Contributions of Feminism to Archaeological Theory

Introduction
In its stages of conception, archaeology was considered to be merely a sub-discipline of both history and anthropology, and, in many cases, was restricted as a rich man’s hobby. Developed during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the initial episode in the history of theoretical archaeology is usually referred to as ‘culture history’, a means by which early archaeologists established rudimentary predictive models patterning human behaviour within designated temporal and spatial contexts via the interpretation of artefactual evidence.

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Though universally popular during the first half of the twentieth century, culture history was rebelled against during the 1960s. Perceived as restrictive due to its reliance on categorisation of artefacts the paradigms of culture history were abandoned in favour of the newly developed school of thought known as ‘New Archaeology’. In an attempt to incorporate a level of scientific reasoning to anthropological archaeology, these primarily American archaeologists, chiefly Lewis Binford and his associates, moved away from simple descriptions of the past in favour of questioning why cultures developed and adopting hypothesis evaluations (Renfrew and Bahn, 1996). The scientific basis and reliance of New Archaeology instigated the widespread development of processual archaeology.
Two decades later, processualism’s focus on science and impartiality were increasingly questioned. Led by Ian Hodder, Michael Shanks and Christopher Tilley, a new approach to theoretical archaeology emerged, which emphasised the necessity of relativism in archaeological investigation (Shanks and Tilley, 1992). This methodology, known as post-processualism, however, has been criticised by proponents of processualism and New Archaeology for abandoning scientific competency and rigour, and the debate over the most appropriate theoretical approach to any archaeological analysis is still much in evidence.
Theoretical archaeology now relies on a wide range of influences. During the 1970s and 80s, gender-related and feminist archaeology became popular among those archaeologists seeking a post-processual approach to cultural identity. Though phenomenology, post-modernism, and post-processualism are still discussed in the literature and relied upon to evaluate cultural diversity, feminist archaeology is, for the most part, unique in focusing on the collection of evidence of female social roles in past cultures and their influence in developing and sculpting individual societies (Gilchrist, 1998).
Archaeological theory
It is possible to summarise the history of how archaeology has been conducted in the twentieth century into three expansive concepts; predominantly description, explanation, and interpretation (Trigger, 1989). The chronological sequencing methodologies, encouraged by the culture history approach, allowed the description and ordering of artefacts using stratigraphic excavation and stylistic seriation, particularly with regard to ceramics and lithics. Though much disregarded following the development of processual and post-processual archaeology, the descriptive approach of culture history dominated the majority of the twentieth century, and successfully produced charts and maps of cultures based upon artefacts and stratigraphic sequences which are still relied on as initial datasets for investigation (Hodder and Hutson, 2003).
Arguing for a new recognition of the processes behind the evidence obtained from the archaeological record, the development of complex processual archaeology encouraged many advocating theorists to analyse the evidence away from simple classifications and to view the archaeological record from a taphonomical viewpoint. Proponents of behavioural archaeology, such as Michael Schiffer (1983, 1995), argued that the culture history assumption of artefacts existing as in situ fossils restricted the comprehensive analysis of archaeology to categorisation alone. Processualism criticised culture history, and Binford’s early statement that artefacts were “fossils” upon which past reconstructions could easily be made (Renfrew and Bahn, 1996), for epistemological simplicity. The recognition that much of the value of evidence from the archaeological record was being lost through the collection approach of culture history necessitated a review and reassessment of the methodology of archaeological investigation, which, in turn, illustrated the problematic approaches of processualism with regard to the rigid, ethnocentric tenets of scientific archaeologists. Archaeology, it was criticised, saw what it wanted to see and moulded the evidence to fit ethnically biased hypotheses, predominantly a result of the domination of Caucasian male scientists within the field during the 1980s. For example, feminist archaeologists emphasised the androcentric approaches of theoretical archaeology by denouncing statements, from male archaeologists, that the commonly-cited Venus figurines of Europe represented the palaeolithic equivalent of pornography. During the era of processualism, a new-found movement of feminist archaeology began questioning the cultural presence of females in the archaeological record, debating their very existence at all (Conkey and Spector, 1984; Wylie, 1991).
Feminist archaeology
The exploration of the social status of genders in the past is the all-encompassing drive behind feminist archaeology. Though it has only recently become a field of study in its own right, the interest in prehistoric matriarchy stems largely from the nineteenth century, particularly with regard to claims made by J. J. Bachofen in 1861 and Frederick Engels in 1884. Engels and Bachofen proposed that matriarchy formed an important, universal phase in human culture after an initial stage of promiscuity and prior to what was termed ‘the world historic defeat of the female sex’ (Key and MacKinnon, 2000).
Engels suggested an early stage in human development was characterised by group marriage, with descent traced through women and matrilocality. Women had supremacy in the household and their high status derived from their central position within the social relations of production (Conkey and Gero, 1997), however, these conclusions were based not on archaeological evidence but on ancient myths and ethnographic cases. Marija Gimbutas’s interpretation of Early Neolithic farming communities as matrifocal and probably matrilinear, egalitarian and peaceful, worshipping a supreme goddess, is a result of her research into the symbolism of female figurines and statuary from household contexts in south-east Europe and the Near East (Gimbutas, 1974, 1989, 1991).
Although unsupported by many archaeologists, her views have become unassailable for certain ecofeminist groups, and at least contrast with the androcentric evaluation of hunt scene cave art. The analyses of Palaeolithic figurines illustrate that differences in ethnological and epistemological approach potentially result in hugely varying disparities in the interpretative conclusions of particular artefacts, sites, and periods in history and prehistory. Overall, applying concepts of gender to all aspects of a specific culture is profoundly more productive than the restricted, narrow approaches of New Archaeology and culture history. It is important to archaeological interpretation that multiple varieties of gender, and their associated arrangements within a given culture, are illustrated and emphasised, in contrast to the previous assumption of a single dichotomy between proactive male and passive female roles.
Feminist archaeologists, in general, have aspired to determining the quantity of genders in past societies, with particular regard to the engendering of biological sex. The most reliable sources of this data, as purported by many feminist archaeologists, are from funerary deposits. However, this data is frequently invisible or vague within the archaeological record, and the differentiation between the dichotomy of the biological status of sex and the cultural status of gender remains problematic.
Furthermore, feminist archaeologists claim that a false dichotomy between the genders, often referred to as labour division, exists. Within modern indigenous and developed cultures, men and women are often assigned different functions within the community, and it is reasonable to assume that this division existed in the past, however, there is significant dislocation between gender-specific roles in most cultures. Feminist archaeology has contributed greatly to the umbrella field of archaeology by encouraging an avoidance of the polarisation of genders, thereby providing more subtle and comprehensive understanding of societies (Bem, 1993).
Feminist archaeology has therefore contributed greatly to the understanding of archaeological interpretation. It has encouraged new questions and new methodological approaches to data sets, and has revolutionised observations and analyses of existing data, particularly with emphasis on removing bias from interpretation. In contrast to the assumptions purported by other schools of theoretical archaeology, feminism has critiqued and argued against presumed concepts, encouraging the application of epistemological analysis to gender roles. By challenging preconceived ideology regarding the interaction between men and women within past societies, feminist archaeology adopts a refreshingly questioning approach in contrast to the previous interpretation of sites based on current modern attitudes, practices and socio-cultural biases.
Conclusion
Unfortunately, there is no single consensus on the definition of feminism and feminist theory, and, therefore, it is unrealistic to portray feminist archaeology as a homogeneous, ideologically-coherent framework. As a movement of resistance and struggle against male oppression for women’s empowerment, theoretical feminist objectives include a critique of female status in past societies and the definition of gender difference for women. Initial rethinking of the new female history, anthropology and archaeology focused on the countering of androcentric narratives, the recognition of powerful individual women in the past, the search for matriarchies in past societies, and the redressing of the balance hitherto ignored by theoretical archaeology. Sørensen (1992) has outlined three predominant categories of archaeological sources most useful for pursuing archaeologies of gender: burial activities, individual appearance through costume, particularly from funerary contexts, and some types of art.
Though this is a short analysis of the benefit of feminism to archaeological theory and practice, details given here illustrate several ways that a feminist stance can improve and contribute to archaeological interpretations. In comparison to the previously biased analysis of singularly male roles within prehistory, feminist archaeology offers the opportunity to consider all aspects of men and women, particularly roles, status, and contemporary perceptions, from a balanced perspective. Many theoretical archaeologists now believe this to be essential to a comprehensive understanding of past societies. Economic relationships between communities, political structures, and ideological status are affected by our often biased interpretation of gender roles, and feminism, above all other schools of archaeological theory, attempts to desegregate the prejudiced views of gender superiority and inferiority, allowing clarity of interpretation, and giving a voice to the hitherto ignored female sections of past societies.
Bibliography
Bem, S. (1993) The Lenses of Gender. New Haven, Yale University PressConkey, M. W. and Spector, J. D (1984) Archaeology and the study of gender. Advances in Archaeological Methods and Theory 7: 1-38Conkey, M. W. and Gero, J. M. (1997) Programme to practice: Gender and Feminism in Archaeology. Annual Review of Anthropology 26: 411-437Gilchrist, R. (1998) Women’s archaeology?: political feminism, gender theory and historical revision. In Hays-Gilpin, K. and Whitley, D. (eds.) Reader in Gender Archaeology. London, RoutledgeGimbutas, M. (1974) The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe: myths and cult images. London, Thames and HudsonGimbutas, M. (1989) The Language of the Goddess. London, Thames and HudsonGimbutas, M. (1991) The Civilisation of the Goddess. New York, Harper Collins.Hodder, I. and Hutson, S. (2003) Reading the Past: Current Approaches to Interpretation in Archaeology. Cambridge, Cambridge University PressKey C.J. and MacKinnon J.J. (2000) A Feminist Critique of Recent Archaeological Theories and Explanations of the Rise of State-Level Societies. DialecticalAnthropology 25(2): 109-121Renfrew, C. and Bahn, P. (1996) Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practices. London, Thames and HudsonSchiffer, M. B. (1983) Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory. London, Academic Press Inc.Schiffer, M. B. (1995) Behavioural Archaeology. Utah, University of Utah PressShanks, M. and Tilley, C. (1992) Reconstructing Archaeology: Theory and Practice. London, RoutledgeSørensen, M. L. S. (1992) Gender archaeology and Scandinavian Bronze Age studies. Norwegian Archaeological Review 25: 31-49Trigger, B. (1989) A History of Archaeological Thought. Cambridge, Cambridge University PressWylie, A. (1991) Gender theory and the archaeological record: why is there no archaeology of gender? In Gero, J. and Conkey, M. (eds.) Engendering Archaeology: Women and Prehistory. Oxford, Blackwell Publishers
 

Methods to Discover Archaeological Sites

What are the main methods used to discover archaeological sites in the landscape? Critically assess the pros and cons of the methods you identify using relevant examples.
The archaeologist uses a range of techniques to actively discover and locate archaeological sites within the landscape; these methods are non-invasive and non-destructive and fall into four broad categories:

Desk Top Surveys • Surface Surveys
Geophysical and Geochemical surveys • Aerial Surveys (Grant et al, 2002. p5).

