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American antiquities : revisiting the origins of American archaeology

Author: Terry A Barnhart
Publisher: Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, 2015.
Series: Critical studies in the history of anthropology.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Writing the history of American archaeology, especially concerning eighteenth- and nineteenth-century arguments, is not always as straightforward as it might seem. Archaeology's trajectory from an avocation to a semi-profession to a specialized profession, rather than being a linear progression, rather than being a linear progression, was an untidy organic process that emerged from the intellectual tradition of  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Terry A Barnhart
ISBN: 9780803268425 0803268424 0803284314 9780803284319 0803284292 9780803284296
OCLC Number: 907651123
Description: xviii, 572 pages ; 24 cm.
Contents: Prologue: historicizing the origins of American archaeology --
American antiquities: a grand theme for speculation --
Rediscovering the mounds: scientific enquiry and the westward movement --
Antiquaries, ideas, and institutions: more testimony from the mounds --
A dialectical discourse: constructing the mound builder paradigm --
American archaeology: an infant science emerges --
Origin, era, and region: an expanding field of archaeological enquiry --
Archaeology as anthropology: the coming of the curators and professors.
Series Title: Critical studies in the history of anthropology.
Responsibility: Terry A. Barnhart.

Abstract:

Writing the history of American archaeology, especially concerning eighteenth- and nineteenth-century arguments, is not always as straightforward as it might seem. Archaeology's trajectory from an avocation to a semi-profession to a specialized profession, rather than being a linear progression, rather than being a linear progression, was an untidy organic process that emerged from the intellectual tradition of antiquarianism. It then closely allied itself with the natural sciences throughout the nineteenth century, especially with geology and the debate about the origins and identity of the indigenous mound-building cultures of the eastern United States. In his reexamination of the eclectic interests and equally varied setting of nascent American archaeology, Terry A. Barnhart exposes several fundamental, deeply embedded historiographical problems within the secondary literature relating to the nineteenth-century debate about "Mound Builders" and "American Indians." Some issues are perceptual, others contextual, and still others are basic errors of fact. Adding to the problem are semantic and contextual considerations arising from the problematic use of the term "race" as a synonym for tribe, nation, and race proper - a concept and construct that does not in all instances translate into current understanding and usage. American Antiquities uses this early discourse on the mounds to reframe perennial anthropological problems relating to human origins and antiquity in North America. -- from dust jacket.

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"Terry Barnhart is notably the world's foremost expert on E. G. Squier. This work broadens the discussion [of mound building] by picking up earlier influences on nineteenth-century speculations about Read more...

 
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