Ideologies in Archaeology

Author: Reinhard Bernbeck,Randall H. McGuire

Publisher: University of Arizona Press

ISBN: 0816526737

Category: Social Science

Page: 410

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Archaeologists have often used the term ideology to vaguely refer to a Òrealm of ideas.Ó Scholars from Marx to Zizek have developed a sharper concept, arguing that ideology works by representingÑor misrepresentingÑpower relations through concealment, enhancement, or transformation of real social relations between groups. Ideologies in Archaeology examines the role of ideology in this latter sense as it pertains to both the practice and the content of archaeological studies. While ideas like reflexive archaeology and multivocality have generated some recent interest, this book is the first work to address in any detail the mutual relationship between ideologies of the past and present ideological conditions producing archaeological knowledge. Contributors to this volume focus on elements of life in past societies that Òwent without sayingÓ and that concealed different forms of power as obvious and unquestionable. From the use of burial rites as political theater in Iron Age Germany to the intersection of economics and elite power in Mississippian mound building, the contributors uncover complex manipulations of power that have often gone unrecognized. They show that OccamÕs razorÑthe tendency to favor simpler explanationsÑis sometimes just an excuse to avoid dealing with the historical world in its full complexity. Jean-Paul DemouleÕs concluding chapter echoes this sentiment and moreover brings a continental European perspective to the preceding case studies. In addition to situating this volume in a wider history of archaeological currents, Demoule identifies the institutional and cultural factors that may account for the current direction in North American archaeology. He also offers a defense of archaeology in an era of scientific relativism, which leads him to reflect on the responsibilities of archaeologists. Includes contributions by: Susan M. Alt, Bettina Arnold, Uzi Baram, Reinhard Bernbeck, Matthew David Cochran, Jean-Paul Demoule, Kurt A. Jordan, Susan Kus, Vicente Lull, Christopher N. Matthews, Randall H. McGuire, Rafael Mic—, Cristina Rihuete Herrada, Paul Mullins, Sue Novinger, Susan Pollock, Victor Raharijaona, Roberto Risch, Kathleen Sterling, Ruth M. Van Dyke, and LouAnn Wurst

The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Ritual and Religion

Author: Timothy Insoll

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 019923244X

Category: Religion

Page: 1108

View: 9124

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A comprehensive overview, by period and region, of the archaeology of ritual and religion. The coverage is global, and extends from the earliest prehistory to modern times. Written by over sixty renowned specialists, the Handbook presents the very best in current scholarship, and will also stimulate further research.

Imperialism and the Origins of Mexican Culture

Author: Colin M. MacLachlan

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674967631

Category: History

Page: 340

View: 6786

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Their empire unmatched in military and cultural might, the Aztecs were poised on the brink of a golden age, when the arrival of the Spanish changed everything. Colin MacLachlan explains why Mexico is culturally Mestizo while ethnically Indian and why Mexicans remain orphaned from their indigenous heritage—the adopted children of European history.

Ancient Maya

The Rise and Fall of a Rainforest Civilization

Author: Arthur Demarest

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521592246

Category: History

Page: 373

View: 8987

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In this new archaeological study, Arthur Demarest brings the lost pre-Columbian civilization of the Maya to life. In applying a holistic perspective to the most recent evidence from archaeology, paleoecology, and epigraphy, this theoretical interpretation emphasises both the brilliant rain forest adaptations of the ancient Maya and the Native American spirituality that permeated all aspects of their daily life. Demarest draws on his own discoveries and the findings of colleagues to reconstruct the complex lifeways and volatile political history of the Classic Maya states of the first to eighth centuries. He provides a new explanation of the long-standing mystery of the ninth-century abandonment of most of the great rain forest cities. Finally, he draws lessons from the history of the Classic Maya cities for contemporary society and for the ongoing struggles and resurgence of the modern Maya peoples, who are now re-emerging from six centuries of oppression.

Mesoamerican Religions and Archaeology

Essays in Pre-Columbian Civilizations

Author: Aleksandar Boskovic

Publisher: Archaeopress Pre-Columbian Archaeology

ISBN: 9781784915025

Category:

Page: 98

View: 5660

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Our understanding of ancient Pre-Columbian civilizations has changed significantly as the result of archaeological research in the last fifty years. Major projects during this period included dealing with cultural change in different contexts (Valley of Mexico, Oaxaca), regional research projects ("Olmec"), as well as attempts to understand more general trends in interpreting Pre-Columbian art and ideology (Codex Cihuacoatl, Templo Mayor). This book presents both the changes that occurred in the last few decades, and the impact that they had on our understanding on ancient Mesoamerican religions and cultures. It also includes references to some lesser-known research traditions (such as Croatia, Serbia, and Slovenia), as well as to the work of scholars like Jacques Soustelle or Didier Boremanse. With the insistence on clear methodology, based on field research, this book uses the context of specific archaeological finds in order to put Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures in a historical perspective. In terms of method, the author follows R. E. W. Adams, Jeremy Sabloff, Robert J. Sharer and other archaeologists in emphasizing the "field archaeology school" approach, with its insistence on using the data acquired in context. Archaeological and anthropological research is in itself fascinating enough to not need stolen artefacts, forged vases, fantastic stories and invented mythical genealogies. The main goal of this book is to produce a methodologically sound and ethically valid interdisciplinary introduction into the exciting world of ancient Mesoamerica.

