Recent archaeological research on California includes a greater diversity of models and approaches to the region’s past, as older literature on the subject struggles to stay relevant. This comprehensive volume offers an in-depth look at the most recent theoretical and empirical developments in the field including key controversies relevant to the Golden State: coastal colonization, impacts of comets and drought cycles, systems of power, Polynesian contacts, and the role of indigenous peoples in the research process, among others. With a specific emphasis on those aspects of California’s past that resonate with the state’s modern cultural identity, the editors and contributors—all leading figures in California archaeology—seek a new understanding of the myth and mystique of the Golden State.
A new generation of archaeologists has thrown down a challenge to post-processual theory, arguing that characterizing material symbols as arbitrary overlooks the material character and significance of artifacts. This volume showcases the significant departure from previous symbolic approaches that is underway in the discipline. It brings together key scholars advancing a variety of cutting edge approaches, each emphasizing an understanding of artifacts and materials not in terms of symbols but relationally, as a set of associations that compose people’s understanding of the world. Authors draw on a diversity of intellectual sources and case studies, paving a dynamic road ahead for archaeology as a discipline and theoretical approaches to material culture.
This long-anticipated reference and sourcebook for California’s remarkable ecological abundance provides an integrated assessment of each major ecosystem type—its distribution, structure, function, and management. A comprehensive synthesis of our knowledge about this biologically diverse state, Ecosystems of California covers the state from oceans to mountaintops using multiple lenses: past and present, flora and fauna, aquatic and terrestrial, natural and managed. Each chapter evaluates natural processes for a specific ecosystem, describes drivers of change, and discusses how that ecosystem may be altered in the future. This book also explores the drivers of California’s ecological patterns and the history of the state’s various ecosystems, outlining how the challenges of climate change and invasive species and opportunities for regulation and stewardship could potentially affect the state’s ecosystems. The text explicitly incorporates both human impacts and conservation and restoration efforts and shows how ecosystems support human well-being. Edited by two esteemed ecosystem ecologists and with overviews by leading experts on each ecosystem, this definitive work will be indispensable for natural resource management and conservation professionals as well as for undergraduate or graduate students of California’s environment and curious naturalists.
“Nothing defines California and our nation’s heritage as significantly or emotionally,” says the California Mission Foundation, “as do the twenty-one missions that were founded along the coast from San Diego to Sonoma.” Indeed, the missions collectively represent the state’s most iconic tourist destinations and are touchstones for interpreting its history. Elementary school students today still make model missions evoking the romanticized versions of the 1930s. Does it occur to them or to the tourists that the missions have a dark history? California Mission Landscapes is an unprecedented and fascinating history of California mission landscapes from colonial outposts to their reinvention as heritage sites through the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Illuminating the deeply political nature of this transformation, Elizabeth Kryder-Reid argues that the designed landscapes have long recast the missions from sites of colonial oppression to aestheticized and nostalgia-drenched monasteries. She investigates how such landscapes have been appropriated in social and political power struggles, particularly in the perpetuation of social inequalities across boundaries of gender, race, class, ethnicity, and religion. California Mission Landscapes demonstrates how the gardens planted in mission courtyards over the past 150 years are not merely anachronistic but have become potent ideological spaces. The transformation of these sites of conquest into physical and metaphoric gardens has reinforced the marginalization of indigenous agency and diminished the contemporary consequences of colonialism. And yet, importantly, this book also points to the potential to create very different visitor experiences than these landscapes currently do. Despite the wealth of scholarship on California history, until now no book has explored the mission landscapes as an avenue into understanding the politics of the past, tracing the continuum between the Spanish colonial period, emerging American nationalism, and the contemporary heritage industry.
How did warfare originate? Was it human genetics? Social competition? The rise of complexity? Intensive study of the long-term hunter-gatherer past brings us closer to an answer. The original chapters in this volume examine cultural areas on five continents where there is archaeological, ethnographic, and historical evidence for hunter-gatherer conflict despite high degrees of mobility, small populations, and relatively egalitarian social structures. Their controversial conclusions will elicit interest among anthropologists, archaeologists, and those in conflict studies.
The second edition of Contemporary Archaeology in Theory: The New Pragmatism, has been thoroughly updated and revised, and features top scholars who redefine the theoretical and political agendas of the field, and challenge the usual distinctions between time, space, processes, and people. Defines the relevance of archaeology and the social sciences more generally to the modern world Challenges the traditional boundaries between prehistoric and historical archaeologies Discusses how archaeology articulates such contemporary topics and issues as landscape and natures; agency, meaning and practice; sexuality, embodiment and personhood; race, class, and ethnicity; materiality, memory, and historical silence; colonialism, nationalism, and empire; heritage, patrimony, and social justice; media, museums, and publics Examines the influence of American pragmatism on archaeology Offers 32 new chapters by leading archaeologists and cultural anthropologists
It has been clear for many years that the ways in which archaeology is practised have been a direct product of a particular set of social, cultural, and historical circumstances - archaeology is always carried out in the present. More recently, however, many have begun to consider how archaeological techniques might be used to reflect more directly on the contemporary world itself: how we might undertake archaeologies of, as well as in the present. This Handbook is the first comprehensive survey of an exciting and rapidly expanding sub-field and provides an authoritative overview of the newly emerging focus on the archaeology of the present and recent past. In addition to detailed archaeological case studies, it includes essays by scholars working on the relationships of different disciplines to the archaeology of the contemporary world, including anthropology, psychology, philosophy, historical geography, science and technology studies, communications and media, ethnoarchaeology, forensic archaeology, sociology, film, performance, and contemporary art. This volume seeks to explore the boundaries of an emerging sub-discipline, to develop a tool-kit of concepts and methods which are applicable to this new field, and to suggest important future trajectories for research. It makes a significant intervention by drawing together scholars working on a broad range of themes, approaches, methods, and case studies from diverse contexts in different parts of the world, which have not previously been considered collectively.
In this long-awaited compendium of new and newly revised essays, Alison Wylie explores how archaeologists know what they know. Examining the history and methodology of Anglo-American archaeology, Wylie puts the tumultuous debates of the last thirty years in historical and philosophical perspective.