In addition to these, some sites may be discovered by chance, for example when quarrying, dredging and peat cutting or simply out in walking in the landscape. These broad categories all complement each other and the most relevant methods in each case will depend on the terrain of the area being investigated and the resources and time available for investigation. Also, the questions being asked and the degree of accuracy required will have an effect on how these techniques are used (Greene. 1991. p54).
Desk Top Surveys:
The desk top survey is office based and uses existing documents such as maps, historical documents, previous archaeological records, pictures and literature, all of which can all provide hints and references to archaeological sites. Maps can be used to locate sites, and are among the most basic resources available to the archaeologist. Early 16th century maps are not always to scale but can be very useful, Ordnance Survey started publishing maps in the early 19th century and, by analysing a succession of maps of an area, much can be learnt from the changes in use of the land and buildings. (Grant et al, 2002. p8). Old tithe maps and terriers, usually found amongst the deeds and papers relating to the ownership and management of estates and properties, may offer insight about forgotten sites (Barker, 1993). Although the majority of early records have not survived, there is still a wide range of available which the archaeologist may find of value. Legal records, including wills and court records, can provide boundaries of ownership and clues to the functions of buildings. The Domesday Book and other tax records and tithe awards can identify the economic use and boundaries of land,

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Pictorial records such photographs paintings, and engravings, and descriptive accounts written in books, diaries and travelogues can all be of value. Of particular interest is the work of William Stukeley (1687 – 1785), an accurate and observant recorder who travelled extensively throughout Britain, and William Camden (1551 – 1623),whose thorough and detailed descriptions were published in the first general guide to the antiquities in Britain, ‘Britannia’ in 1585 (Greene pp24 – 27). These records can be freely found in museums, libraries and private collections and may offer a rare record of an archaeological feature. Details of any previous archaeological excavations, finds and previous survey results are all held in local SMR and national NMR offices and can offer insight into possible sites for exploration.
There is often much truth hidden in the legends and stories of antiquity and a study of these may provide a clue to a forgotten or place. Most traditions and myths are founded on real people and places which, over time, can become exaggerated and unbelievable. (Grant et al. 2002. p8). By sifting the embellishment from these legends the archaeologist is often left with a helpful factual narrative. This is a cheap and effective way of gleaning information, but it can be time consuming. During interviews with local residents in Kythera, Greece a vast amount of anecdotal information was generated on the use of the landscape of the island, its’ abandonment and reuse, and the connections between people, villages and churches which all helped to place archaeological work into context (Johnson & Wilson. 2003).
The desk top survey is of particular value where investigations are part of the planning process to ascertain whether there are likely to be archaeological remains which could be lost or threatened as a part of the building and development of the land. (Grant et al 2002. p6). Many historical records are free to access and can be found in libraries, museums, County Records and Archives Offices, on the internet, at Local and National Sites and Monuments Records offices and in private collections.
Surface Surveys
These are visual surveys which seek to find traces of possible sites and are carried out, most usually, on foot. A surface survey can be systematic or unsystematic, although the most commonly used, is a systematic approach (Renfrew & Bahn. 2008. p78). The purpose is to make a survey of archaeological finds within an area to determine if they might point to past human activity (Lynch. 2006). A grid is normally laid out on the ground to aid mapping and a team of walkers go over each area on the grid, recording sites and finds. The overall record of the types and scatter of the artefacts found can give a good idea of the age of a site and its possible previous uses (Adkins et al 2008).
Fieldwalking is an effective and relatively cheap way of surveying land and has a vital place in the discovery of archaeological sites. Once the finds are identified and analysed, the data can also help to provide information about the date of a site and its possible functions. Results are generally more reliable where the region is walked repeatedly as a long term project (Renfrew & Bahn. 2008. p 79). It does have some limitations in that different fieldwalkers may have differential types of collection across the same sight. Fieldwalking works best on arable land, but needs to be carried out at times in the arable cycle when vegetation is low. (Grant 2002). Tesserae found during field walking at Rowler Manor in Croughton, Northamptonshire led to the discovery in 1991 of a Roman Villa along with a mosaic pavement (Dawson, 2008)
Geochemical and Geophysical Surveys
The activity of humans significantly alters the geochemical composition of soil, and the archaeologist can use chemical testing to determine areas of alteration to the soil by human activity.
The most common geophysical test is phosphate analysis. This chemical is present in most living things and the presence of domesticated animals, people and plants in a landscape will increase the concentration of phosphates in that landscape. Areas of high saturation of phosphates can then be explored further to ascertain the significance of the activity (Renfrew & Bahn. 2008. p105). At Plas Gogerddan, Ceredigion in Wales, geochemical analysis was used to determine that burials on this Early Christian Burial site could be identified using phosphate analysis and possible grave sites of further burials were recorded (Murphy 1992).
Geophysical surveying has developed considerably over the last few years and is used with great success in archaeological site prospection. There are two main methods of geophysical surveying, these are electrical resistively and magnetometery (Bowden 1999. p 120).
Resistivity surveying involves passing an electrical current through probes set into the ground, and is based on the ability of sub-surface materials to conduct that current, Generally, higher resistance features such as buried walls have a limited moisture content and infilled ditches and pits which retain moisture will give lower readings. (Reference)
The technique is especially suited to the discovery of stone structures. Its success is affected by local geology and also the weather conditions. Very dry or very wet conditions, as well as variations in the temperature can affect the quality of the results as they affect rate of flow of the electric current. The resistivity equipment is heavy to use and the survey can take some time to complete, but this is a cost effective method of survey.
Magnetised iron oxides are present in the soil and past human activity alters and redistributes these, creating stronger and weaker responses which can be detected as magnetic anomalies.
It is very portable and good for rapid surveying of land. The results produced can be very detailed and they are very useful for identifying buried ditches, pits, kilns and hearths. (Reference)
The subsoil of the land can influence the results; the most responsive soils being are chalks and limestone. Igneous subsoils are the most difficult to investigate with this technique and the results on clay soils can be erratic.
Resistivity and magnetometry techniques were used in karstic terrains in County Cork, Ireland, which identified the position of a previously unknown cave (Gibson et al, 2004).
A number of newer techniques including Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are also available and becoming popular tools for the archaeologist. GPR was developed for use in defence and engineering. It is an expensive process and is of greatest value where buried deposits are close to the surface of the soil. It has the benefit that it can take readings through tarmac surfaces, and therefore is useful in urban environments (Grant et al. 2002). GIS is a powerful computerised mapping system with the ability to analyse quantitative data, which is useful for plotting scatters of finds and test hypothesis. GIS was effectively used at Tel Shiqmona, Israel, to conduct coastal and marine surveys and to evaluate the potential of Maritime trading with the Phoenicians (Breman. 2003)
Aerial Surveys
The use of aerial photography was pioneered by O G S Crawford, an Archaeologist and Observer in the Royal Flying Corps during Word War 1. Crop marks, soil marks and shadow marks all cause patterns which can be observed from the air. Most aerial photographs for archaeology use are taken at an oblique angle which give better views of a site, although they do distort the perspective. It is important to include a landmark in the photographs in order to provide a fixed point for mapping a site (Riley 1982).
Aerial Photograph of Crook Laithe Settlement, Linton, Yorkshire
This technique is most effective on arable land and upland areas, least effective on heavily ploughed land and ineffective on heavily built up areas and land with plastic covering over crops. Aerial photography is valuable to the archaeologist and an immense number of archaeological discoveries have been made using this method (Riley, 1982). In a survey in Augacatel, Mexico, where heavy jungle prohibited the economical use of ground surveys, 25 photographs were taken revealing up to 63 possible man made structures (Matheny, 1962)
The weather conditions are important and photographs are best taken when the sun is low in the sky (early morning or evening) on a clear day, as the shadow marks will show up best under these conditions (Adkins 2002). The costs of flying are expensive, but since the equipment and film are comparatively cheap and large distances may be covered in one flight, this is an effective and crucial technique to employ in archaeological prospection.
In addition to these techniques, some sites are discovered quite by chance. In 1985, a farmer found a number of bones and a small round lead object on a sandbank in Orkney. After showing his finds to an archaeologist, this lead to the discovery of a Viking boat burial (Towrie 2010). Whilst digging a well, some peasants unearthed fragments of terracotta, which lead to the discovery of arguably, one of the most spectacular discoveries of the 20th century, The Terracotta Army of Qin Shi Huang in China (Tianchou 1996).
The high cost of archaeological excavations mean that it is important for the archaeologist to know where to dig in order to avoid expensive mistakes. The techniques outlined above all assist the archaeologist in the discovery of sites in the landscape, so that future excavations can be carried out in the most cost and time effective manner.
‘It is remarkable how much can be revealed about a site without excavation’ (Greene 1991. p 42).
References
Adkins, R& L and Leitch, V. 2008. The Handbook of British Archaeology (revised edition). London. Constable & Robinson Ltd.
Barker, Philip. 1993. Techniques of Archaeological Excavation. 3rd Edition. London. B.T. Batsford Ltd.
Bowden, Mark (Ed.). 1999. Unravelling the Landscape. An Inquisitive Approach to Archaeology. Stroud. Tempus Publishing Ltd.
Breman, J. Journal of GIS in Archaeology. Volume I. APRIL, 2003. Marine Archaeology goes Underwater with GIS.
Dawson, M. 2008. Northamptonshire Archaeology. Vol 35 2008. Excavation of the Roman Villa and Mosaic at Rowler Manor, Croughton, Northamptonshire p 45 – 93
Gibson, P.J. Lyle P., & George D.M. Aug 2004 Journal of Cave and Karst Studies, v. 66, no. 2, p. 35-38. Application of resistivity and magnetometry geophysical techniques for near-surface investigations in karstic terrains in Ireland.
Grant, J. Gorin, S. & Fleming, N. 2002 The Archaeology Coursebook. London, Routledge
Greene, Kevin, 1991. Archaeology. An Introduction (Revised Edition). London, B T Batsford Ltd.
Johnson, I & Wilson, A. Journal of GIS in Archaeology. Volume I. APRIL, 2003. Making the Most of Maps: Field Survey on the Island of Kythera
Lynch, Tim. Nov 2006, British Heritage; Vol. 27 Issue 5, p52-54, 3p
Matheny, R.T. American Antiquity, Vol. 28, No. 2 (Oct., 1962), pp. 226-230. Value of Aerial Photography in Surveying Archaeological Sites in Coastal Jungle Regions
Published by: Society for American Archaeology Murphy, K. (1992) Archaeological Journal, Vol 149, pp. 1-38.
Renfrew, C & Bahn, P. 2008. Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice. (5th Edition). London, Thames and Hudson Ltd.
Riley, D.N. 1982. Aerial Archaeology in Britain. Aylesbury, Shire Publications Limited.
Tianchou, Fu (ed.) 1996. The Underground Army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. Beijung. New World Press
Towrie, Sigurd: 2010. The Orkney Jar. http://www.orkneyjar.com/history/scarboat/index.html [accessed 8th March2010]
 

