Bruno David, Lara Lamb, and Jack Kaiwari
Mobility concerns the ways and logics of movement from place to place. Understanding hunter-gatherer mobility across the landscape is always located in the ontology of the observer, and must therefore take into account the perspectives from which we try to make sense of past mobility. This article explores and critiques past and current approaches to landscapes of mobility, and present future directions, reflecting on implications for how we have come to construct very particular understandings of the past. It concludes by discussing how archaeological modelling constructs its own myths based on ontological pre-understandings, and the role that the archaeology of landscapes of hunter-gatherer mobility has played in this.
Catherine M. Cameron and Scott G. Ortman
Movement is a fundamental concept among Native peoples of the American Southwest, and early archaeologists adopted a strong interest in migration from Native groups with whom they interacted. Over the past two decades, southwest archaeologists have made significant contributions to method and theory in migration studies, including ways of identifying migrants as they move across the landscape, the ways in which migrants interact with Indigenous residents, and the size of migrating groups. Study has focused especially on the vast thirteenth- through fifteenth-century population movements that resulted in dramatic changes in population distribution, particularly in the northern Southwest. The passage of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) initiated a re-engagement with contemporary Native peoples that has transformed perspectives on the relative importance of movement (and sedentism) and has produced new understandings of how social identity was constructed in the ancient Southwest.
Craig N. Cipolla
This chapter considers the current state and future of archaeological studies of Native American diaspora and ethnogenesis. It begins with an exploration of the broader literature concerning diaspora and ethnogenesis, comparing these branches of scholarship with the specific conditions—epistemological, historical, and political—of archaeologies of indigenous North America. The challenges and benefits of studying Native American diaspora and ethnogenesis are highlighted. The future of such studies is explored in relation to recent moves toward post-humanism that challenge archaeologists to ask crucial questions on who and what constitutes a community. Drawing briefly upon several case studies throughout, the essay places most emphasis on the diaspora and ethnogenesis of the Brothertown Indians. It concludes that notions of diaspora and ethnogenesis stand to make important contributions to the decolonization of indigenous history in both academic and public venues.
Davide Marco Zori
The Norse discovery and settlement of Iceland in the late ninth century AD offers a test case for the study of human impacts on previously unoccupied landscapes and the formation of new societies under challenging conditions. The Norse Viking Age settlement of the island serves as a cautionary tale about the anthropogenic destruction of fragile environments, while simultaneously providing lessons about the strategic management of marginal ecosystems and nuanced examples of societal evolution and secondary state formation. Archaeological investigation of these processes is complemented by oral traditions preserved in the Icelandic sagas. Although researchers debate the proper use of the sagas, the strength of recent research is its interdisciplinary nature, combining a suite of available tools of inquiry.
Natalie Franklin and Philip J. Habgood
This chapter traces early expressions of symbolic behaviour:—rock art, personal ornaments, occurrences of ochre, notational pieces, and mortuary practices—across the southern arc dispersal route of modern humans out of Africa to Sahul, from some 70–60,000 years ago. These aspects of symbolic behaviour do not display a consistent pattern of appearance along the southern arc, and dates for their appearance/preservation do not become progressively more recent as modern humans moved east out of Africa. These results are explained using the demographic, social, and symbolic framework proposed to account for geographical and chronological patterning observed in the ‘package’ of traits reflecting modern human behaviour. In this model, the appearance of symbolic behaviour is determined by levels of local/regional population pressure necessitating (or not) the need for identity signalling, ‘bonding’ behaviour/open social networks, and ‘bounding’ or emblemic behaviour/closed social networks.