Precolumbian Water Management

Ideology, Ritual, and Power

Author: Lisa Joyce Lucero,Barbara W. Fash

Publisher: University of Arizona Press

ISBN: 9780816523146

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 4320

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Among ancient Mesoamerican and Southwestern peoples, water was as essential as maize for sustenance and was a driving force in the development of complex society. Control of water shaped the political, economic, and religious landscape of the ancient Americas, yet it is often overlooked in Precolumbian studies. Now one volume offers the latest thinking on water systems and their place within the ancient physical and mental language of the region. Precolumbian Water Management examines water management from both economic and symbolic perspectives. Water management facilities, settlement patterns, shrines, and water-related imagery associated with civic-ceremonial and residential architecture provide evidence that water systems pervade all aspects of ancient society. Through analysis of such data, the contributors seek to combine an understanding of imagery and the religious aspects of water with its functional components, thereby presenting a unified perspective of how water was conceived, used, and represented in ancient greater Mesoamerica. The collection boasts broad chronological and geographical coverageÑfrom the irrigation networks of Teotihuacan to the use of ritual water technology at Casas GrandesÑthat shows how procurement and storage systems were adapted to local conditions. The articles consider the mechanisms that were used to build upon the sacredness of water to enhance political authority through time and space and show that water was not merely an essential natural resource but an important spiritual one as well, and that its manipulation was socially far more complex than might appear at first glance. As these papers reveal, an understanding of materials associated with water can contribute much to the ways that archaeologists study ancient cultural systems. Precolumbian Water Management underscores the importance of water management research and the need to include it in archaeological projects of all types.

Precolumbian Water Management

Ideology, Ritual, and Power

Author: Lisa Joyce Lucero,Barbara W. Fash

Publisher: University of Arizona Press

ISBN: 9780816523146

Category: Social Science

Page: 304

View: 5571

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Among ancient Mesoamerican and Southwestern peoples, water was as essential as maize for sustenance and was a driving force in the development of complex society. Control of water shaped the political, economic, and religious landscape of the ancient Americas, yet it is often overlooked in Precolumbian studies. Now one volume offers the latest thinking on water systems and their place within the ancient physical and mental language of the region. Precolumbian Water Management examines water management from both economic and symbolic perspectives. Water management facilities, settlement patterns, shrines, and water-related imagery associated with civic-ceremonial and residential architecture provide evidence that water systems pervade all aspects of ancient society. Through analysis of such data, the contributors seek to combine an understanding of imagery and the religious aspects of water with its functional components, thereby presenting a unified perspective of how water was conceived, used, and represented in ancient greater Mesoamerica. The collection boasts broad chronological and geographical coverageÑfrom the irrigation networks of Teotihuacan to the use of ritual water technology at Casas GrandesÑthat shows how procurement and storage systems were adapted to local conditions. The articles consider the mechanisms that were used to build upon the sacredness of water to enhance political authority through time and space and show that water was not merely an essential natural resource but an important spiritual one as well, and that its manipulation was socially far more complex than might appear at first glance. As these papers reveal, an understanding of materials associated with water can contribute much to the ways that archaeologists study ancient cultural systems. Precolumbian Water Management underscores the importance of water management research and the need to include it in archaeological projects of all types.

Religion and Empire

The Dynamics of Aztec and Inca Expansionism

Author: Geoffrey W. Conrad,Arthur A. Demarest

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521318969

Category: History

Page: 266

View: 7869

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Religion and Empire is an innovative and provocative study of the two largest states of the Precolumbian Americas, the Aztec and Inca Empires. By examining the causes of the formation and expansion of these two empires, the authors identify similar patterns and processes underlying their rise and decline. They demonstrate that in both examples among the critical elements in the transition from marginal people to imperial power to disintegrating society were changes in traditional religion, including the elaboration of Aztec human sacrifice and Inca worship of the corpses of their kings. The authors show that the complex interaction between such ideological shifts and political and economic factors generated the spectacular historical trajectories of these Pre-Colombian empires.

