Nature and Antiquities
The Making of Archaeology in the Americas
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 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 sociopolitical 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.
“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