AN ARCHAEOLOGY OF THE COSMOS RETHINKING AGENCY AND RELIGION IN ANCIENT AMERICA

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An Archaeology Of The Cosmos

Author : Timothy R. Pauketat
ISBN : 9780415521284
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 29.49 MB
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An Archaeology of the Cosmos seeks answers to two fundamental questions of humanity and human history. The first question concerns that which some use as a defining element of humanity: religious beliefs. Why do so many people believe in supreme beings and holy spirits? The second question concerns changes in those beliefs. What causes beliefs to change? Using archaeological evidence gathered from ancient America, especially case material from the Great Plains and the pre-Columbian American Indian city of Cahokia, Timothy Pauketat explores the logical consequences of these two fundamental questions. Religious beliefs are not more resilient than other aspects of culture and society, and people are not the only causes of historical change. An Archaeology of the Cosmos examines the intimate association of agency and religion by studying how relationships between people, places, and things were bundled together and positioned in ways that constituted the fields of human experience. This rethinking theories of agency and religion provides readers with challenging and thought provoking conclusions that will lead them to reassess the way they approach the past.
Category: Social Science

Religion And Politics In The Ancient Americas

Author : Sarah B. Barber
ISBN : 9781317440826
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 31.28 MB
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This exciting collection explores the interplay of religion and politics in the precolumbian Americas. Each thought-provoking contribution positions religion as a primary factor influencing political innovations in this period, reinterpreting major changes through an examination of how religion both facilitated and constrained transformations in political organization and status relations. Offering unparalleled geographic and temporal coverage of this subject, Religion and Politics in the Ancient Americas spans the entire precolumbian period, from Preceramic Peru to the Contact period in eastern North America, with case studies from North, Middle, and South America. Religion and Politics in the Ancient Americas considers the ways in which religion itself generated political innovation and thus enabled political centralization to occur. It moves beyond a "Great Tradition" focus on elite religion to understand how local political authority was negotiated, contested, bolstered, and undermined within diverse constituencies, demonstrating how religion has transformed non-Western societies. As well as offering readers fresh perspectives on specific archaeological cases, this book breaks new ground in the archaeological examination of religion and society.
Category: Social Science

Religion And Innovation

Author : Donald A. Yerxa
ISBN : 9781472591005
Genre : Religion
File Size : 81.64 MB
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It is often assumed that religion is the backward-looking servant of tradition and the status quo, utterly opposed to the new. This refrain in so much of recent polemical writing has permeated the public mind and can even be found in academic publications. But recent scholarship increasingly shows that this view is a gross simplification - that, in fact, religious beliefs and practices have contributed to significant changes in human affairs: political and legal, social and artistic, scientific and commercial. This is certainly not to say that religion is always innovative. But the relationship between religion and innovation is much more complex and instructive than is generally assumed. Religion and Innovation includes contributions from leading historians, archaeologists, and social scientists, who offer findings about the relationship between religion and innovation. The essays collected in this volume range from discussions of the transformative power of religion in early societies; to re-examinations of our notions of naturalism, secularization, and progress; to explorations of cutting-edge contemporary issues. Combining scholarly rigor with clear, accessible writing, Religion and Innovation: Antagonists or Partners? is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of religion and the ongoing debates about its role in the modern world and into the future.
Category: Religion

Archaeology And Ancient Religion In The American Midcontinent

Author : Brad H. Koldehoff
ISBN : 0817319964
Genre : Religion
File Size : 38.51 MB
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Analyses of big datasets signal important directions for the archaeology of religion in the Archaic to Mississippian Native North America Across North America, huge data accumulations derived from decades of cultural resource management studies, combined with old museum collections, provide archaeologists with unparalleled opportunities to explore new questions about the lives of ancient native peoples. For many years the topics of technology, economy, and political organization have received the most research attention, while ritual, religion, and symbolic expression have largely been ignored. This was often the case because researchers considered such topics beyond reach of their methods and data. In Archaeology and Ancient Religion in the American Midcontinent, editors Brad H. Koldehoff and Timothy R. Pauketat and their contributors demonstrate that this notion is outdated through their analyses of a series of large datasets from the midcontinent, ranging from tiny charred seeds to the cosmic alignments of mounds, to explore new questions about the religious practices and lives of native peoples. At the core of this volume are case studies that explore religious practices from the Cahokia area and surrounding Illinois uplands. Additional chapters explore these topics using data collected from sites and landscapes scattered along the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys. This innovative work facilitates a greater appreciation for, and understanding of, ancient native religious practices, especially their seamless connections to everyday life and livelihood. The contributors do not advocate for a reduced emphasis on technology, economy, and political organization; rather, they recommend expanding the scope of such studies to include considerations of how religious practices shaped the locations of sites, the character of artifacts, and the content and arrangement of sites and features. They also highlight analytical approaches that are applicable to archaeological datasets from across the Americas and beyond.
Category: Religion

Religion In The Prehispanic Southwest

Author : Christine S. VanPool
ISBN : 9780759113954
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 43.65 MB
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Religion mattered to the prehistoricSouthwestern people, just as it matters to their descendents today. Examining the role of religion can help to explain architecture, pottery, agriculture, even commerce. But archaeologists have only recently developed the theoretical and methodological tools with which to study this topic. Religion in the Prehispanic Southwest marks the first book-length study of prehistoric religion in the region. Drawing on a rich array of empirical approaches, the contributors show the importance of understanding beliefs and ritual for a range of time periods and southwestern societies. For professional and avocational archaeologists, for religion scholars and students, Religion in the Prehispanic Southwest represents an important contribution.
Category: Social Science