Moral Justifications for Archaeological Excavation Sites

Can archaeological excavation of sites not under immediate threat of development or erosion be justified morally? Explore the pros and cons of research (as opposed to rescue and salvage) excavation and non-destructive archaeological research methods using specific examples.
Many people believe that archaeology and archaeologists are mainly concerned with excavation – with digging sites.  This may be the common public image of archaeology, as often portrayed on television, although Rahtz (1991, 65-86) has made clear that archaeologists in fact do many things besides excavate. Drewett (1999, 76) goes further, commenting that ‘it must never be assumed that excavation is an essential part of any archaeological fieldwork’.  Excavation itself is a costly and destructive research tool, destroying the object of its research forever (Renfrew and Bahn 1996, 100).  Of the present day it has been noted that rather than desiring to dig every site they know about, the majority of archaeologists work within a conservation ethic that has grown up in the past few decades (Carmichael et al. 2003, 41).  Given the shift to excavation taking place mostly in a rescue or salvage context where the archaeology would otherwise face destruction and the inherently destructive nature of excavation, it has become appropriate to ask whether research excavation can be morally justified.  This essay will seek to answer that question in the affirmative and also explore the pros and cons of research excavation and non-destructive archaeological research methods.

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If the moral justification of research excavation is questionable in comparison to the excavation of threatened sites, it would seem that what makes rescue excavation morally acceptable is the fact that the site would be lost to human knowledge if it was not investigated.  It seems clear from this, and seems widely accepted that excavation itself is a useful investigative technique.  Renfrew and Bahn (1996, 97) suggest that excavation ‘retains its central role in fieldwork because it yields the most reliable evidence archaeologists are interested in’.  Carmichael et al. (2003, 32) note that ‘excavation is the means by which we access the past’ and that it is the most basic, defining aspect of archaeology.  As mentioned above, excavation is a costly and destructive process that destroys the object of its study.  Bearing this in mind, it seems that it is perhaps the context in which excavation is used that has a bearing on whether or not it is morally justifiable.  If the archaeology is bound to be destroyed through erosion or development then its destruction through excavation is vindicated since much data that would otherwise be lost will be created (Drewett 1999, 76). 
If rescue excavation is justifiable on the grounds that it prevents total loss in terms of the potential data, does this mean that research excavation is not morally justifiable because it is not simply ‘making the best use of archaeological sites that must be consumed’ (Carmichael et al. 2003, 34)?  Many would disagree.  Critics of research excavation may point out that the archaeology itself is a finite resource that must be preserved wherever possible for the future.  The destruction of archaeological evidence through unnecessary (ie non-emergency) excavation denies the opportunity of research or enjoyment to future generations to whom we may owe a custodial duty of care (Rahtz 1991, 139).  Even during the most responsible excavations where detailed records are made, 100% recording of a site is not possible, making any non-essential excavation almost a wilful destruction of evidence.  These criticisms are not wholly valid though, and certainly the latter holds true during any excavation, not only research excavations, and surely during a research project there is likely to be more time available for a full recording effort than during the statutory access period of a rescue project.  It is also debateable whether archaeology is a finite resource, since ‘new’ archaeology is created all the time.  It seems inescapable though, that individual sites are unique and can suffer destruction but although it is more difficult and perhaps undesirable to deny that we have some responsibility to preserve this archaeology for future generations, is it not also the case that the present generations are entitled to make responsible use of it, if not to destroy it?  Research excavation, best directed at answering potentially important research questions, can be done on a partial or selective basis, without disturbing or destroying a whole site, thus leaving areas for later researchers to investigate (Carmichael et al. 2003, 41). Furthermore, this can and should be done in conjunction with non-invasive techniques such as aerial photography, ground, geophysical and chemical survey (Drewett 1999, 76).  Continued research excavation also allows the practice and development of new techniques, without which such skills would be lost, preventing future excavation technique from being improved.
An excellent example of the benefits of a combination of research excavation and non-destructive archaeological techniques is the work that has been done, despite objections, at the Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Sutton Hoo, in eastern England (Rahtz 1991 136-47; Renfrew and Bahn 1996, 98-99).  Excavation originally took place on the site in 1938-39 revealing many treasures and the impression in sand of a wooden ship used for a burial, though the body was not found.  The focus of these campaigns and those of the 1960s were traditional in their approach, being concerned with the opening of burial mounds, their contents, dating and identifying historical connections such as the identity of the occupants.  In the 1980s a new campaign with different aims was undertaken, directed by Martin Carver.  Rather than beginning and ending with excavation, a regional survey was carried out over an area of some 14ha, helping to set the site in its local context. Electronic distance measuring was used to create a topographical contour map prior to other work.  A grass expert examined the variety of grass species on-site and identified the positions of some 200 holes dug into the site.  Other environmental studies examined beetles, pollen and snails.  In addition, a phosphate survey, indicative of likely areas of human occupation, corresponded with results of the surface survey.  Other non-destructive tools were used such as metal detectors, used to map modern rubbish.  A proton magnetometer, fluxgate gradiometer and soil resistivity were all used on a small part of the site to the east, which was later excavated.  Of those techniques, resistivity proved the most informative, revealing a modern ditch and a double palisade, as well as some other features (see comparative illustrations in Renfrew and Bahn 1996, 99).  Excavation later revealed features that had not been remotely detected.  Resistivity has since been used on the area of the mounds while soil-sounding radar, which penetrates deeper than resistivity, is being used on the mounds themselves.  At Sutton Hoo, the techniques of geophysical survey are seen to operate as a complement to excavation, not merely a preliminary nor yet a replacement.  By trialling such techniques in conjunction with excavation, their effectiveness can be gauged and new and more effective techniques developed.  The results at Sutton Hoo suggest that research excavation and non-destructive methods of archaeological research remain morally justifiable.
However, simply because such techniques can be applied efficiently does not mean that excavation should be the priority nor that all sites should be excavated, but such a scenario has never been a likely one due to the usual constraints such as funding.  Besides, it has been noted above that there is already a trend towards conservation.  Continued research excavation at famous sites such as Sutton Hoo, as Rahtz notes (1991, 140-41), is justified since it serves avowedly to develop archaeological practice itself; the physical remains, or shapes in the landscape can be and are restored to their former appearance with the bonus of being better understood, more educational and interesting; such exotic and special sites capture the imagination of the public and the media and raise the profile of archaeology as a whole.  There are other sites that could prove equally good examples of morally justifiable long term research archaeology, such as Wharram Percy (for which see Rahtz 1991, 148-57).  Progressing from a straightforward excavation in 1950, with the aim of showing that the earthworks represented medieval buildings, the site grew to represent much more in time, space and complexity.  Techniques used expanded from excavation to include survey techniques and aerial photography to set the village into a local context.
In conclusion, it can be seen that while excavation is destructive, there is a morally justifiable place for research archaeology and non-destructive archaeological techniques: excavation should not be reduced only to rescue circumstances.  Research excavation projects, such as Sutton Hoo, have provided many positive aspects to the development of archaeology and knowledge of the past.  While excavation should not be undertaken lightly, and non-destructive techniques should be employed in the first place, it is clear that as yet they cannot replace excavation in terms of the amount and types of data provided.  Non-destructive techniques such as environmental sampling and resistivity survey have, provided significant complementary data to that which excavation provides and both should be employed.
BibliographyCarmichael, D.L., Lafferty III, R.H. and Molyneaux, B.L. 2003. Excavation. Walnut Creek and Oxford: Altamira Press.Drewett, P.L. 1999. Field Archaeology: An Introduction. London: UCL Press.Rahtz, P. 1991. Invitation to Archaeology. 2nd edition.  Oxford: Blackwell.Renfrew, C. and Bahn, P.1996. Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice. 2nd edition. London: Thames & Hudson.
 

The Importance of Star Carr Mesolithic Archaeological Site

Star Carr is considered to be an important site for understanding the Mesolithic period. Consider why this situation exists and outline what factors limit the available evidence for hunter- gathers in Britain during this period.
To understand Star Carr, we most place the site in context with the larger Mesolithic landscape of Britain. Is Star Carr important and if so why? What evidence does Star Carr show us of Mesolithic hunter gathers, and what does this evidence suggest. Along with these questions we most also look at how much evidence there is for hunter gathers in Britain and what role Star Carr plays in this evidence. Answering these questions along with, why there is such limited evidence in Britain for Mesolithic hunter gathers is what this essay will look at.

