W2 Reflection Post

I found the article and the video about the Morton project quite interesting. There seemed be several examples of theoretical perspective archeology. In the end, it can be hard to answer all of the questions.

The use of a cultural history perspective in the form of a when question can also be seen when the archeologists were comparing the architecture of the Mississippian and Oneota people. The similar themes that they processed seemed to indicate they lived there at similar periods of time. I wonder if the Oneota people were killing the Mississippians for their houses. The goal was to order the events in place of who lived when.

I found when the archeologists were digging up the remains in Oneota cemetary to be a good example of a theoretical perspective. Over half the adults showing signs of a violent death seems like a lot. This fact brought up the who and what type of questions; who are they fighting, trying to put the past in order. Was this an all-out war or something more common? These questions are why the project is looking at it from a cultural history perspective.

Looking at the processual perspective, it can be used to explain cultural processes with material items. The materialistic perspective can agian be seen again in the homes of the Mississippian and Oneota. The architecture style can highlight the differeneces between the tribes cultures. The Oneota architecture style was that each wall post was placed in a separate hole while the Mississippian structure had the wall posts placed together in long trenches. Archaeologist can use this information in the future to most easily identify the which tribe a structure was mostly likely to belong to.

The post-processual perspective draws more attention to the behaviors and influences of the individual. An example of this is the cemetery at Norris Farms which were found to contain artifacts such as pottery inside and were discovered to be Oneota pottery which is vastly different from Mississippian. The threat of violence mostly likely vastly influenced the pottery style of many individuals in this area.

It is kind of funny to think of how a group of people in history are most easily identified by their pottery style. What will this time be remembered for one day? The iphone style probably.


4 thoughts on “W2 Reflection Post

  1. I agree with your statement that cultural history approach is focus more on defining sequences of chronological period, and outlining time and space dimension. So, an example is to compare the architecture between Oneota and Mississippian tradition to hypothesize if they actually live at the same period or not. However, processual archaeology emphasizes on ecological and materialism through artifacts. They analyze from multiple different artifacts and build their own working hypothesis of past culture and behaviors. Contextual archaeology however, focus more on the small scale of behaviors such as violence of threats, which can further influence their pottery design. Maybe you are right, that our generation artifacts will be like laptop, iphone, or other electronics and gadgets.

  2. Your comment about us being remembered for our iPhone style one day is funny; in another comment, I was just thinking about the same thing. What will we be remembered for one day? Hopefully it will be something more important than our iPhones.

    Your comment about the Mississippian and Oneota cultures being differentiated by their architecture style was also one that resonated with me. It is very cool that we have the ability to differentiate populations from hundreds of years ago just based on some of the archaeological finds we make. This fact fosters excitement for the future, as we will ideally continue to make strides in the field of archaeology and be able to determine even more from our archaeological digs.

  3. I find it very likely that, as is the case with ancient peoples, different people from different areas are likely to be remembered for different things. At the same time, I believe that finding out about our history is going to be difficult. Our buildings are everywhere, but are generally inconsistent in their design, and thus are not likely to be used for much in identifying what we were like. Automobiles are likely to be found and may be interpreted correctly. Our refuse– what we throw away– is full of all manner of things, from cardboard to metal to plastic. Overall, nothing we really use is consistent anymore. With the dawn of commercialism, global connectivity, and especially the ability to shop on the Internet, everyone has access to products from everywhere. A single house can have a car from Japan, table from China, and carpet from Mexico, despite being in the United Kingdom!

  4. Good discussion about the different approaches used at Morton Village! It is always interesting to think about what archaeologists will find when they uncover our civilization in the future, the iPhone will definitely be one of the things!

Leave a Reply