The Archaeology Of Wak As

Author : Tamara L. Bray
ISBN : 9781607323181
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 22.89 MB
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In this edited volume, Andean wak'as—idols, statues, sacred places, images, and oratories—play a central role in understanding Andean social philosophies, cosmologies, materialities, temporalities, and constructions of personhood. Top Andean scholars from a variety of disciplines cross regional, theoretical, and material boundaries in their chapters, offering innovative methods and theoretical frameworks for interpreting the cultural particulars of Andean ontologies and notions of the sacred. Wak'as were understood as agentive, nonhuman persons within many Andean communities and were fundamental to conceptions of place, alimentation, fertility, identity, and memory and the political construction of ecology and life cycles. The ethnohistoric record indicates that wak'as were thought to speak, hear, and communicate, both among themselves and with humans. In their capacity as nonhuman persons, they shared familial relations with members of the community, for instance, young women were wed to local wak'as made of stone and wak'as had sons and daughters who were identified as the mummified remains of the community's revered ancestors. Integrating linguistic, ethnohistoric, ethnographic, and archaeological data, The Archaeology of Wak'as advances our understanding of the nature and culture of wak'as and contributes to the larger theoretical discussions on the meaning and role of–"the sacred” in ancient contexts.
Category: Social Science

Black Elk Speaks

Author : John G. Neihardt
ISBN : 9781438425405
Genre : Biography & Autobiography
File Size : 69.41 MB
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The famous story of the Lakota healer and visionary, Nicholas Black Elk.
Category: Biography & Autobiography

The Archaeology Of Traditions

Author : Timothy R. Pauketat
ISBN : 1616101296
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 79.25 MB
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"At last, southeastern archaeology as history of people, not just 'cultures'."--Patricia Galloway, Mississippi Department of Archives and History Rich with the objects of the day-to-day lives of illiterate or common people in the southeastern United States, this book offers an archaeological reevaluation of history itself: where it is, what it is, and how it came to be. Through clothing, cooking, eating, tool making, and other mundane forms of social expression and production, traditions were altered daily in encounters between missionaries and natives, between planters and slaves, and between native leaders and native followers. As this work demonstrates, these "unwritten texts" proved to be potent ingredients in the larger-scale social and political events that shaped how peoples, cultures, and institutions came into being. These developments point to a common social process whereby men and women negotiated about their views of the world and--whether slaves, natives, or Europeans--created history. Bridging the pre-Columbian and colonial past, this book incorporates current theories that cut across disciplines to appeal to anthropologists, historians, and archaeologists. CONTENTS 1. A New Tradition in Archaeology, by Timothy R. Pauketat 2. African-American Tradition and Community in the Antebellum South, by Brian W. Thomas 3. Resistance and Accommodation in Apalachee Province, by John F. Scarry 4. Manipulating Bodies and Emerging Traditions at the Los Adaes Presidio, by Diana DiPaolo Loren 5. Negotiated Tradition? Native American Pottery in the Mission Period in La Florida, by Rebecca Saunders 6. Creek and Pre-Creek Revisited, by Cameron B. Wesson 7. Gender, Tradition, and the Negotiation of Power Relationships in Southern Appalachian Chiefdoms, by Lynne P. Sullivan and Christopher B. Rodning 8. Historical Science or Silence? Toward a Historical Anthropology of Mississippian Political Culture, by Mark A. Rees 9. Cahokian Change and the Authority of Tradition, by Susan M. Alt 10. The Historical-Processual Development of Late Woodland Societies, by Michael S. Nassaney 11. A Tradition of Discontinuity: American Bottom Early and Middle Woodland Culture History Reexamined, by Andrew C. Fortier 12. Interpreting Discontinuity and Historical Process in Midcontinental Late Archaic and Early Woodland Societies, by Thomas E. Emerson and Dale L. McElrath 13. Hunter-Gatherers and Traditions of Resistance, by Kenneth E. Sassaman 14. Traditions as Cultural Production: Implications for Contemporary Archaeological Research, by Kent G. Lightfoot 15. Concluding Thoughts on Tradition, History, and Archaeology, by Timothy R. Pauketat Timothy R. Pauketat, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois, Urbana, is the author of The Ascent of Chiefs and coeditor of Cahokia: Domination and Ideology in the Mississippian World.
Category: Social Science

The Oxford Handbook Of North American Archaeology

Author : Timothy Pauketat
ISBN : 9780190241094
Genre : History
File Size : 83.15 MB
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This volume explores 15,000 years of indigenous human history on the North American continent, drawing on the latest archaeological theories, time-honored methodologies, and rich datasets. From the Arctic south to the Mexican border and east to the Atlantic Ocean, all of the major cultural developments are covered in 53 chapters, with certain periods, places, and historical problems receiving special focus by the volume's authors. Questions like who first peopled the continent, what did it mean to have been a hunter-gatherer in the Great Basin versus the California coast, how significant were cultural exchanges between Native North Americans and Mesoamericans, and why do major historical changes seem to correspond to shifts in religion, politics, demography, and economy are brought into focus. The practice of archaeology itself is discussed as contributors wrestle with modern-day concerns with the implications of doing archaeology and its relevance for understanding ourselves today. In the end, the chapters in this book show us that the principal questions answered about human history through the archaeology of North America are central to any larger understanding of the relationships between people, cultural identities, landscapes, and the living of everyday life.
Category: History