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Star Carr which is located in The Vale of Pickering, Yorkshire, gained the status of ‘Type Site’ after J. G. D. Clark’s excavations which started in 1949. This status placed on Star Carr was mainly for the level of organic preservation, which is unrivalled in any other British Mesolithic site (Hunter & Ralston 2009). The preservation could be largely contributed to the wet environment in which a lot of Clarks finds were recorded from. The wealth of finds Clark recorded at Star Carr included: large amounts of flint (both worked and waste), a birch wood platform on the lakes edge and lots of deer antler along with other animal remains. The finds make the importance of Star Carr unquestionable although how theses finds got there and the purpose of Star Carr is a different argument (Clark 1954).
Star Carr is arguably the most reinterpreted site in European Prehistory. The main areas of reinterpretation seem to be firstly and arguably the most important, which season was Star Carr actually occupied, winter or summer? Clark’s initial interpretation of the evidence led him to believe that the site was a major base camp occupied by four or five families during the winter months. The lack of evidence for fish such as pike at Star Carr which would of been present in the glacial lake Star Carr is situated near could possible show that the site was used during the winter months, as evidence from Europe suggests Mesolithic pike farming was carried out during the summer months. This lack of evidence plus the positive evidence of a large amount of Red deer antlers, approximately 102 mature stag antlers that were recovered from the site is what strongly suggest a winter base camp (Clark 1954). In contrast to this Legge & Rowley-Conway (1988) et al suggest that the function of Star Carr may have been more specialised, such as a hunting camp and not occupied by a whole family or extended family but by five or six hunters.
The second main argument seems to be of the function of Star Carr. Along with the previously mentioned theory by Legge & Rowley-Conway, another explanation for the large amounts of antler found at Starr Carr could be that Star Carr was a specialised industrial site working both antlers for tools and tanning hides for clothes. This would suggest that the antlers were brought to the site to be worked and that Starr Carr is not the kill site. In conjunction with this theory, the recovery of rolls of birch bark, which is believed to of been used as a tanning agent would suggest it was a summer camp and not as Clark thought a winter one. The warmer temperatures would aid in the tanning process as well as making the hides easier to work as the deer would be carrying less fat which would need to be removed from the hides by the hunters (Pitts 1979). This theory seems to be a better evaluation of the evidence as if the site was either a base camp occupied by a family or a hunting camp it would not be unreasonable to find more evidence of butcher and food preparation.
Clark reports evidence for burning of the lake side vegetation. One of the theories for the burning of the lake side vegetation may have been for easy access to the water for canoes. This would enforce the idea of Star Carr as a specialised camp, and the finished goods could have been moved around the lake to other settlement sites (Mellar & Dark 1998). If Clarks theory on Star Carr is correct this would suggest that by burning the vegetation the families at Star Carr were encouraging pray animals close to the camp to eat the fresh growth, making them easy targets. The evidence of a birch wood platform at the lakes edge also suggests a hunting platform may be for hunting flocking birds, and this would also give further evidence to Clark’s theory of a winter camp (Clark 1954). The importance of the platform at Star Carr is not in question only the purpose it was built. The platform is most of the evidence for wooden artefacts from Mesolithic hunters in Britain (Adkins 2006).
The availability of a sustainable food source doesn’t seem to be in question at Star Carr. The evidence for: wolf, deer, pig, beaver and even hedgehog were found along with other remains and a large number of birds such as grebes, ducks, cranes and storks (Clark 1954). Although this evidence does suggest a varied and sustainable food source which would go to supporting Clarks theory, it doesn’t help with the debate of both which months Star Carr was occupied or the primary function of the site.
Along with these main debates other aspects of Star Carr have also attracted differing theories. The duration that Star Carr was in use, plus examining the larger settlement pattern of humans in Mesolithic Britain and the role Star Carr plays in it, as well as the total area of settlement for the site. The debate has been added to since the further excavations that were carried out between 1985 to 1997. One of the most important discoveries of this excavation was to show that the occupation at Star Carr was spread over a much larger area than Clark thought (Mellar&Dark 1998). This evidence plus the differing dates obtained from the new excavation, (10,700 to 10,400 BP compared to Clarks original date of 9488 plus or minus 350 BP) show a difference of a thousand years, do suggest that Star Carr is still not fully understood and will keep posing more questions than giving answers.
To look at Star Carr as a part of the larger picture of Mesolithic hunter gathers in Britain and compare the finds may suggest possible answers to some of the questions surrounding Star Carr. The main problem is the limited amount of sites to compare with Star Carr. One possible site is Thatcham in the Kennet Valley in Berkshire. This site may be useful as a comparison to Star Carr as topographically the situations are similar; both sites are based on the margins of ancient lakes. From the range of artefacts recovered from Thatcham some similarities can be seen, red deer, wild pig along with elk and wild bird remains were all recovered from both sites. A major difference between Star Carr and Thatcham is at Thatcham there were very little wooden and antler artefacts found, especially worked pieces with barbed points. This could suggest that whilst these sites are similar in date and situation they had different functions (Hunter & Ralston 2009). The limitations for comparisons to Star Carr add to the confusion of understanding Star Carr.
Although there are many theories as to why we have found little evidence of Mesolithic hunter gathers in Britain, such as we looking in the wrong places or most of the settlements were coastal and the evidence has been lost due to coastal erosion, I believe by looking at the indidunous tribes of North America may give another possible answer. These hunter gather tribes have existed for centuries leaving little or no evidence on the landscape. There nomadic lifestyle wi9th temporary camps only left the occasional fire pit as evidence they were ever there. The burial rituals of some of these tribes would also not be clearly visible to archaeologists today. The practise of cremating the dead on rocky out crops would leave little structural evidence as the timbers were generally wedged in between rocks and not placed in pits. The evidence of the burning could also be lost through natural erosion of the rock surface were the evidence would of been present. If hunter gathers existed in Britain with a similar life style, the possibility of finding much if any evidence other than sites like Star Carr is not likely. This would elevate the importance of existing sites which includes Star Carr in the Mesolithic landscape of Britain.
To conclude the elevation of the importance of Star Carr seems in some part to be because of the limited evidence throughout Britain for any settlements of Mesolithic hunter gathers. This fact plus the differing theories on Star Carr itself most place some confusion over the importance of Star Carr in Mesolithic Britain. After saying this, there is no confusion over the importance of Star Carr as a individual site for the archaeological record of Britain, but if Star Carr is a ‘type site’ we will only know if more evidence is found throughout Britain and if there is ever an agreement over the function of Star Carr.
 

Archaeological Excavation: Pros and Cons

Can archaeological excavation of sites not under immediate threat of development or erosion be justified morally? Explore the pros and cons of research (as opposed to rescue and salvage) excavation and non-destructive archaeological research methods using specific examples.
Many people believe that archaeology and archaeologists are mainly concerned with excavation – with digging sites. This may be the common public image of archaeology, as often portrayed on television, although Rahtz (1991, 65-86) has made clear that archaeologists in fact do many things besides excavate. Drewett (1999, 76) goes further, commenting that ‘it must never be assumed that excavation is an essential part of any archaeological fieldwork’. Excavation itself is a costly and destructive research tool, destroying the object of its research forever (Renfrew and Bahn 1996, 100). Of the present day it has been noted that rather than desiring to dig every site they know about, the majority of archaeologists work within a conservation ethic that has grown up in the past few decades (Carmichael et al. 2003, 41). Given the shift to excavation taking place mostly in a rescue or salvage context where the archaeology would otherwise face destruction and the inherently destructive nature of excavation, it has become appropriate to ask whether research excavation can be morally justified. This essay will seek to answer that question in the affirmative and also explore the pros and cons of research excavation and non-destructive archaeological research methods.

