Applied Archaeology in the Americas: Evaluating Archaeological Solutions to the Impacts of Global Environmental Change
Jago Cooper and Lindsay Duncan
This chapter considers the role of archaeology in creating solutions for coping with the impacts of global environmental change, illustrated by cases from Latin America. Past examples of the practical application of pre-Columbian innovations and techniques are considered, and the key themes of social practice and community engagement discussed. These principles are then applied to the islands of the Caribbean where archaeology can play an important role in accessing and illuminating pre-Columbian lifeways in the region. The comparative resilience of past and present lifeways to the hazards created by extreme weather events, precipitation variability, and sea level changes are discussed, and the role of archaeology as a means of engaging the public, stimulating discussion, and informing debate is considered.
Sarah H. Parcak
This chapter examines a number of current practices relating to the use of geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing, including developments in LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) in landscape archaeology. It explains landscape archaeology and what it encompasses; whether remote sensing and GIS are a formal part of landscape archaeology; whether GIS and remote sensing are the same or completely different subfields; and whether remote sensing covers both satellite and ground-based remote sensing. Also discussed are challenges faced by archaeologists with regards to the application of landscape archaeology. The article also considers the applications of ground-based remote sensing, GIS, photogrammetry, satellite remote sensing, and LiDAR in landscape archaeology; ethical issues in landscape archaeology; the problem of archaeological site looting; the use of open source data; and citizen science approaches to landscape archaeology. Finally, it reflects on the future prospects for landscape archaeology.
Alice V. M. Samson
The house is arguably the most significant material-culture category in anthropology and archaeology. In archaeology, house-centred approaches are popular because through the house and its associated features, the house represents a living entity, produced through past routines and practices. The focus of household archaeology is the realm of the domestic social group, which does not always imply the excavation of houses per se but stretches into other fields of social and community activity. This article suggests that the household archaeology of the pre-Columbian Caribbean is an area ripe for development. Both theoretically and methodologically, the development of household-level research questions and extensive excavation has the potential to make significant advances in understanding of the social and cultural dynamics of the earliest to the latest pre-Columbian communities.