Visualizing the Sacred

Cosmic Visions, Regionalism, and the Art of the Mississippian World

Author: George E. Lankford,F. Kent Reilly,James F. Garber

Publisher: University of Texas Press

ISBN: 0292768087

Category: Social Science

Page: 375

View: 4636

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The prehistoric native peoples of the Mississippi River Valley and other areas of the Eastern Woodlands of the United States shared a complex set of symbols and motifs that constituted one of the greatest artistic traditions of the pre-Columbian Americas. Traditionally known as the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex, these artifacts of copper, shell, stone, clay, and wood were the subject of the groundbreaking 2007 book Ancient Objects and Sacred Realms: Interpretations of Mississippian Iconography, which presented a major reconstruction of the rituals, cosmology, ideology, and political structures of the Mississippian peoples. Visualizing the Sacred advances the study of Mississippian iconography by delving into the regional variations within what is now known as the Mississippian Iconographic Interaction Sphere (MIIS). Bringing archaeological, ethnographic, ethnohistoric, and iconographic perspectives to the analysis of Mississippian art, contributors from several disciplines discuss variations in symbols and motifs among major sites and regions across a wide span of time and also consider what visual symbols reveal about elite status in diverse political environments. These findings represent the first formal identification of style regions within the Mississippian Iconographic Interaction Sphere and call for a new understanding of the MIIS as a network of localized, yet interrelated religious systems that experienced both continuity and change over time.

Ancient Objects and Sacred Realms

Interpretations of Mississippian Iconography

Author: F. Kent Reilly, III,James F. Garber

Publisher: University of Texas Press

ISBN: 9780292774407

Category: Social Science

Page: 312

View: 4419

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Between AD 900-1600, the native peoples of the Mississippi River Valley and other areas of the Eastern Woodlands of the United States conceived and executed one of the greatest artistic traditions of the Precolumbian Americas. Created in the media of copper, shell, stone, clay, and wood, and incised or carved with a complex set of symbols and motifs, this seven-hundred-year-old artistic tradition functioned within a multiethnic landscape centered on communities dominated by earthen mounds and plazas. Previous researchers have referred to this material as the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex (SECC). This groundbreaking volume brings together ten essays by leading anthropologists, archaeologists, and art historians, who analyze the iconography of Mississippian art in order to reconstruct the ritual activities, cosmological vision, and ideology of these ancient precursors to several groups of contemporary Native Americans. Significantly, the authors correlate archaeological, ethnographic, and art historical data that illustrate the stylistic differences within Mississippian art as well as the numerous changes that occur through time. The research also demonstrates the inadequacy of the SECC label, since Mississippian art is not limited to the Southeast and reflects stylistic changes over time among several linked but distinct religious traditions. The term Mississippian Iconographic Interaction Sphere (MIIS) more adequately describes the corpus of this Mississippian art. Most important, the authors illustrate the overarching nature of the ancient Native American religious system, as a creation unique to the native American cultures of the eastern United States.

Human Sacrifice, Militarism, and Rulership

Materialization of State Ideology at the Feathered Serpent Pyramid, Teotihuacan

Author: Saburo Sugiyama

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521780568

Category: History

Page: 280

View: 4671

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Teotihuacan was one of the earliest and more populous preColumbian cities, and the Feathered Serpent was its vital monument, erected circa 200 AD. This work explores the religious meanings and political implications of the pyramid with meticulous and thorough analyses of substantially new excavation data. Challenging the traditional view of the city as a legendary, sacred, or anonymously-governed centre, the book provides significant new insights on the Teotihuacan polity and society. It provides interpretations on the pyramid's location, architecture, sculptures, iconography, mass sacrificial graves and rich symbolic offerings, and concludes that the pyramid commemorated the accession of rulers who were inscribed to govern with military force on behalf of the gods. This archaeological examination of the monument shows it to be the physical manifestation of state ideologies such as the symbolism of human sacrifice, militarism, and individual-centred divine authority, ideologies which were later diffused among other Mesoamerican urban centres.

Yucatan Before and After the Conquest

Author: Diego de Landa

Publisher: Courier Corporation

ISBN: 0486139190

Category: History

Page: 192

View: 4459

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Describes geography and natural history of the peninsula, gives brief history of Mayan life, discusses Spanish conquest, and provides a long summary of Maya civilization. 4 maps, and over 120 illustrations.

Encounter with the Plumed Serpent

Drama and Power in the Heart of Mesoamerica

Author: Maarten Evert Reinoud Gerard Nicolaas Jansen,Gabina Aurora Pérez Jiménez

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: History

Page: 395

View: 7210

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In "Encounter with the Plumed Serpent, " two leading scholars present and interpret the sacred histories narrated in the Mixtec codices, the largest surviving collection of pre-Columbian manuscripts in existence. In these screenfold books, ancient painter-historians chronicled the politics of the Mixtec from approximately a.d. 900 to 1521, portraying the royal families, rituals, wars, alliances, and ideology of the times.