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If the moral justification of research excavation is questionable in comparison to the excavation of threatened sites, it would seem that what makes rescue excavation morally acceptable is the fact that the site would be lost to human knowledge if it was not investigated. It seems clear from this, and seems widely accepted that excavation itself is a useful investigative technique. Renfrew and Bahn (1996, 97) suggest that excavation ‘retains its central role in fieldwork because it yields the most reliable evidence archaeologists are interested in’. Carmichael et al. (2003, 32) note that ‘excavation is the means by which we access the past’ and that it is the most basic, defining aspect of archaeology. As mentioned above, excavation is a costly and destructive process that destroys the object of its study. Bearing this in mind, it seems that it is perhaps the context in which excavation is used that has a bearing on whether or not it is morally justifiable. If the archaeology is bound to be destroyed through erosion or development then its destruction through excavation is vindicated since much data that would otherwise be lost will be created (Drewett 1999, 76).
If rescue excavation is justifiable on the grounds that it prevents total loss in terms of the potential data, does this mean that research excavation is not morally justifiable because it is not simply ‘making the best use of archaeological sites that must be consumed’ (Carmichael et al. 2003, 34)? Many would disagree. Critics of research excavation may point out that the archaeology itself is a finite resource that must be preserved wherever possible for the future. The destruction of archaeological evidence through unnecessary (ie non-emergency) excavation denies the opportunity of research or enjoyment to future generations to whom we may owe a custodial duty of care (Rahtz 1991, 139). Even during the most responsible excavations where detailed records are made, 100% recording of a site is not possible, making any non-essential excavation almost a wilful destruction of evidence. These criticisms are not wholly valid though, and certainly the latter holds true during any excavation, not only research excavations, and surely during a research project there is likely to be more time available for a full recording effort than during the statutory access period of a rescue project. It is also debateable whether archaeology is a finite resource, since ‘new’ archaeology is created all the time. It seems inescapable though, that individual sites are unique and can suffer destruction but although it is more difficult and perhaps undesirable to deny that we have some responsibility to preserve this archaeology for future generations, is it not also the case that the present generations are entitled to make responsible use of it, if not to destroy it? Research excavation, best directed at answering potentially important research questions, can be done on a partial or selective basis, without disturbing or destroying a whole site, thus leaving areas for later researchers to investigate (Carmichael et al. 2003, 41). Furthermore, this can and should be done in conjunction with non-invasive techniques such as aerial photography, ground, geophysical and chemical survey (Drewett 1999, 76). Continued research excavation also allows the practice and development of new techniques, without which such skills would be lost, preventing future excavation technique from being improved.
An excellent example of the benefits of a combination of research excavation and non-destructive archaeological techniques is the work that has been done, despite objections, at the Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Sutton Hoo, in eastern England (Rahtz 1991 136-47; Renfrew and Bahn 1996, 98-99). Excavation originally took place on the site in 1938-39 revealing many treasures and the impression in sand of a wooden ship used for a burial, though the body was not found. The focus of these campaigns and those of the 1960s were traditional in their approach, being concerned with the opening of burial mounds, their contents, dating and identifying historical connections such as the identity of the occupants. In the 1980s a new campaign with different aims was undertaken, directed by Martin Carver. Rather than beginning and ending with excavation, a regional survey was carried out over an area of some 14ha, helping to set the site in its local context. Electronic distance measuring was used to create a topographical contour map prior to other work. A grass expert examined the variety of grass species on-site and identified the positions of some 200 holes dug into the site. Other environmental studies examined beetles, pollen and snails. In addition, a phosphate survey, indicative of likely areas of human occupation, corresponded with results of the surface survey. Other non-destructive tools were used such as metal detectors, used to map modern rubbish. A proton magnetometer, fluxgate gradiometer and soil resistivity were all used on a small part of the site to the east, which was later excavated. Of those techniques, resistivity proved the most informative, revealing a modern ditch and a double palisade, as well as some other features (see comparative illustrations in Renfrew and Bahn 1996, 99). Excavation later revealed features that had not been remotely detected. Resistivity has since been used on the area of the mounds while soil-sounding radar, which penetrates deeper than resistivity, is being used on the mounds themselves. At Sutton Hoo, the techniques of geophysical survey are seen to operate as a complement to excavation, not merely a preliminary nor yet a replacement. By trialling such techniques in conjunction with excavation, their effectiveness can be gauged and new and more effective techniques developed. The results at Sutton Hoo suggest that research excavation and non-destructive methods of archaeological research remain morally justifiable.
However, simply because such techniques can be applied efficiently does not mean that excavation should be the priority nor that all sites should be excavated, but such a scenario has never been a likely one due to the usual constraints such as funding. Besides, it has been noted above that there is already a trend towards conservation. Continued research excavation at famous sites such as Sutton Hoo, as Rahtz notes (1991, 140-41), is justified since it serves avowedly to develop archaeological practice itself; the physical remains, or shapes in the landscape can be and are restored to their former appearance with the bonus of being better understood, more educational and interesting; such exotic and special sites capture the imagination of the public and the media and raise the profile of archaeology as a whole. There are other sites that could prove equally good examples of morally justifiable long term research archaeology, such as Wharram Percy (for which see Rahtz 1991, 148-57). Progressing from a straightforward excavation in 1950, with the aim of showing that the earthworks represented medieval buildings, the site grew to represent much more in time, space and complexity. Techniques used expanded from excavation to include survey techniques and aerial photography to set the village into a local context.
In conclusion, it can be seen that while excavation is destructive, there is a morally justifiable place for research archaeology and non-destructive archaeological techniques: excavation should not be reduced only to rescue circumstances. Research excavation projects, such as Sutton Hoo, have provided many positive aspects to the development of archaeology and knowledge of the past. While excavation should not be undertaken lightly, and non-destructive techniques should be employed in the first place, it is clear that as yet they cannot replace excavation in terms of the amount and types of data provided. Non-destructive techniques such as environmental sampling and resistivity survey have, provided significant complementary data to that which excavation provides and both should be employed.
Bibliography
Carmichael, D.L., Lafferty III, R.H. and Molyneaux, B.L. 2003. Excavation. Walnut Creek and Oxford: Altamira Press.
Drewett, P.L. 1999. Field Archaeology: An Introduction. London: UCL Press.
Rahtz, P. 1991. Invitation to Archaeology. 2nd edition. Oxford: Blackwell.
Renfrew, C. and Bahn, P.1996. Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice. 2nd edition. London: Thames & Hudson.
 

Current Issues in Archaeological Theory

Option 2: Both the articles listed below have a similar aim (to provide a largely cognitive explanation for the placement of monuments within a landscape), but they adopt very different theoretical perspectives. Explain whether and, if so, how these different theoretical perspectives are reflected in the actual methods used by the authors

Quotation

 ”To truly understand the significance of landscape, either in the past or in the present, requires an insider’s knowledge of the significance of place in relation to the wider landscape which is precisely that — to be inside it, to identify oneself with it, to belong to it… to understand [it] through personal bodily experience and encounter.” (Tilley 2004, 185)

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 “The principal aim of this paper is to show that within the context of GIS analysis it is possible to state testable hypotheses clearly… The combination of testing of well-stated hypotheses within a GIS analytical framework and using robust statistical methods is essential in GIS applications to site location analysis in general and in archaeology in particular.” (Fisher et al., 1997, 584)

 Argument

Christopher Tilley’s article ‘Round Barrows and Dykes as Landscape Metaphors’, aims to create a particular understanding of the distribution of round barrows and dykes through analysis of their inter-relational connections (i.e. inter-visibility) and their viewscapes. From this analysis, Tilley makes a series of hypotheses on both their inter-relational significance as well as their metaphorical significance. Central to Tilley’s hypothesis is the phenomenological concept that by walking through and personally experiencing the landscape one can come to truly understand its past and present significance (Tilley, 2004, 185). Proceeding from this perspective Tilley provides a series of descriptive and almost poetic narratives of his own experiences walking the landscape of the Ebble-Nadder ridge and its surrounding barrows and dykes. He observes the inter-visibility of the monuments, noting whether certain views seem intension intentionally or purposefully obfuscated, and considers their distribution in relation to topographic features and his bodily experience with those features. He argues that, as the landscape remains unchanged and human perception is uniform, this form of physical emersion immersion and experience within the landscape with provides insight into how past individuals both experienced and interpreted the landscape. He concludes that the barrows were purposefully placed to form relationships between themselves, each barrow was viewed in terms of the other, whilst also establishing a connection with important topographical features. Therefore the location, viewscapes and material of the monuments association to topographical features are connected and form a systematic whole which references possible cosmological significance interpreted by Tilley as the journey between life and death (Tilley, 2004, 196).

In Fisher et al’s ‘Spatial Analysis from the Bronze Age Cairns of Mull“, Fisher also delves into the subject of visibility and interconnectivity, however, his approach to the subject diverges greatly both methodologically and theoretically from Tilley’s.  Fisher’s paper is focused on arguing how geographical information systems in conjunction with robust statistical methods can be applied to formulate clear and testable hypotheses for visibility and site location analysis. Early forms of GIS visibility analysis lacked the inferential strategy advocated by Fisher, relying more heavily on common sense interpretations. Due to its lack of inferential thoroughness, systematic fieldwork sampling had been preferred over GIS as it was seen as analytically superior. Fisher examines a number of early studies done with GIS, thoroughly outlining where and how they fell short of the necessary standard.  For instance, the study of the Roman towers of Hvar has claimed that both towers were inter-visible and therefore the location had been chosen from a need of inter-visibility. However, this study didn’t take into account the possibility that the inter-visibility between both towers had occurred by chance alone. Fisher notes that it is possible to distinguish between cause and causation and operationalized this distinction in his study of the Bronze Age Cairns (Lake et al., 2003, 7). He argues that through the use of a combination of source code programming, spatial statistics and GIS packages one can successfully answer such theoretical questions as association and causation.

Armed with this theoretical perspective, Fisher attempts to identify similarities in the visible areas from the cairns in order to determine whether these visual communities are a merely unintentional association or whether these views exerted causal influence on the placement of the cairns (Fisher et al., 1997, 581). In short, were the cairns intentionally placed due to their particular vantage points or were these visual similarities coincidental?  In order to answer this question, Fisher constructs a variety of different hypotheses testing, each using random site generation within a Monte Carlo Framework. By comparing the visible areas of the cairns with those of the random locations obtained through random and stratified random sampling, Fisher is able to demonstrate that the sea occupies a large enough proportion of the cairns viewsheds so as to rule out the possibility that they had been placed there by chance.  Therefore, Fisher concludes that this must indicate that the cairns were purposefully placed at their respective locations due to a desire for them to overlook the sea, which perhaps held a practical or symbolic importance for the Bronze Age inhabitants.

Implications

Though there are great similarities between the goals and aims of both papers, namely to construct a comprehensive explanation of the placement of landscape monuments within a spatial context, there is little overlap in their theoretical and methodological approaches.

Tilley’s paper demonstrates some cognitive-processual interest in cognition and ideology, but Tilley places a greater importance on the phenomenological methodology that emerged from post-processualism.  The post-processual interest in phenomenology and its emphasis on the significance of issues such as symbolism, meaning and human subjectivity are all apparent in Tilley’s paper.  It is undeniable that archaeologists must consider these issues to reach a thorough understanding of archaeological landscapes, however, the phenomenological interpretation upon which Tilley bases his research is flawed. Tilley asserts that through physical immersion and by personally experiencing a site an individual is able to view it from a similar perspective as its ancient inhabitants. Key to this theory is the assumption of a commonality of the human condition, that the human body and physical landscape are constants and therefore impose the same constraints and limitations today as they did 1000 years ago (Bruck 2005, 54).  Though it may be true that humans and most landscapes have remained physically unchanged for a considerable amount of time, this concept assumes a homogeneous bodily experience, and disregards the anthropological understanding of human experience as being heavily influenced by culture and gender.  Tilley assumption of the universality of human experience undermines the heterogeneity of human experience and unintentionally foregrounds the perspective of the individual researcher/ archaeologist/ professional, in most cases a White European male.

If these assumptions were to be true then, Tilley’s finding and interpretations should be similar to others replicating his landscape walks. However, it is unsurprising that this is generally not the case for most phenomenological interpretations. Scholars have recognized the inherent problems with the concept of the human body and experience as being universal.  Humans undeniably possess different and varying physical characteristics; young, old, strong, infirm, and therefore will logically experience the material world in ways which reflect their own personal limitations and strengths. As has been previously noted, Tilley’s belief of the universal experience overlooks the influence one’s cultural and ethnic background and physical characteristics have on shaping individuals’ perspectives and how they perceive the material world.

Tilley assumes not only a commonality between individuals’ experiences but also a similarity of past and present landscapes. He argues that though the vegetation has changed the “‘bones’ of the land, the lines and forms of the coombes and the ridges” (Tilley 2004, 201) had remained almost invariable since the Bronze Age. To him, the landscape itself exerts its own agency on individual’s experiences and perceptions of it (Tilley 2004, 185). Therefore as the landscape has remained unchanged it will exert the same agency on how an individual from the Neolithic experiences and perceives it as it would on Tilley’s modern perceptions.  Given this, Tilley’s phenomenological approach suggests that through embodied engagement with the landscape in the present, archaeologists can gain insight and access not only to past experiences but to past interpretations (Bruck, 2005, 55). Tilley, therefore, puts forth a series of claims on the symbolic meanings of particular landscape features thus using phenomenology as not only a theoretical framework for how physical and natural constraints mediate individuals perceptions of the landscape but as a methodology for inferring symbolic and metaphoric significance.

