With the Bay of Bengal littoral as its focus, this chapter reviews the archaeological evidence for human expansions, migrations, formation of exchange networks, long-distance trade, political impulses, and transmissions of technocultural traditions in deep time, from around 5000 bc to 500 ad. In doing so, the author offers the idea of the Bay of Bengal Interaction Sphere, a “neutral” model of analysis that sets aside the constraints of the old Indianization debate for South-Southeast Asian interaction and situates the Bay within a broader global framework extending from the Mediterranean to the Far East in a new narrative of contact and change.
The French colony of Acadia, located in what is now the Maritime Provinces of Canada and part of the State of Maine, has long attracted the attention of writers and scholars. Immigrating to the region in the early seventeenth century, the Acadian colonists established a viable agricultural economy without alienating the region’s indigenous peoples. Despite these achievements, imperial politics brought war to the region in the mid-eighteenth century, and saw most of the French inhabitants removed by force. Historical archaeology is helping to recover details of this early Canadian immigrant experience, but the task is complicated by a scholarly tradition dominated by romanticism and myth. This chapter surveys the development of historical archaeology in reference to the Acadians in Nova Scotia, noting how archaeology has helped reframe understandings of this colonial experience, and suggesting ways to carry the project further.
Dawn M. Hadley
This chapter will explore how children experienced a sense of community and family within the context of migration, focusing on case studies from the nineteenth century and the Viking Age. In particular, the chapter will look at two main migratory contexts: transnational and internal migration. There has been extensive research on migration in diverse contexts and time periods by archaeologists, but the experiences of children of migration have largely been unexplored. Analysis of recent migrations, principally by social scientists, has highlighted the distinctive experiences that children may have of migration, and revealed that children are often important mediators of the ensuing cultural interaction and assimilation, being particularly socially adept at extending adult social networks in new settings. Children can, indeed, be shown to shape the migratory experience in fundamental ways.
Katie A. Hemer and Jane A. Evans
Stable isotope analysis is firmly established as a method for the investigation of past population mobility. The distinction between local and non-local individuals within a cemetery population relies on identifying an individual’s place of childhood residence through the analysis of strontium and oxygen isotopes present in human tooth enamel. Traditionally, studies investigating mobility focus on the analysis of a single tooth. More recently, however, it has become apparent that in order to investigate the mobility of an individual during childhood—and thus to consider the importance of children in the migration process—it is necessary to analyse a series of teeth which form at different stages during the early years of life. This chapter will consider the potential of—and challenges surrounding—this scientific approach to the investigation of childhood mobility in the past.
Peter S. Wells and Naoise Mac Sweeney
Iron Age Europe, once studied as a relatively closed, coherent continent, is being seen increasingly as a dynamic part of the much larger, interconnected world. Interactions, direct and indirect, with communities in Asia, Africa, and, by the end of the first millennium AD, North America, had significant effects on the peoples of Iron Age Europe. In the Near East and Egypt, and much later in the North Atlantic, the interactions can be linked directly to historically documented peoples and their rulers, while in temperate Europe the evidence is exclusively archaeological until the very end of the prehistoric Iron Age. The evidence attests to often long-distance interactions and their effects in regard to the movement of peoples, and the introduction into Europe of raw materials, crafted objects, styles, motifs, and cultural practices, as well as the ideas that accompanied them.
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.
Andrew P. Fitzpatrick
Migration has long been one of the defining themes of the pre-Roman Iron Age in Europe. Classical authors record migrations by Celtic peoples into Italy and Greece in the fourth and third centuries BC and their testimonies are corroborated by archaeological evidence. Much work has focused on these events and on mass migration in particular. As a result the archaeological study of migration and mobility is weakly theorized and the subject has been unfashionable in most recent western European scholarship. However, migration and mobility in the pre-Roman Iron Age took many forms, from individual marriages to the establishment of Greek colonies in western Europe and the mass migration of Germanic peoples in the second and first centuries BC. The reasons for mobility are varied, but the archaeological and historical sources are clear and consistent in showing that migration was a dynamic and important feature of the pre-Roman Iron Age.
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.