Constructing Histories: Archaic Freshwater Shell Mounds and by Asa R. Randall

By Asa R. Randall

“A subtle program of panorama concept to a lately crafted archaeological checklist of the St. Johns River.”— Cheryl Claassen, writer of Feasting with Shellfish within the Southern Ohio Valley: Archaic Sacred websites and Rituals
 
“Changes the best way archaeologists conceptualize the dynamic relationships among hunter-gatherers and cultural landscapes in local North the United States. anyone attracted to hunter-gatherer societies, panorama archaeology, old monuments, anthropogenic environments, the archaeology and environmental heritage of Florida and the yankee South, and the historical past of North American archaeology may still learn this book.”—Christopher B. Rodning, coeditor of Archaeological reviews of Gender within the Southeastern United States
 
huge accumulations of historic shells on coastlines and riverbanks have been lengthy thought of the results of rubbish disposal in the course of repeated meals gatherings through early population of the southeastern usa. during this volume, Asa R. Randall provides the 1st new theoretical framework for studying such middens on account that Ripley Bullen’s seminal paintings sixty years in the past. He convincingly posits that those historical “garbage dumps” have been truly burial mounds,  ceremonial amassing areas, and sometimes habitation areas relevant to the histories and social geography of the hunter-gatherer societies who outfitted them.

Synthesizing greater than one hundred fifty years of shell mound investigations and smooth distant sensing facts, Randall rejects the long-standing ecological interpretation and redefines those websites as socially major monuments that show formerly unknown complexities concerning the hunter-gatherer societies of the Mount Taylor interval (ca. 7400–4600 cal. B.P.). suffering from weather switch and elevated scales of social interplay, the region’s population transformed the panorama in mind-blowing and significant methods. This pioneering quantity offers an alternative background from which emerge wealthy information about the day-by-day actions, ceremonies, and burial rituals of the archaic St. Johns River cultures. 

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Additional info for Constructing Histories: Archaic Freshwater Shell Mounds and Social Landscapes of the St. Johns River, Florida

Sample text

In particular, a suite of normative cultural traits were isolated and arranged along an evolutionary continuum. These traits included mortuary treatment, object exchange and production, subsistence, and intentional mound construction. As I will develop here, the image of ahistorical Archaic communities that continues to be produced in archaeological discourse rests on the uncritical acceptance of assumptions and observations established over a century ago. In this section, I review the history of investigating Mount Taylor shell sites, with particular emphasis on the middle St.

Unlike Wyman, Moore is notable for his geographically expansive survey, extensive excavations, and, relative to the times, detailed and well-illustrated publications. His earliest explorations targeted shell mounds, which he identified throughout the upper and middle St. Johns basin (Moore 1892, 1893a, b, c, 1894c). Moore’s excavations led him to uphold and expand upon Wyman’s conclusions: “the shell heaps of the St. John’s [sic] are refuse heaps simply, and in them refuse alone can be expected under ordinary circumstances,” and any stratification within shell mounds was “of course a matter of accident” (Moore 1892: 913–914).

These remnants and refuse, accumulated in one spot during a long series of centuries. . (Morlot 1861: 292) Wyman accepted much of the Danish interpretations and methods of investigating kjökkenmödding sites, which continue to be influential today globally (Álvarez et al. 2011; Balbo et al. 2011; Gutiérrez-Zugasti et al. 2011). An argument can also be made that Wyman was an early adopter—and likely an important promoter, in his capacity as curator of Harvard’s Pea22 Constructing Histories body Museum of Ethnology and Archaeology—of a new kind of archaeology which centered on prehistory (Bourque 2002).

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