Perhaps influenced by ideas derived from ethnography, Tilley uses metaphors as one of his key analytical tools; something that is reminiscent of ethnographical work. Tilley’s main argument that the locations of round barrows and dykes were both significant in themselves as well important in their relationship to their immediate and distant surroundings (Tilley, 2004, 186) is predicated on the notion that humans’ concepts of space are linked with both their orientation and physical movement and therefore to a bodily experience which is invariant. The metaphoric significance of the importance of the location of the barrows is therefore subject to the varying bodily experiences of individuals. Furthermore, the concept that symbolic, religious, political, etc. associations with material forms (material metaphors) are derived by reference to bodily experience and therefore grounded in the body also assumes the non-subjective interpretation of bodily experience (Coward, 2010, 48). Inherent in this thought is the idea that perception will also be shared as the perception of the psychical properties of forms and materials will remain unchanged as they bear fixed observable characteristics e.g. the deep “interiorized worlds of the coombes” (Tilley, 204, 196) and the ‘exterior’ world of the ridge top. For Tilley, the mysterious and damp coombes were seen as dangerous places associated with spirits and the underworld. However, this seems to be an entirely arbitrary interpretation of the metaphorical significance of the coombes. Archaeologist Andrew Flemming argues that this type of hyper-interpretation is free of any form of empirical evaluation. Therefore it is equally plausible to argue that the coombes could have been viewed as the safe purlieu of benevolent wood-sprites, sun traps or as an occasional source of water (Flemming, 2006, 274).

Fisher’s methodological analysis on the subject of visibility is almost antithetical to Tilley’s phenomenological rhetoric. While Fisher struggles to detach himself from subjectivity, by constructing his hypothesis around statistical data, cartographic representations and simulations, Tilley would argue that these representations fail at fully understanding the landscape as they do not convey the bodily understanding of the site which comes with personally experiencing the landscape. Results obtained through GIS are largely determined by landscape topography and other environmental elements rather than the sensory and interpretive factors upon which phenomenological research is founded (Hacıguzeller, 2012, 250).  Fisher’s perspective correlates things such landscape, materials and the environment with objectivity (take out are) while things such as culture, symbolism, and meaning are seen as subjective. He, therefore, accords greater importance to that what he sees as objective. This disregard of the subjective perspective of the landscape in GIS studies is often why these methods have been critiqued as being restricted by a processual functionalist framework of explanation (Wheatley, 1993, 135). 

 Another possible issue with Fisher’s work is the possibility of methodological determinism. For instance, the methodological possibilities of the GIS are responsible for the results of the multiple viewshed analysis rather than archaeological theory (Lake et al. 2003, 8). In addition, GIS visibility studies suffer from a number of methodological problems. For example, GIS functions which produce the viewshed are often inaccurate in regards to algorithmic precision as well being sensitive to view inhibiting environmental factors which effect object recognition (e.g. light, atmospheric conditions, contrasts).  The implements employed in GIS studies are also perceptually constrained as they cannot mimic human agency. In other words, human perception is subjective and influenced by cultural preconceptions and these preconceptions will influence where an individual’s attention/gaze is drawn towards (Lake et al. 2003, 9). Therefore, visibility is subjective and cannot be replicated by a model which is based on completely objective information.

There clearly is a lack of any confluence between processualist and post-processualist approach in either article. Not once does Tilley allude to GIS and its potential benefits, though its application in his work could provide the scientific rigour and data that it lacks. Though Fisher does make mention of the importance of phenomenological interpretation it plays no active role in his methodology nor does it affect in anyway his results.  The gap between the two theories should be bridged and archaeologists should strive for inclusiveness rather than dismissing the work of others from their studies. No landscape can be interpreted completely or with one hundred percent accuracy, be it by walking and experiencing the landscape or by collecting spatial data. Each approach has what the other lacks, therefore no method should be excluded from the archaeological study.

References

Bruck, J., 2005. Experiencing the past? The development of a phenomenological archaeology in British prehistory. Archaeological Dialogues, 12(1), pp.45–72.

Coward, F. and Gamble, C. (2010). Metaphor and Materiality in Earliest Prehistory. [online] Eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk. Available at: http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/20595/3/Coward%20%26%20Gamble%202010%20metaphor.pdf [Accessed 25 Nov. 2018].

Fisher, P.F., Farrelly, C., Maddocks, A. and Ruggles, C. 1997. Spatial analysis of visible areas from the Bronze Age cairns of Mull. Journal of Archaeological Science 24:581-92.

Fleming, A., 2006. Post-processual Landscape Archaeology a Critique. Cambridge Archaeological Journal, 16(3), pp.267–280

Hacιgüzeller, P. (2012) ‘GIS, critique, representation and beyond’, Journal of Social Archaeology, 12(2), pp. 245–263. doi: 10.1177/1469605312439139.

Lake, M.W. & Woodman, P.E., 2003. Visibility Studies in Archaeology: A Review and Case Study. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 30(5), pp.689–707.

Llobera, M., 2012. Life on a Pixel: Challenges in the Development of Digital Methods Within an “Interpretive” Landscape Archaeology Framework. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 19(4), pp.495–509.

Tilley, C. 2004. Round barrows and dykes as landscape metaphors. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 14:185-203.

Wheatley, D.,1993. Going over Old Ground: GIS, Archaeological Theory and the Act of Perception.

 

Historical and Archaeological Evidence for the Existence of the Trojan War

What is (or is not) the most convincing historical and archaeological evidence for the actual existence of the Trojan War?

The existence of the Trojan War can be examined from the Epic Cycle. Also known as The Trojan War cycle, the Epic Cycle was a collection of eight Old Greek epic poems that related to the history of the Trojan War, however, only the Iliad and the Odyssey poems survived. The Iliad is an epic lyric composed by the Greek artist Homer. It tells the story of the final year of the Trojan War battled between the city of Troy and the Greeks. While the Odyssey follows the occasions of the voyage of Odysseus, ruler of Ithaca, returning from the Trojan War and the story of Odysseus’ child Telemachus who sets out to find his father. The sonnet is considered one of the foundational writings of the Western rule and proceeds to be perused, within the unique and in interpretation, around the world. In spite of the truth that most individuals read a printed text, the first poem was an verbal composition performed by a prepared poet talking in an amalgamated lingo which made it difficult for historians after this period to determine historical and archaeological evidence of the Trojan War.

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The title Troy alludes both to a put in legend and a real-life archaeological location. In legend, Troy could be a city that was blockaded for 10 years, a long time and inevitably prevailed by a Greek armed force driven by Ruler Agamemnon. The Trojan War is thought to have taken put close the conclusion of the Bronze Age, around 1200 B.C. It took put around the time that a civilization called Mycenaean thrived in Greece. Royal residences were built and this helped to create a framework of composing evidence for the existence of the War. The most punctual accounts of this war come from Homer, who lived around the eighth century B.C., a few centuries after the occasions took place. They don’t show up to have been composed down until indeed afterward, likely amid the 6th century B.C., when a dictator named Peisistratus ruled Athens. The reason for this “Trojan War” was, agreeing to Homer’s “Iliad,” the kidnapping of Helen, a ruler from Sparta. This abduction was done by Paris, the child of Troy’s Ruler, Priam. All through the “Iliad” the divine beings constantly intercede in bolster of characters on both sides of the conflict. Troy too alludes to a genuine old city found on the northwest coast of Turkey which, since relic, has been distinguished by many as being the Troy examined within the legend. Whether the Trojan War really took put, and whether the location in northwest Turkey is the same Troy, could be a matter of talk about. The modern-day Turkish title for the location is Hissarlik. The thought that the city was Troy goes back at slightest 2,700 a long time, when the old Greeks were colonizing the west coast of Turkey. Within the 19th century, the thought once more came to prevalent consideration when a German businessman and early prehistorian, Heinrich Schliemann, conducted an arrangement of unearthing at Hissarlik and found treasures he claimed to be from Lord Priam. The location of Hissarlik, in northwest Turkey, has been distinguished as being Troy since old times. Archaeological inquire that it was possessed for nearly 4,000 years, a long time beginning around 3000 B.C. After one city was crushed, a modern city would be built on beat of it, making a human-made hill called a “tell.” “There is no one single Troy; there are at slightest 10, lying in layers on beat of each other,” composes College of Amsterdam analyst Gert Jan van Wijngaarden in a chapter of the book “Troy: City, Homer and Turkey” (College of Amsterdam, 2013). And it has almost been universally accepted that the archaeological excavations have revealed the city of Homer’s Iliad.

As in other zones of old writing, the impact of Homer on the Greek historians was abiding and significant, as they [1]“continued to look to Homer for inspiration.” Historians were imperative in giving the Greeks to begin with sense of an authentic past and a geographical put within the world, as well as in giving for the history specialists themselves the subject matter and strategies for making authentic narratives, despite numerous parcels of the Trojan War legends are challenging to read historically. A few of the most characters are coordinate sibling of the Greek divine beings (Helen, fathered by Zeus and assaulted her mother Leda), and much of the activity is guided by the different competing divine beings. Lengthy sieges were recorded within the period, but the strongest cities might as it were hold out for a number of months, not 10 full years. Homer’s “Iliad” is set within the 10th year of the attack against Troy and tells of a arrangement of occasions that show up to have taken place over a number of weeks. The war had basically gotten to be a stalemate with the Greeks incapable to require the city and the Trojans incapable to drive them back into the ocean. Thus, this story makes clear that the attack had taken its toll on the Greek drive sent to recuperate Helen. Contrary to well-known conviction, the “Iliad” does not conclude with the pulverization of Troy but with a transitory détente after which the battling probably proceeds. And [2] “people giving an account of ancient historical writing are faced with a difficulty…” of determining historical and archaeological existence of the Trojan War.  

