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

By Asa R. Randall

“A subtle program of panorama suggestion to a lately crafted archaeological list 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, historical monuments, anthropogenic environments, the archaeology and environmental background of Florida and the yankee South, and the background of North American archaeology may still learn this book.”—Christopher B. Rodning, coeditor of Archaeological experiences of Gender within the Southeastern United States
huge accumulations of historical 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 offers the 1st new theoretical framework for interpreting such middens in view that Ripley Bullen’s seminal paintings sixty years in the past. He convincingly posits that those historic “garbage dumps” have been truly burial mounds,  ceremonial collecting locations, and sometimes habitation areas critical to the histories and social geography of the hunter-gatherer societies who outfitted them.

Synthesizing greater than a hundred and fifty years of shell mound investigations and glossy distant sensing facts, Randall rejects the long-standing ecological interpretation and redefines those websites as socially major monuments that display formerly unknown complexities in regards to the hunter-gatherer societies of the Mount Taylor interval (ca. 7400–4600 cal. B.P.). suffering from weather swap and elevated scales of social interplay, the region’s population transformed the panorama in astounding 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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Extra resources for Constructing Histories: Archaic Freshwater Shell Mounds and Social Landscapes of the St. Johns River, Florida

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Brinton 1859: 177), it was the insightfulness, rigorous attention to detail, and skepticism that made Wyman’s observations endure. Wyman’s contributions to Florida archaeology cannot be overestimated. Many of the shell mounds he recorded have since been destroyed or significantly compromised. As with anthropogenic shell deposits the world over (Ceci 1984), shell mounds were targeted as sources of construction fill and razed by bulldozers and draglines in the twentieth century. The wealthy antiquarian Clarence Bloomfield (C.

Interpretations of the significance of the first and last vestiges of occupations are animated by opposed narratives and operationalized by different research agendas. Archaic-period components, produced by chronologically early and presumably socially “simple” hunter-gatherers, are viewed as a proxy for past environmental conditions. Change in site location or size and variations in depositional episode content are reduced to either ecological change or demographic processes.

Johns. Yet emphasis on shell matrix sites as a proxy record has precluded investigating how the creation of shell matrix sites may have been central to ongoing Archaic history-making. Many events of Archaic significance may have been obscured by impositions of Western historiography that emphasized gradual change through time and the primacy of diet over contingent social reproduction. 32 Constructing Histories Defining Prehistory on the St. Johns River How is it, specifically, that Archaic shell mounds emerged as nonevents?

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