Sacrifice, Violence, and Ideology Among the Moche

The Rise of Social Complexity in Ancient Peru

Author: Steve Bourget

Publisher: University of Texas Press

ISBN: 1477308733

Category: Social Science

Page: 463

View: 3438

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In a special precinct dedicated to ritual sacrifice at Huaca de la Luna on the north coast of Peru, about seventy-five men were killed and dismembered, their remains and body parts then carefully rearranged and left on the ground with numerous offerings. The discovery of this large sacrificial site—one of the most important sites of this type in the Americas—raises fundamental questions. Why was human sacrifice so central to Moche ideology and religion? And why is sacrifice so intimately related to the notions of warfare and capture? In this pioneering book, Steve Bourget marshals all the currently available information from the archaeology and visual culture of Huaca de la Luna as he seeks to understand the centrality of human sacrifice in Moche ideology and, more broadly, the role(s) of violence in the development of social complexity. He begins by providing a fully documented account of the archaeological contexts, demonstrating how closely interrelated these contexts are to the rest of Moche material culture, including its iconography, the regalia of its elite, and its monumental architecture. Bourget then probes the possible meanings of ritual violence and human sacrifice and their intimate connections with concepts of divinity, ancestry, and foreignness. He builds a convincing case that the iconography of ritual violence and the practice of human sacrifice at all the principal Moche ceremonial centers were the main devices used in the establishment and development of the Moche state.

The Terminal Classic in the Maya Lowlands

Collapse, Transition, and Transformation

Author: Arthur A. Demarest,Don S. Rice

Publisher: Univ Pr of Colorado

ISBN: N.A

Category: History

Page: 676

View: 9226

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This book revisits one of the great problems in Mayan archaeology -- the apparent collapse of Classic Maya civilisation from roughly AD830-950. During this period the Maya abandoned their power centres in the southern lowlands and rather abruptly ceased the distinctive cultural practices that marked their apogee in the Classic period. Archaeological fieldwork during the past three decades, however, has uncovered enormous regional variability in the ways the Maya experienced the shift from Classic to Post-classic society, revealing a period of cultural change more complex than acknowledged by traditional models. Featuring an impressive roster of scholars, the book presents the most recent data and interpretations pertaining to this perplexing period of cultural transformation in the Maya lowlands. Although the research reveals clear interregional patterns, the contributors resist a single overarching explanation. Rather, this volume's diverse and nuanced interpretations provide a new, more properly grounded beginning for continued debate on the nature of lowland Terminal Classic Maya civilisation.

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

Author: Jared Diamond

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

ISBN: 0393609294

Category: History

Page: 528

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"Fascinating.... Lays a foundation for understanding human history."—Bill Gates In this "artful, informative, and delightful" (William H. McNeill, New York Review of Books) book, Jared Diamond convincingly argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion --as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war --and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and stunningly dismantles racially based theories of human history. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science, the Rhone-Poulenc Prize, and the Commonwealth club of California's Gold Medal.

Health, Civilization and the State

A History of Public Health from Ancient to Modern Times

Author: Dorothy Porter

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1134637187

Category: History

Page: 384

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This book examines the social, economic and political issues of public health provision in historical perspective. It outlines the development of public health in Britain, Continental Europe and the United States from the ancient world through to the modern state. It includes discussion of: * pestilence, public order and morality in pre-modern times * the Enlightenment and its effects * centralization in Victorian Britain * localization of health care in the United States * population issues and family welfare * the rise of the classic welfare state * attitudes towards public health into the twenty-first century.

The Collapse of Complex Societies

Author: Joseph Tainter

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521386739

Category: Social Science

Page: 250

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Dr Tainter describes nearly two dozen cases of collapse and reviews more than 2000 years of explanations. He then develops a new and far-reaching theory.

Pre-Columbian Foodways

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Food, Culture, and Markets in Ancient Mesoamerica

Author: John Staller,Michael Carrasco

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9781441904713

Category: Social Science

Page: 691

View: 6584

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The significance of food and feasting to Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures has been extensively studied by archaeologists, anthropologists and art historians. Foodways studies have been critical to our understanding of early agriculture, political economies, and the domestication and management of plants and animals. Scholars from diverse fields have explored the symbolic complexity of food and its preparation, as well as the social importance of feasting in contemporary and historical societies. This book unites these disciplinary perspectives — from the social and biological sciences to art history and epigraphy — creating a work comprehensive in scope, which reveals our increasing understanding of the various roles of foods and cuisines in Mesoamerican cultures. The volume is organized thematically into three sections. Part 1 gives an overview of food and feasting practices as well as ancient economies in Mesoamerica. Part 2 details ethnographic, epigraphic and isotopic evidence of these practices. Finally, Part 3 presents the metaphoric value of food in Mesoamerican symbolism, ritual, and mythology. The resulting volume provides a thorough, interdisciplinary resource for understanding, food, feasting, and cultural practices in Mesoamerica.