The Odyssey is the classic case of a story which began in medias res. It started with all survivors of the Trojan War have as of now returned domestic, but for Odysseus, he lived on the isle of Ogygia with a sprite named Calypso. All divine beings, but for Poseidon, concur that he incorporated a right to go domestic, to his spouse Penelope, who was held up on another island, Ithaca. She had numerous suitors, and it was likely that she will before long recognize that her spouse is likely dead, and remarry. Although, Odysseus’s different story was told; he cleared out Troy with twelve ships and to begin with come to the arrive of the Cicones, where he captured a town, but misplaced 72 individuals. He proceeded and travelled to Cape Malea, where a great storm put him off-course and, out of the known world into the world of fairy tales. The moment halt was the nation of the Lotus Eaters, where the Ithacans nearly overlooked that they needed to go domestic. However, the text of The Odyssey does not contain numerous present day place names that can instantly be found on a map. Researchers both old and present day are partitioned as to whether or not the areas were in any way genuine places or unimportant innovations. The traditional orthodox theory, which has unfortunately been taken as accurate by many,  including some encyclopaedias and other reference works, sees Odysseus driven into the western Mediterranean with most of his adventures taking place between Tunisia, Sardinia, Italy and Sicily. However, this theory multiple flaws which make little sense either from a sailing or identification point of view. Ancient Greek ships were small, rarely ventured out onto the open sea and their captains did not explore unknown territories but instead sought to regain their course if blown off it, and therefore, the orthodox course of the Odyssey contains questionable geographical locations. And despite more than 350 researchers from about twenty countries have been collaborating on the excavation site in Turkey that started as an Early Bronze Age citadel within the third millennium B.C, it is continually being questioned if the Trojan War existed.

 

The story of the Trojan War has captivated people for centuries and has given rise to endless insightful poems such as the Iliad and the Odyssey. However, historians were eager to determine historical and archaeological evidences of the Trojan War, from an authentic past and a geological put within the world, to give the historians themselves the subject matter and methodologies for making true accounts, in spite of various bundles of the Trojan War legends which are challenging to be examined verifiably.

 

Bibliography

Primary sources:

Anonymous (1974), ‘Book Six ‘Interludes in Field and City’ pp.141-158′, in Robert Fitzgerald and Homer (eds.), The Iliad (Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press /Doubleday).

Anonymous (1998), ‘The Rage of Achilles’, in Robert Fagles, Bernard MacGregor Walker Knox, and Homer (eds.), The Iliad (New York London: Penguin), 77-97.

Secondary sources:

Marincola, John (2011), ‘Historians and Homer’, in Margalit Finkelberg (ed.), The Homer encyclopedia (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell).

Cline, Eric H. and Cline, Eric H. (2013), The Trojan War : a very short introduction (Trojan War; New York: New York : Oxford University Press).

Grant, Michael (1970), The ancient historians (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson).

Fornara, Charles W. (1983), The nature of history in ancient Greece and Rome (Eidos; Berkeley: University of California Press).

Homer (2018), The Odyssey, ed. Peter Green (Oakland, California : University of California Press).

Burgess, Jonathan S. (2001), The Tradition of the Trojan War in Homer and the epic cycle (Baltimore, Md.: Baltimore, Md. : Johns Hopkins University Press).

Korfmann, Manfred, Latacz, Joachim, and Hawkins, J.

[1]  Marincola, John (2011), ‘Historians and Homer’, in Margalit Finkelberg (ed.), The Homer encyclopedia (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell).

[2] Grant, Michael (1970), The ancient historians (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson).
 

Critical Approaches to the Archaeological Heritage

Introduction and Significance:
The Caddo people, also known as the Hasinai, at their peak circa A.D.1100, were the most highly developed prehistoric culture within the state of Texas. The area that is now Alto, Texas, was selected by Caddo Indians as a permanent settlement in A.D. 800 (Perttula, 1992). Geoarcheological evidence in the area shows that the alluvial prairie contained qualities that would benefit the foundation of a village and synchronous ceremonial grounds – good sandy loam that would sustain crops to provide abundant food resources. The surrounding forest provided numerous materials including a permanent water source of springs that flowed into the Neches River (Story, 1990). For approximately 500 years, the Caddo people dominated life in that area, creating economical and social ties with similar cultures via trade and a sophisticated system that was both ceremonial and political. The Caddo Mounds site served as the southwestern-most ceremonial center for the mound builders, which included the Caddo people. The mound builders were a collection of cultures that constructed earthen mounds as a way to memorialize the dead (O’Connor, 1995). Artifact analysis of raw geologic materials, such as shell from the eastern Gulf Coast, and copper from the Great Lakes region, show trading was occurring in Central Texas and as far away as present-day Florida and Illinois (Gregory, 1986). The site flourished until the 13th century, when most archeologists agree the ruling class left after a loss of their regional influence, and trade groups became less reliant on their cultural center for religious and political matters. The Caddo culture that remained in the area lacked its sophistication and material wealth (Swanton, 1942). Caddo groups continued to live in the area through the 1830’s in their traditional homeland but Anglo-American colonization efforts in the 1840’s saw all groups removed from the area and placed on the Brazos Indian Reservation in 1855, until the Caddo (1,050 people) were removed to Indian Territory, now western Oklahoma, in 1959 (Smith, 1994).
Assessment of Visitor Population and Site Objectives:
The Caddo Mounds site seeks to educate the public about the development and significance of the Caddo culture. While general enthusiasts traveling in or around East Texas are the most common visitors, this site also hosts various educational programs. Prior to the tornado on April 13, 2019, which ultimately shut the site down temporarily for reconstruction, an ongoing project was being completed by a Girl Scout troop in the area dealing with heritage, tracing descent, and social hierarchy. In Caddo culture, descent was traced through the maternal line, rather than the paternal as most research is done now. Similarities to American social classes were recognized within the Caddo cultures, as religious and political authority in Caddo society was kept within a hierarchy of positions in communities and groups. Due to the excessive amounts of backfill and dirt recovered from ongoing and past archeological excavations, volunteer opportunities are also available at the site, which gave visitors a chance to learn how artifacts are not only recovered but processed and prepared for curation as well. A phone interview with Rachel Galan, the Caddo Mounds assistant site supervisor, took place on October 24, 2019, and detailed much of the information in this document (Galan, 2019).
Site Layout:
The Caddo Mounds site is a prehistoric ceremonial and occupational site that includes the mounds and a number of additional features (Figure 1). Visitors can walk a 0.7 mile (1.12 kilometer) self-guided tour, with an additional 0.4 mile (.64 kilometer) path that falls along the El Camino Real de los Tejas, mentioned in detail later. Tours, either guided or self-guided, typically take between 1.5 to 2 hours. Upon entering the visitors center, several exhibits are featured, which showcase artifacts recovered from the site (Figure 2) and detail the everyday life of the Caddo peoples, from their agricultural processes to their clothes and appearance (Figure 3).

Figure 1: Display in visitors center of the site overview.

Figure 2: One of the many exhibits in the visitors center detailing Caddo life.

Figure 3: A few of the artifacts on display in the visitors center.
After exiting the visitors center, the first stop along the tour is the village life area, which features a grass hut replica (Figure 4) complete with a shallow hearth (Figure 5).

Figure 4: Caddo grass hut replica outside of the visitors center.

Figure 5: Shallow hearth inside of the grass hut.
Following along the trail, the second stop is the High Temple Mound (Figure 6), which is the largest mound at the site and was used for ceremonial purposes. As this is the largest of the 3 mounds, a Texas Historical Marker plaque has been placed here (Figure 7), which commemorates the site as an area that effectively changed the course of Texas history.

Figure 6: Mound #1, the High Temple Mound.

Figure 7: The Texas Historical Survey Committee plaque at the High Temple Mound.
The third stop is the Low Platform Mound (Figures 8 & 9). This mound measures 175 feet (53.3 meters) north to south by 115 feet (35.1 meters) east to west. 1968 excavations of this mound produced evidence that this site was occupied from 800 A.D. to 1300 A.D. (Goolsby, 2010).

Figure 8: Mound #2, the Low Platform Mound.

Figure 9: Informational sign at the Low Platform Mound.
The fourth stop is the Borrow Pit (Figure 10), which is an area where dirt was removed to create the nearby mounds. From an outsiders view, it is apparent that the amount of man-power needed to construct these mounds was extensive and required well organized groups to complete such a task.

Figure 10: View of the Borrow Pit from the viewing platform.
The fifth stop is the final mound, the Burial Mound (Figures 11 & 12), which was used as the ceremonial elite burial mound for the time the site was occupied. Archeological surveys have shown that the remains of approximately 90 Caddo Indians are buried here throughout six different levels (Goolsby, 2010).

Figure 11: Mound #3, the Burial Mound

Figure 12: Information sign at the Burial Mound.
The sixth stop branches out for a short distance into the El Camino Real de los Tejas (Figures 13 &14), which is a 2,500 mile (4023.4 kilometers) historic trail that was used by soldiers, settlers and missionaries to colonize the various communities of East Texas. The road became a means of change through migration, settlement, exploration, trade, and movement of livestock.

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This trail connected numerous Spanish missions, posts, and presidios, from Los Adaes, the first capital of Spanish Tejas to Mexico City. This in turn linked many cultural and linguistic groups and promoted diffusion between the cultures as well as communication, and sometimes not for the best, biological exchange. While this meant new foods and agricultural practices were brought to the area, which helped with crop yields, production and processing, this also meant that new diseases were imposed on these areas, many of which were altogether unknown. Another problem with these routes is that they typically followed established trade routes and Indian trials, which cause irreversible impacts on the nearby populations.
A 17th century power struggle among England, France, and Spain to control North America is seen in the establishment of numerous presidios and missions along the camino real, indicating Spanish claim to the region. The camino real helped to settle the western and southern boundaries of the United States and Mexico. The road also provided passage for armies including those of the republic of Texas, the United States, Mexico, France, and Spain, for more than 150 years. During this time, thousands of American migrants came to Texas via the camino real, and it was their presence that led to the revolution against Mexico and ultimately to Texas independence and eventual statehood.
Use of El Camino Real de los Tejas promoted a blend of Mexican and Spanish traditions, cultures, and laws, resulting in a legacy and heritage that is still reflected  in the landscapes, languages, names, music, and arts of Texas (National Park Service, 2018).

Figure 13: Informational sign about trade and traveling in the Caddo culture.

