Nature and Antiquities

The Making of Archaeology in the Americas

Philip L. Kohl (Editor), Irina Podgorny (Editor), Stefanie Gänger (Editor)
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Nature and Antiquities examines the relation between the natural sciences, anthropology, and archaeology in the Americas in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Taking the reader across the Americas from the Southern Cone to Canada, across the Andes, the Brazilian Amazon, Mesoamerica, and the United States, the book explores the early history of archaeology from a Pan-American perspective.
 
The volume breaks new ground by entreating archaeologists to acknowledge the importance of ways of knowing that resulted from the study of nature in the history of archaeology. Some of the contributions to this volume trace the part conventions, practices, and concepts from natural history and the natural sciences played in the history and in the making of the discipline. Others set out to uncover, reassemble, or adjust our vision of collections that research historians of archaeology have disregarded or misrepresented—because their nineteenth-century makers would refuse to comply with today’s disciplinary borders and study natural specimens and antiquities in conjunction, under the rubric of the territorial, the curious or the universal. Other contributions trace the socio-political implications of studying nature in conjunction with “indigenous peoples” in the Americas—inquiring into what it meant and entailed to comprehend the inhabitants of the American continent in and through a state of nature.

"Nature & Antiquities offers readers an episodic history of the pre-Columbian Americas as it emerged in the writings of a wide range of actors over centuries. Guiding readers through the fluid intellectual space in which antiquities and nature were assigned meanings that mattered for contemporaries, this collection is a welcome addition to the global history of the sciences."—H. Glenn Penny, Professor of History, University of Iowa


“A fascinating collection of fine-grained studies that examine the relationship of archaeology in the Americas to the biographical, historical, political and epistemological conditions that shaped its development over two centuries. Anyone wishing to understand the subtleties of archaeology in the contexts of colonialism, nation-building and natural science would do well to start with this book.”—Curtis M. Hinsley, co-author of Frank Hamilton Cushing and the Hemenway Southwestern Archaeological Expedition
Nature and Antiquities
248 Pages 6 x 9 Published: 2014 Hardcover (9780816531127)
Ebook (9780816598557)

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