Utopian and intentional communities have dotted the American landscape since the colonial era, yet only in recent decades have archaeologists begun analyzing the material culture left behind by these groups. The case studies in this volume use archaeological evidence to reveal how these communities upheld their societal ideals—and how some diverged from them in everyday life.
Eberl emphasizes that individual decision-making—the ability to imagine alternate worlds and to act on that vision—plays a large role in changing social structure over time. Pinpointing where and when these Maya inventions emerged, how individuals adopted them and why, War Owl Falling connects technological and social change in a novel way.
Established by a black community in the eighteenth century during British colonization of the Bahamas, the Northern Burial Ground of St. Matthew’s Parish was an important expression of the group’s African cultural identity. Analyzing the landscape and artifacts found at the site, Grace Turner shows how the community used this separate space to maintain a sense of social belonging despite the power of white planters and the colonial government.
Tooth modification has been practiced throughout many time periods and places to convey information about individual people, their societies, and their relationships to others. This volume represents the wide spectrum of intentional dental modification in humans across the globe over the past 16,000 years.
What can bones tell us about past lives? Do different bone shapes, sizes, and injuries reveal more about people’s genes or about their environments? Reading the Bones tackles this question, guiding readers through one of the most hotly debated topics in bioarchaeology.
A monumental synthesis of a half century of research, this book investigates three communities from the ancient Nubian civilization of the Nile River Valley. Excavations in this region first inspired the “biocultural approach” to human biology now used by anthropologists worldwide, and Life and Death on the Nile exemplifies the very best of this perspective. It is the life’s work of two highly accomplished anthropologists.
Exploring how our ancestors lived and how they died, the forty cases in this book tackle some of history’s most enduring questions and illustrate the power of science to reveal the secrets of the past.