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Contrast how archaeology was done and its theoretical concerns

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1.  Contrast how archaeology was done and its theoretical concerns at the start of the 20th Century with how it was undertaken and the theoretical concerns at the end of the Century.

Early archaeologists saw Native American societies as primitive and unchanging.  This let them view skeletal remains and religious artifacts as collectible objects of no meaning to the Native Americans.  Skulls were examined to prove that Native Americans were racially inferior and naturally doomed to extinction. By the beginning of the 20th Century, archaeologists recognized the cultural development of Native Americans and their distinct histories.

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  Early 20th Century archeologists probably knew the Native Americans as people and not just as objects of study, since they had to live among them to do their work. Scientists became interested in reconstructing prehistoric ways of life.  As time passed, archeologists changed their emphasis from the cultural and historical development of Native Americans to exploration of cultures and ecological variables.  This methodology presented archaeological findings in universal, general findings rather than as relevant to specific tribes in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

  This remoteness of scientific findings removed the scientists from having to consider the feelings of Native Americans about the excavation of their ancestors’ graves and how their tribal pasts were represented in scientific findings.

Archeologists and Native Americans have a relationship largely characterized by poor communications and a lack of mutual respect.  Since the 1970’s, with the development of cultural resources management, archeology has been removed from the realm of universities into a contractual arrangement.  In 1979, the Archaeological Resources and Protection Act required consent of Indian tribes before federal permits could be issued for excavation of removal of materials from Indian lands.  NAGPRA also gives Native Americans property rights in grave goods and the right to retrieve human remains removed from federal and  Indian lands.  Virtually all archaeological investigations on federal or tribal lands in the United States now require consultation with Native Americans.

Modern theoretical concerns include management of cultural properties as historical sites, such that ethnographic and historical data are included  in reports.  Findings are sometimes required to remain confidential.  Traditional cultural properties, especially sacred sites, must be minimally disrupted and cultural resources maintained.  This is difficult, because many archaeologists today are not trained in other subfields, such as ethnology and linguistics.

2.  Summarize Native Americans’ objections to the practice of archaeology and some archaeologists’ objections to NAGPRA (Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990).

Native Americans did not want their burial sites excavated and therefore desecrated for the sake of scientific research.  If skeletons and artifacts were removed, they wanted these things reburied appropriately.  They wanted to be able to control the activities of archaeologists and make them responsible for protection of their cultural resources and for restoring the excavated lands.  Some Native Americans mistrusted archaeology because of its historical association with desecration of graves and removal of cultural property.  They disagreed with archaeological theories that conflicted with traditional history, such as the oral history of a  Bering land bridge migration.  They did not like the attitude of archeologists who thought they had a superior, scientific view of the past.  Many Native Americans in South America feared archaeologists would reconstruct their national identities.  Also, the practice of renaming archaeological sites from their traditional names tended to dispossess Indians from their identity.

Native Americans also resented the European concept of “prehistory”.  This term was used to imply that Native American oral traditions were not history, and they had no known history until the Europeans arrived.  This devalued Native American historical concepts and was seen as a scientific effort to displace Native American oral historians as well as the Native Americans.

Many archaeologists think that the rift between themselves and Native Americans is larger than it is.  There is also disagreement over what are “human remains”.  Reburial of human remains involves a potential loss of date because reanalysis is not possible.  Native Americans need to be more forgiving of archaeologist’s errors in practice and thinking in the past and present and work with them to develop effective joint programs.

3.  How has NAGPRA affected the practice of archaeology today?

Archaeologists have had to rethink their methodology, goals, and findings.  They have had to talk to and reach agreements with Native Americans.  For example, by discussing the reburial issue, scientists have a greater understanding of the underlying issue – how opposing scientific and Native American worldviews can be reconciled through negotiations.  Researchers are developing a multi-tiered methodology permitting reconstruction of past events and processes for a better understanding of Native American religion, power, authority structure, gender roles, and treatment of the dead.  Archeologists have also been forced to recognize that while they see time as lineal, many Native Americans perceive time differently.  The past and present can co-exist through contemporary traditions, rituals, and spiritual activities.  Many Native American cultures have a multi-level world view, with different levels of underworld and earth and heavens.  Archeologists must also consider existing Native American religions and their basic concerns.  We can no longer say that there is only one true religion.

