Category Archives: Uncategorized

Diffusions & Histories

Long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away … American archaeology banished migration and diffusion as “anti-scientific non-explanations.”   Then, sometime around 1990 in the U.S. Southwest, migration resurfaced in a session on Mesa Verde-Rio Grande at the Fourth Southwest … Continue reading

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Texts and Contexts

In archaeology, context is everything.  Or, so I’ve been told. Archaeological “context” means at least two different things.  One is depositional: what was found where, with what?  That is, “context” is association.   The other meaning comes from CRM: a “historic … Continue reading

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Has Ritual Become a Religion?

Two recent essays on Chaco take issue with interpretations which underwrite my posts here: Stephen Plog’s (2011) “Ritual and Cosmology in the Chaco Era” and Barbara Mills’ (2012) “The Archaeology of the Greater Southwest.”  Besides not much liking my interpretations, … Continue reading

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La Maladie Francaise

Please read “About“! I have from time to time disparaged French social philosophy.  It’s not so much the content (it’s that too), but rather the language.  To paraphrase Professor Higgins, the French don’t care what they say actually, so long … Continue reading

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Please read “About” I was puzzled and somewhat embarrassed by the reactions of many archaeologists to Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997) and Collapse (2005).  Diamond reaches large and potentially influential readerships, and he uses archaeology to make points … Continue reading

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Cycles — Their Rise and Fall

PLEASE READ “ABOUT“! The Pecos System, promulgated in 1928, offered a Whiggish account of Pueblo pre-history, every day in every way, better and better.  Stage by Pecos stage, step by step, the people who would become Pueblos acquired first corn, … Continue reading

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Urbanism in the Southwest!

PLEASE READ “ABOUT“! “Montezuma’s Castle” and “Cliff Palace” began as cowboy enthusiasms, fanciful names for dramatic ruins.  Today those names are merely tourist bait.  The Park Service greets you with denials and corrections: it’s NOT a castle, it’s NOT a … Continue reading

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