THE LIFE GIVING STONE ETHNOARCHAEOLOGY OF MAYA METATES

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The Life Giving Stone

Author : Michael T. Searcy
ISBN : 9780816529094
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 39.42 MB
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In The Life-Giving Stone, Michael Searcy provides a thought-provoking ethnoarchaeological account of metate and mano manufacture, marketing, and use among Guatemalan Maya for whom these stone implements are still essential equipment in everyday life and diet. Although many archaeologists have regarded these artifacts simply as common everyday tools and therefore unremarkable, SearcyÕs methodology reveals how, for the ancient Maya, the manufacture and use of grinding stones significantly impacted their physical and economic welfare. In tracing the life cycle of these tools from production to discard for the modern Maya, Searcy discovers rich customs and traditions that indicate how metates and manos have continued to sustain lifeÑnot just literally, in terms of food, but also in terms of culture. His research is based on two years of fieldwork among three Mayan groups, in which he documented behaviors associated with these tools during their procurement, production, acquisition, use, discard, and re-use. SearcyÕs investigation documents traditional practices that are rapidly being lost or dramatically modified. In few instances will it be possible in the future to observe metates and manos as central elements in household provisioning or follow their path from hand-manufacture to market distribution and to intergenerational transmission. In this careful inquiry into the cultural significance of a simple tool, SearcyÕs ethnographic observations are guided both by an interest in how grinding stone traditions have persisted and how they are changing today, and by the goal of enhancing the archaeological interpretation of these stones, which were so fundamental to pre-Hispanic agriculturalists with corn-based cuisines.
Category: Social Science

Social Perspectives On Ancient Lives From Paleothnobotanical Data

Author : Matthew P. Sayre
ISBN : 9783319528496
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 46.56 MB
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This volume contributes to the emerging topic of social paleoethnobotany with a series of papers exploring dynamic aspects of past social life, particularly the day-to-day practices and politics of procuring, preparing, and consuming plants. The contributors to this volume illustrate how one can bridge differences between the natural and social sciences through the more socially-focused interpretations of botanical datasets. The chapters in this volume draw on a diversity of plant-derived datasets, macrobotanical, microbotanical, and molecular, which contribute to general paleoethnobotanical practice today. They also carefully consider the contexts in which the plant remains were recovered. These studies illustrate that the richest interpretations come from projects that are able to consider the widest range of data types, particularly as they aim to move beyond simple descriptions of food items and environmental settings. The authors in this volume address several themes including: the collection of wild resources, the domestication of crops and spread of agriculture, the role of plant remains in questions regarding domestic life, ritual, and gender as well as the broader implications of a socially-engaged paleoethnobotany. These studies point a path forward for the constantly evolving field of paleoethnobotany, one that is methodologically rigorous and theoretically engaged. Together, these papers shed light on ways in which the specialized analysis of plant remains can contribute to theory building and advancing archaeological understanding of past lifeways.
Category: Social Science

Religion History And Place In The Origin Of Settled Life

Author : Ian Hodder
ISBN : 9781607327370
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 32.49 MB
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This volume explores the role of religion and ritual in the origin of settled life in the Middle East, focusing on the repetitive construction of houses or cult buildings in the same place. Prominent archaeologists, anthropologists, and scholars of religion working at several of the region’s most important sites—such as Çatalhöyük, Göbekli Tepe, Körtik Tepe, and Aşıklı Höyük—contend that religious factors significantly affected the timing and stability of settled economic structures. Contributors argue that the long-term social relationships characteristic of delayed-return agricultural systems must be based on historical ties to place and to ancestors. They define different forms of history-making, including nondiscursive routinized practices as well as commemorative memorialization. They consider the timing in the Neolithic of an emerging concern with history-making in place in relation to the adoption of farming and settled life in regional sequences. They explore whether such correlations indicate the causal processes in which history-making, ritual practices, agricultural intensification, population increase, and social competition all played a role. Religion, History, and Place in the Origin of Settled Life takes a major step forward in understanding the adoption of farming and a settled way of life in the Middle East by foregrounding the roles of history-making and religious ritual. This work is relevant to students and scholars of Near Eastern archaeology, as well as those interested in the origins of agriculture and social complexity or the social role of religion in the past. Contributors: Kurt W. Alt, Mark R. Anspach, Marion Benz, Lee Clare, Anna Belfer-Cohen, Morris Cohen, Oliver Dietrich, Güneş Duru, Yilmaz S. Erdal, Nigel Goring-Morris, Ian Hodder, Rosemary A. Joyce, Nicola Lercari, Wendy Matthews, Jens Notroff, Vecihi Özkaya, Feridun S. Şahin, F. Leron Shults, Devrim Sönmez, Christina Tsoraki, Wesley Wildman
Category: Social Science