Archaeologists and Native Americans are working together to form new partnerships.  By doing so, the Native Americans can use findings to learn about their past that is not otherwise preserved.  Native Americans protect their archeological records as ancestral legacies.  Archaeologists protect the past to use the records as a source of scientific data.

Archeologists have to think about the consequences of their work.  Just because Native American religions are different, they can no longer assume they do not reflect some fundamental trusts.  What is the relationship between science and religion?  There is also a question of priorities.  Reburial of remains removes important information from future generations.  Is this so important that we create tension and hatred among the races?

More and more field programs have emerged as joint efforts between universities and tribes investigating the past and the present together.  Archaeologists have approached tribes with genuine interest in learning about the past both through oral history and scientific research.

4.  Compare and contrast the Anasazi site of Chaco Canyon, NM, with the independent cultural tradition that evolved at the site of Casas Grandes, Mexico.

Anasazi:  The Anasazi were the ancestors of the Pueblo.  They build large, multi-roomed cliff dwellings constrained by caves and rock overhangs under which they sheltered. Some communities reached considerable size.  There was considerable ritual activity and organized actions to implement water-control works and other communal projects.  Their main houses were in Mesa Verde, north and northwest of the San Juan Basin, New Mexico, where the environment was lusher and wetter than most of the Southwest, with natural juniper and pinon vegetation and natural springs and seeps. The communities typically sheltered an extended family with both surface villages and subterranean pit houses.  By the 12th century, households moved into large towns by river banks, into sheltered valleys, and into the natural rock shelters in the walls of deep canyons.   The community grew rapidly in the 12th and 13th centuries and was abandoned by 1300.  The people dispersed and joined distant communities elsewhere that developed a sophisticated irrigation agriculture.

Casas Grandes:  This is in Paquime, northern Mexico, in a relatively high altitude basis and range country in a valley.  The initial settlement was 20 or more house clusters, each with a plaza and enclosing wall. It became the nucleus of the most developed and centralized people in the prehistoric Southwest.  Here, the people lived in single-story adobe houses.  The settlement had a water system.  During the 13th Century, the entire settlement was rebuilt into multi-storied adobe apartment complexes.  The settlement was the largest that ever existed in the prehistoric Southwest.  The town included sports arenas, a market area, a water-storage system in the center of town, and an area for production of crafts.  The water supply system was unique in the New World, being a canal network that carried water from warm springs 2.2 miles to the northwest into a settling tank from which small channels took water into the rooms.  There was an out flowing sewer and ditch systems that removed fluids from the rooms.

Casas Grandes was a major link in a trading network for macaw ad turkey feathers in Northern Mexico and the Southwestern United States.  They also traded in turquoise.  There seems to have been an elite class that accumulated and traded macaw, shell, and copper goods, contributing to thought that the city is believed to have had many political factions.  The town and its influence disappeared in about 100 years.

5.  Define the encomienda and repartimiento systems implemented during the Spanish colonial era in New Spain.

The encomienda system was the Spanish model of feudalism created to fit the needs of their colonization of New Spain and the Caribbean colonies.  The “encomienda” itself was a grant of Indians within a geographic region given to an “encomendero”, the Spaniard who received the Indians.  The Spanish justification was originally to indoctrinate the Indians into the Catholic faith.  It became away for the Spaniard to exploit and utilize the Indians for his own ends.

The repartimientas were the group of Indians first divided for an encomendero.  It would appear that the repartimientas would be a tribe and the encomendero a group.  The system did not involve a land grant even though the Indians were used to work the land.  The Spanish justified the system through their goal of looking after the welfare of the natives by educating and converting them.  The Indians were supposed to be paid but seldom were.  The grant of Indians was originally not to be for more than 2 to 3 years, but it soon became a form of slavery with the Spaniards demanding tributes from the Indians and abusing them when it was not paid.  The Spaniards habitually used the Indians to work the mines and killed of their labor faster than it could be resupplied.

6.  What was the Pueblo revolt of 1680?

The Spanish friars in New Mexico were determined to convert the Pueblo Indians to Christianity, even by force.  There were significant differences in basic beliefs.  The Pueblos respected the earth and could not share the Spanish view that the natural world was an economic resource.  The Pueblos also defined their personal identities in reference to their communities, emphasizing collective values instead of individualism.  Christianity as forced upon the Pueblos included some degree of voluntary belief and personal morality, a combination of faith and works and individual responsibility.  There were no such thoughts in Pueblo life.  Everybody belonged to the group.  Christianity as preached involved separation of the Indians into the baptized and non-baptized.  Catholic church membership cut through families, clans, and societies.  Christianity’s major threat to Pueblo life was that it offered salvation only to individuals.