Figure 14: Sign located near the Caddo Mounds site.
The seventh and final stop on the site tour is an information board (Figure 15) about the natural spring located near the Caddo Mounds site, which was used by prehistoric people for numerous reasons. The spring feeds into the Neches River, and is one of the foundational reasons the Caddo settled in this area. This spring was used for cooking, drinking, washing, food preparation, and as an element in many construction processes, ranging from ceramics to structures. Pottery making in the Caddo culture is still continued by artisans today.

Figure 15: Informational sign about the nearby natural spring.
Site Constraints and Management Strategy:
On April 13th, 2019, a tornado swept through the communities of Weeping Mary and Alto, Texas, wreaking havoc at the Caddo Mounds site. Since then, the site has been closed, undergoing reconstruction after the visitor’s center and replica grass hut were destroyed. Several priceless artifacts in the exhibits were harmed and broken beyond repair. This natural disaster perfectly demonstrates a huge problem in the processes of preservation as well as conservation. The site is effectively being rebuilt and plans to reopen the site as early as February of 2020 are in place. According to Rachel Galan, the site, being funded mostly by private donors, such as the recently founded Caddo Mounds State Historic Site Friends Association, which has raised $16,000 for reconstruction efforts (The Summerlee Foundation, 2019) as well as a visitor’s entrance fee ($4 per person, $3 per student ages 6-18, ages 5 and under get in free), has no financial issues aside from when archeological excavations are occurring on the area, which Rachel states are “embarrassingly underfunded”. However, volunteer work under the supervision of a formally trained archeologist helps with this, and since the site was forced to shut down, this has not been a problem to take into account. When it was open, an estimated 300 people a month, on average, would travel through the site, sometimes the summer seasons would see more visitors on account of larger educational groups, such as the aforementioned Boy and Girl Scouts of America. In regard to long-term preservation and conservation, any site within the state of Texas that is considered a Texas Historical Commission property and is therefore not in any danger of being demolished or uprooted in any sense. This applies to the Caddo Mounds site. (Texas Historical Commission, 2017).
In 1970 the area was designated as a site by the The Texas Historical Survey Committee, and in 1974 the area that the Caddo Mounds site is now located was established as a historic park. In 1981 another 23 acres was added, which include areas like the nearby natural spring and areas that were uncovered by associated archeological excavations, such as nearby occupation foundations and processing centers at which prolific amounts of lithics and preserved organic materials were found. It was at this time that the Caddo Mounds site was founded and an interpretive visitors center, complete with museum-characteristic exhibits was built, showcasing artifacts excavated at the sites. At this time the site only consisted of the visitor’s center, the 3 mounds, and knowledge of the borrow pit and nearby spring that was used, although it was not made a part of the tour until 2008 when the property was purchased by the Texas Historical Commission. The tour was later expanded to include the grass hut replica, borrow pit and viewing platform, nearby natural spring, and the short stent along the El Camino Real de los Tejas. Similarly, the Texas Historical Commission also purchased the nearby Indian Mound Nursery site in 2010, formerly owned by the Texas Forest Service. This property is adjacent to the Caddo Mounds site and is a densely forested area where many resources were foraged. The addition of this property expanded the overall Caddo Mounds site from 93 acres to 397 acres, which is all protected through state ownership (Goolsby, 2011).
Funding for the Texas Historical Commission comes from grants and fundraising. As of 2019, there are 46 different foundations, organizations and funders that are listed as the source of approximately 92% of their funding, the other 8% coming from singular donations, usually made online (Texas Historical Commission, 2019).
Qualitative Evaulation:
During the phone interview with Rachel, it was learned that during the tornado, Rachel’s husband Victor, who is the site president as well as lead archeologist, was critically injured. He sustained serious injuries to his neck and spine, and his recovery, though successful so far, still will be difficult. This led to the discovery of Rachel’s online blog, and the excerpt below:
 “This morning, I started thinking about my own Sha-ho (Caddo word for one who experiences a tornado) story, thoughts triggered by songs and the telling of your memoirs. I read somewhere Jeff (Victor’s longtime friend and colleague) refer to Sha-ho as “he”. This struck me, because from my first thoughts about my experience, I knew Sha-ho as “she”. In her forceful, circular winds, she has given me a crash course in all it means to be a woman, Maiden – Mother- Crone. The very essence of Sha-ho is the ancient spiral of those feminine roles. Her fierceness cleansed ancient land and our lives and returned us to a time of awakening, a time of beginnings. In her wake, I’m mother striving to nurture my family and friends while allowing others to nurture me. In her wrath, I’ve embraced another of the ancient roles of women. I’ve made peace with giving death. I’ve given death to old ideas and beliefs. I’ve stood by my husbands’ bedside and given him permission to go if that was what he needed to do. I’ve been struck by the variety in what we experienced. As terrible as it was to see my husband so critically wounded, the pain in the eyes of my community, and the destruction of the site, I was oddly sheltered first by the building itself and then by my complete focus on keeping Victor breathing and conscious. I heard the work going on all around me, all the brave souls pulling people out of rubble and triaging the injured. I heard all that activity, but I didn’t see it. All I saw was Victor. I am thankful for the people who sat with us, gave us strength, and made sure I knew that we were not alone. Life flight came and ended that chapter. We are still in the second chapter of Sha-ho.”
Rachel’s words not only embody the tragedy she went through, but without a doubt showcase the immense respect she has for the Caddo people and her knowledge of the language as well as the culture (Galan, 2019).
Visitors Experiences:
According to Trip Advisor, the Caddo Mounds site has a 4.5 star rating, and a total of 36 reviews, 18 of which are excellent, 12 are very good, 5 are average, 0 poor, and 1 terrible. After looking into the terrible review, it was noted that this review was submitted only a few months after the tornado, and simply states that not much has been done to repair damage. As this site has not officially reopened, I do not believe this review can even be considered as the reviewers could not have engaged in the site. The other reviews all agree that the site is “interesting”, “well worth the stop”, and “a great learning experience”. One of the other negative remarks is that it is quite a bit of a walk, which could be a hinderance for those incapable of walking the distance (www.tripadvisor.com, n.d.). Facebook only had 9 reviews for the site, all of which were 5 star ratings (www.facebook.com, n.d.).
Future Agenda:
During the phone interview, Rachel stated that the new exhibits at the site will emphasize the influence and impact that this culture had on the foundations of East Texas and the area as a whole. Rachel and Victor plan to continue working with the Caddo Nation to not only expand but improve public knowledge and education about the customs and cultures of the Caddo People. Most recently, an outreach program has been established inviting Caddo artists to create ceramics, textiles, jewelry, art, or any other items to display in the visitor’s center. Additionally, plans to construct an interpretive garden that will serve as a timeline of Caddo agriculture are also being designed. The Caddo Story of the Snake Women will be the inspiration for the garden, as seen below:
“The Great Father gave the seeds of all growing things to Snake-Woman. He taught her how to plant the seeds and how to care for the green things that grew from them until they were ripe, and then how to prepare them for food. One time, when Snake-Woman had more seeds than she could possibly care for, she decided to give some to the people. She called her two sons and asked them to help her carry the seeds. Each put a big bag full of seeds on his back, and then they traveled all over the world, giving six seeds of each kind of plant to every person. As Snake-Woman gave each person the seeds she told them that they must plant them, and must care for the plants that grew from them, but must allow no one, especially children, to touch them or even point to them as they grew. She said that until the seeds were ripe they belonged to her, and if any one gathered them too soon she would send a poisonous snake to bite him. Parents always tell their children what Snake-Woman said, and so they are afraid to touch or go near any growing plants for fear a snake will come and bite them”.
The garden will also include typical Native American herbs/medicines, such as yarrow, sumac, rosemary and mint, as well as small amounts of agricultural crops like maize, papaya, beans, peppers, potatoes, squash, and tomatoes (Galan, 2019).
References

Caddo Mounds State Historic Site. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/pg/visitcaddomounds/reviews/. Accessed November 8 2019.
Caddo Mounds State Historic Site. Trip Advisor. https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g30160-d293123-r713876330-Caddo_Mounds_State_Historic_Site-Alto_Texas.html. Accessed November 8 2019.
Galan, Rachel. Telephone interview. October 24 2019.
Galan, Rachel. Figures 1-15 personal photographs, courtesy of Mrs. Galan.
Goolsby, Dana. 2010. Caddo Mounds State Historic Site Caddo Indian Culture Day. Texas State Parks. http://www.texasescapes.com/DanaGoolsby/Caddo-Mounds-State-Historic-Site.htm. Accessed October 18 2019.
2011. Caddo Mounds State Historic Site: An East Texas Ancient Civilization. http://myetx.com/caddo-indian-mound-state-historic-site-an-east-texas-ancient-civilization/, Accessed October 18 2019.
Gregory, Hiram F. 1986. The Southern Caddo: An Anthology. New York: Garland.
National Park Service. 2018. El Camino Real de los Tejas: A Brief History. https://www.nps.gov/elte/learn/historyculture/index.htm. Accessed November 1 2019.
O’Connor, Mallory. 1995. Lost Cities of the Ancient Southeast. Gainesville, Florida: University of Florida.
Perttula, Timothy K. 1992. The Caddo Nation”: Archaeological and Ethnohistoric Perspectives. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Smith, Todd F. 1994. The Red River Caddos: A Historical Overview to 1835. Bulletin of the Texas Archeological Society 64.
Story, Dee Ann. 1990. Cultural History of the Native Americans. Archeology and Bioarcheology of the Gulf Coast Plain. Research Series No. 38, Fayetteville, Arkansas: Arkansas Archeological Survey.
Swanton, John R. 1942. Source Material on the History and Ethnology of the Caddo Indians. Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 132, Washington: GPO.
Texas Historical Commission. 2017. Historic Preservation and Sustainability: The THC’s Position on Sustainability. https://www.thc.texas.gov/preserve/buildings-and-property/historic-preservation-and-sustainability. Accessed October 23 2019.
Texas Historical Commission. 2017. Grants and Fundraising. https://www.thc.texas.gov/preserve/projects-and-programs/museum-assistance/grants-funding. Accessed October 23 2019.
The Summerlee Foundation. 2019. Texas History Grants for Fiscal Year Ending June 30 2019. http://summerlee.org/recent-grants/texas-history-grant-list/. Accessed November 1 2019.