations increasingly undertaken after 1860s.
    • Richerd Wetherill demonstrated that Basketmaker culture was earlier than Pueblo.
    • Wetherill probably learned stratigraphic methods from GustafNordenskiold, the Swedish archaeologist-explorer.
    • Aldof Bandelier (1880s) worked to develop a chronology of the Pueblos.

Systematic study of North American culture history: Nels C. Nelson (1875-1964) and Alfred Kidder (1885-1963)

  • Nels Nelson
    • 1914, Nelson made stratigraphic excavations at San Cristobal Pueblo, New Mexico.
    • Earlier he excavated at Ellis Landing shell midden, San Francisco and was probably influenced by Uhle’sstratigraphic work at Emeryville.
    • 1913, Nelson visited Henri Breuil’sstratigraphic excavations in Spain.
  • A. V. Kidder
    • Excavated in Mexico with George Reisner, Egyptologist and meticulous excavator.
    • 1915, Kidder excavated in deep refuse at Pecos Pueblo, New Mexico
  • Nelson and Kidder both discovered changes in frequencies of artifacts between strats.
  • Demonstrated simultaneous cultural continuity and cultural change.
  • These excavations @ San Cristobal and Pecos Pueblos laid the foundation of cultural historical archaeology in the US.

In addition to temporal variation, Kidder also emphasized spatial distribution.

  • In 1924, Kidder published the first culture-historical synthesis of archaeology in the US. An Introduction to the Study of Southwestern Archaeology.
    • This was a year before Childe’s Dawn of European Civilization.
    • Kidder discussed 9 river drainages in terms of 4 periods
      • Basketmaker
      • Post-Basket maker
      • Pre-Pueblo
      • Pueblo
    • Each period was designated as a culture, but regional variants were associated with each of the 9 drainages.
  • Most other archaeologists were intrigued by the chronological aspects of Kidders work.
  • 1927, Pecos Conference
    • 3 Basketmaker Periods
    • 5 Pueblo Periods

H.S. Gladwin (1883-1983) observed that this scheme was better suited to the northern portion of the Southwest.

    • 1934, Gladwin and Gladwin proposed a hierarchical classification system. Gladwin classificatory hierarchy
      • Basketmaker (Anasazi): North
      • Hohokam: South
      • Caddoan (Mogollon): Middle
    • Each “root” had regional branches that were given geographically specific names.

Thorne Deuel, Carl Guthe, James B. Griffin, and William C. McKern (1892-1988) proposed the Midwestern Taxonomic Method.

    • Goal was classification based only on formal criteria.
    • Component: assemblage relating to a single period of occupation.
    • Taxa: Nested components
    • Components sharing highly similar traits were assigned to the same focus
    • Foci that shared traits were assigned to the same aspect
    • Aspects sharing similarities were assigned to the same phase
    • Phases sharing traits were assigned to the same pattern
    • Patterns
      • Mississippian: sedentary sites, incised pottery, small triangular points
      • Woodland: semisedentary sites, cordmarked pottery, stemmed or side notched points
      • Archaic: no pottery and ground slate projectile technology

Foci were defined based on trait lists

  • These trait lists resembled the trait list approach of Boasian historical particularlism that viewed culture as a collection of traits that converged as the result of diffusion and random processes.
  • The Midwestern Taxonomic Method did not incorporate inferences about functional significance of artifacts.
  • In the Southwest, prevalence of traits was incorporated for temporal information. The Midwest Taxonomic Method was based on presence and absence Frequency serriation was not part of the method.
  • McKernsuggested that the incompleteness of archaeological data and the difficulty of selecting appropriate traits would render statistical methods impossible for assessing the degree of relatedness among components.

Gladwin and McKern avoided the term culture.

  • McKernargued that it was too broad for archaeology.
  • In the context of defining phases and foci, both the Glawin classificatory hierarchy and the Midwestern Taxonomic Method initiated the systematic use of cultural traits for classifying archaeological materials in the US.
  • Phases and foci were often interpreted as an expression of a tribe or group of related tribes.
  • Gladwin believed that cultures differentiated along irreversible trajectories and he largely ignored convergence.
  • McKern interpreted foci and phases as culturally and historically significant categories.

Assumes that shared traits signify common origins.

  • More widely shared traits were older than culturally specific ones.
    • Assumption would make soda bottles older than Acheulian hand axes.
  • The higher orders of both the Gladwin and Midwestern Taxonomic Method were eventually abandoned.
  • Cultures were viewed more as a mosaic, each culture assigned to its own spatio-temporal boundaries.
  • Similarities were attributed to diffusion.
  • Little interest in understanding internal dynamics or the mechanisms of innovation and why some innovations diffuse while others do not.

1941, Ford and Willey presented a synthesis of the culture history of eastern North America

    • Archaic
    • Burial Mound I (Early Woodland)
    • Burial Mound II (Middle Woodland)
    • Temple Mound I (Early Mississippian)
    • Temple Mound II (Late Mississippian)
  • The patterns of the Midwestern Taxonomic Method were transformed into three stages of cultural development.
  • Each of the stages was seen as arising in Mesoamerica and then spreading northward.
  • The structure of this argument is very similar to what Childe presented in The Dawn of European Civilization (ex orientelux)

By the 40’s the role of diffusion was greatly tempered from earlier treatments. However, most major innovations were viewed as having an East Asian or Mesoamerican origin.

  • This left native North Americans as imitators rather than inventors.
  • Migration was still considered a major source of culture change. The transition from Archaic to Woodland and from Woodland to Mississippian was attributed to migration.
  • Other than Ford and Willey, there was little interest in explaining culture change. Most of the emphasis was on description of the archaeological record.
  • These descriptive accounts documented changes in material culture, but made little effort to explain why changes occurred. Nearly all change was attributed to migration and diffusion.
  • A.V. Kidder was one notable exception. He asserted that much of Southewestern culture developed in situ w/o influences from outside.

Earlier interests in reconstructing ancient patterns of life made for strong ties between archaeology and ethnology.

  • The new emphasis on chronology left little interest in reconstructing past lifeways.
  • This weakened connections between archaeology and ethnology.
  • Archaeologists were increasingly preoccupied with developing typologies and working out chronologies.

In 1958, Willey and Phillips Method and Theory in American Archaeology attempted a “culture-historical integration)

  • They employed Gladwin’s terminology of components and phases rather than McKern’s focus.
  • Phases are arbitrary divisions of spatio-temporal cultural continua.
  • Willey and Phillips spatial units:
    • Localities (community)
    • Regions (local group)
    • Areas (tribe or society)
  • Willey and Phillips temporal units local (intrasite) and regional (multisite and phase):
    • Traditions
    • Horizons
  • Willey and Phillips developmental units:
    • Lithic
    • Archaic
    • Formative
    • Classic
    • Postclassic

Culture history developed differently in the US and in Europe.

  • In the US, culture history complimented a long term evolutionary interest in chronology.
  • In the US, national rivalries and historical justification of territory were not elements of the development of the archaeological concept of culture.