Caring For Place

Author : E N Anderson
ISBN : 9781315432489
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 70.11 MB
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How can cultural forms motivate people to care about their environment? While important scientific data about ecosystems is mushrooming, E. N. Anderson argues in this powerful new book that putting effective conservation into practice depends primarily on social solidarity and emotional factors. Marshaling decades of research on cultures across several continents, he shows how societies have been more or less successful in sustainably managing their environments based on collective engagements such as religion, art, song, myth, and story. This provocative and deeply felt book by a leading writer and scholar in human ecology and anthropology will be read and debated widely for years to come.
Category: Social Science

Land Livelihood And Civility In Southern Mexico

Author : Scott Cook
ISBN : 9780292754782
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 55.92 MB
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In the Valley of Oaxaca in Mexico's Southern Highland region, three facets of sociocultural life have been interconnected and interactive from colonial times to the present: first, community land as a space to live and work; second, a civil-religious system managed by reciprocity and market activity wherein obligations of citizenship, office, and festive sponsorships are met by expenditures of labor-time and money; and third, livelihood. In this book, noted Oaxacan scholar Scott Cook draws on thirty-five years of fieldwork (1965–1990) in the region to present a masterful ethnographic historical account of how nine communities in the Oaxaca Valley have striven to maintain land, livelihood, and civility in the face of transformational and cumulative change across five centuries. Drawing on an extensive database that he accumulated through participant observation, household surveys, interviews, case studies, and archival work in more than twenty Oaxacan communities, Cook documents and explains how peasant-artisan villagers in the Oaxaca Valley have endeavored over centuries to secure and/or defend land, worked and negotiated to subsist and earn a living, and striven to meet expectations and obligations of local citizenship. His findings identify elements and processes that operate across communities or distinguish some from others. They also underscore the fact that landholding is crucial for the sociocultural life of the valley. Without land for agriculture and resource extraction, occupational options are restricted, livelihood is precarious and contingent, and civility is jeopardized.
Category: Social Science

Archaeology

Author : Brian M. Fagan
ISBN : 9781317350125
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 86.51 MB
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Method and Theory in Archaeology Archaeology: A Brief Introduction is an introduction to the fundamental principles of method and theory in archaeology, exposing students to archaeology as a career. The text begins by covering the goals of archaeology, and then moves on to consider the basic concepts of culture, time, and space, by discussing the finding and excavation of archaeological sites. By providing a distinct emphasis on the ethics behind archaeology, and how we should act as stewards of the finite records of the human past, Archaeology: A Brief Introduction continues to be a book with a truly international perspective, not simply focusing on North America or Europe. Teaching and Learning Experience Improve Critical Thinking - Archaeology: A Brief Introduction's "Archaeology and You" chapter provides students with career advice in an era when archaeology is transitioning from predominantly academic to professional. Engage Students - Each chapter within Archaeology: A Brief Introduction highlights important finds that have shaped our archaeological perspective, and a global perspective that shows students that archaeology is the most global of all sciences, encompassing all of humanity.
Category: Social Science

Settlement And Politics In Three Classic Maya Polities

Author : Olivier De Montmollin
ISBN : UTEXAS:059173001529774
Genre : Colonisation intérieure - Types préhistoriques - Mexique - Rosario, Vallée
File Size : 28.3 MB
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Original survey research in the Greater Rosario Valley provides the background to this comparative study of three Maya polities (Rosario, Ojo de Agua and Los Encuentros). Comparison of these three adjoining states is made with reference to multiple features including; civic hierarchies, territorial divisions, political boundaries, capitals, civic plaza layouts, residential compositions, population distributions, civic distributions and government sizes. Because these three polities are outside the most heavily urbanised areas of Maya settlement, the role of peripheries is a central theme in this book, which makes advances in the understanding of political centralization, pyramidal vs.hierarchical regimes and the integration of diverse populations divided by status and ethnicity.
Category: Colonisation intérieure - Types préhistoriques - Mexique - Rosario, Vallée