The friars believed that their ethical guidelines derived from biblical and theological tradition.  The Pueblos derived their sense of duty from the local community and its pragmatic needs. As the friars tried to convert the Pueblos, and the latter continued to follow their own views of right conduct, these fundamental differences became apparent.  The Spanish message of sin, divine redemption, and sacramental aids to salvation was not well received.

The Spanish next tried to convert the Pueblos by force, since they were now convinced that all native beliefs were superstitions and native behavior was depraved.  Indians were barbarians, lacking any civilized notion of law, morality, or proper worship.  They sought to eradicate every vestige of Indian conduct and to fill the vacuum with Catholic doctrine and practice.  The Spaniards burned the Pueblos’ sacred masks, dance costumes, and other items and forbade all features of Pueblo religious ceremonies. Natives who accepted Christianity were given Spanish names and taught to speak Spanish.  The Spaniards denounced the Indians’ belief in divorce and required daily attendance at mass.

The mild mannered Pueblos rarely openly expressed their discontent.  Then a unique set of events brought intercultural relations to a breaking point.  There was an extended drought in New Mexico from 1667-1672.  When crops failed, the Indians questioned Spanish assurances that their Trinitarian god would bless their agriculture.  Next there was a plague.  By now the Pueblos were certain that the Christian deity was no better at preventing epidemics that providing good weather.  The Pueblos were also raided by the Navajos and the Apaches.  Famine, disease, and attacks from marauders convinced most Pueblos that they had serious erred in accepting elements of the Spanish intruders’ religion.

Juan Francisco de Trevino became the Spanish governor over New Mexico and placed his office and forces at the disposal of the missionaries.  The Pueblos were returning to their native religion. Trevino swore to destroy the native religion, and arrested 47 prominent Indians for bewitching a clergyman.  One Pueblo committed suicide.  The Spaniards hung three others, beat the rest, and then freed them.  Among the survivors was a Tewa religious leader named Pope, from the pueblo of San Juan.  He used distant Taos as his secret headquarters to persuade leaders in other towns to ally against the Spaniards.

The united Pueblos struck in early August of 1680.  They divided the Spanish forces and sent the southern contingent downriver. Then they took Santa Fe, where the rest were garrisoned.  All the Spaniards fled south to El Paso.  The Pueblo expelled the Spaniards from a land where they were not welcome, but killed 21 of 33 missionary friars.  Most historians believe that the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 was the single most successful act of resistance by Native Americans against the European invaders.

7.  Name the two O’odham tribes that currently live in Arizona and how they differ.

1) Pima people are farmers.  They are sedentary, dependent on agriculture in their permanent  villages along Gila, Santa Cruz and San Pedro rivers. They were pioneers in the use of canal networks to irrigate their fields to grow corn, beans, squash, and cotton.  They cultivated agave and native plants, hunted rabbit and deer, and gathered mesquite beans, saguaro and cactus fruits.

2) Tohono O’odham (formerly Papago) inhabit the desert areas of southern Arizona south of the Mogollom Rim.  The original settlements were ball courts and platform mounds with ritual significance.  Their houses were mud structures around shallow pits, with sets of 2-4 dwellings around a central plaza, suggesting family relationship.  They cooked and stored food in ceramic vessels ranging in buff to light brown colors, some decorated with red paint designs.  They are known as mobile hunters and plant gatherers.  Their nation is now 2.8 million acres, including an Industrial Park near Tucson.  The lands are within the Sonoran Desert with Sells functioning as the capital. They have a functioning government with council members.

8.  Navajo tradition describes the emergence of people into this, the fifth world. Various colors and cardinal directions are associated with particular elements in this world.

Fire                 Rainbow        East

Breath            Blue

Twilight         Yellow                        West

Light               White

9.  In what state did Apache leader Geronimo die?

Oklahoma

Cite this Contrast how archaeology was done and its theoretical concerns

Contrast how archaeology was done and its theoretical concerns. (2016, Jul 09). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/contrast-how-archaeology-was-done-and-its-theoretical-concerns/

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