The Archaeology of Global History

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 82nd Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC (2017)

Archaeological research is local almost by definition. But facing topics such as the emergent processes linked to global history we need to relate to a wider picture since material culture may stem from any part of the world. This session aims to bring together papers that explore the linkage between the local and the global, highlighting methodological issues that challenge our work and showing how the articulation of global trends with local dynamics took place. Thus, we introduce papers dealing with the circulation, distribution and introduction of people, artifacts, technologies, and plants and animals as well as those showing how a global framework helps us understand a single site.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-16 of 16)

  • Documents (16)

  • The archaeology of colonialism and capitalism in the Southwest Pacific: the Compagnie Calédonienne Nouvelles-Hébrides (CCNH) on Malakula, Vanuatu. (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Stuart Bedford.

    Much of the European mapping of the South West Pacific occurs relatively late in terms of global history. In Vanuatu (ex New Hebrides) the first visits were Spanish ships in 1606. The wider archipelago was not further explored until the visit of Cook in 1774 but soon afterwards it had been incorporated into the rapidly infilling global map. The geography, climate and people had been described as had hints of the economic potential and the islands could now be discussed and dissected amongst the...

  • Between Control and Influence - Early Globalization processes in Bronze Age China (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Yitzchak Jaffe.

    The traditional narrative of the Zhou expansion (1046-771 BCE, roughly 800 before the formation of the first Chinese empire in 221 BCE), has been to view it as a military enlargement and conquest and as leading, consequently, to the establishment of a polity controlling a large territorial state. To date, most studies have viewed the finding of Zhou artifacts in a given region as indicating Zhou political control over that area or even that actual Zhou people inhabited the region. This paper...

  • The Church of Todos los Santos and its associated cemetery in the Spanish colony of San Salvador, Heping Dao, Taiwan (17th century) (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Maria Cruz Berrocal. Chenghwa Tsang.

    Archaeological excavations in the setting of the former Spanish colony of San Salvador, founded in 1626 in current Hoping Dao, northern Taiwan, have uncovered remains of a European building that can be identified as the Convent or Church of Todos los Santos, founded while the Spanish colony was active and possibly preserved afterwards under Dutch rule. Several burials have also been excavated, which constitutes a formal cemetery associated to the church. The human remains in the cemetery of...

  • From a strategic passage to a remote town ----the status change of Dunhuang in the history of China and West communication reflected from the beacon ruins in Dunhuang (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Shaodong Zhai.

    Silk Road played an important role in the ancient China and West communication. Dunhuang is located in the most western part of the Hexi Corridor, which is a valley between Qilian Mountain and Beishan Mountain. It connects the countries of the Middle Asia, Europe and Africa in west and the East Asia in East. Beacon ruin is the most important type among the archaeological ruins, and played a key role in protecting the Northwest frontier and the Silk Road accessibility. Among the 182 ruins of...

  • Imperfect beeswax production in the land of honey—Yucatán, Mexico (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Maia Dedrick. Iván Batún Alpuche. Patricia McAnany.

    Spanish encomenderos and friars demanded beeswax from their subjects in Yucatán, Mexico, during the early Colonial period. This wax was harvested from beehives infrequently used for wax production in pre-Hispanic times—instead the focus throughout the long history of beekeeping in the region was on honey. In fact, indigenous honeybees, from the genus Melipona, make an impure wax in low quantities, which would have made candle production difficult. These candles were important for Catholic...

  • The innovations which travelled to the Philippines. An approach to the biological conquest of the islands (XVI-XVIIIth centuries) (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Miguel Luque-Talaván.

    Every process of discovery, conquest and colonization, regardless of its magnitude and historical implications, entails a transformation in those societies in which it takes place. The Philippines, as it had already happened to other parts of the world before, was no exception. The conquest of the Philippines Islands by the Spanish Monarchy supposed the transformation of a very important part of the indigenous population of the islands. In this occasion we studied the biological conquest of the...

  • "Make little use of pots": A review of earthenware assemblages from three nutmeg plantations on the Banda Islands, Maluku Province, Indonesia. (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Amy Jordan.

    In his 1544 voyage to Maluku, Galvao noted that residents "make little use of pots." Despite their purported "little use," earthenware is ubiquitous in Metal Age Malukan sites, but few detailed studies of these assemblages have been presented in the literature. In this paper, I reviewed the ceramic assemblages from multi-component sites in the Banda Islands, Maluku Province, Indonesia. The Banda Islands were the world's sole source of nutmeg prior to the 17th century and was a center of early...

  • Navigating through Asian waters: Comparative study of 17th- and 18th-century porcelain trade in Manila, the Philippines and Banten, Indonesia from an archaeological perspective (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Kaoru Ueda. Ellen Hsieh.

    The trade networks in 17th- and 18th-century Southeast Asia are often reconstructed by using European historical sources. As a result, Southeast Asia is frequently portrayed as a way station between Europe and China. However, the comparative study presented here between Ayuntamiento the Spanish government site in Manila, the Philippines and indigenous palace sites in Banten, Java, Indonesia under Dutch indirect rule suggests a far more complex picture and challenges the traditional understanding...

  • People in Construction: Insights from Ethnographic, Historic, and Archaeological Accounts in China (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Liye Xie.

    Labor recruitment and management are essential to accomplish massive public construction in ancient times, as in today. Archaeologists across the world have examined ethnographic accounts and conducted experiments to understand labor costs and organizational structure for construction and maintenance of large architectural projects. Common conclusions are that the workforce in monument construction during the pre-Iron age could have been easily recruited by non-state level polities. However,...

  • Placing Intramuros in global history: Insights from the ceramic consumption in Spanish Manila (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Ellen Hsieh.

    Manila was a critical link between Asia, Europe, and the New World during a pivotal period in world history; however, little attention has been paid to its colonial live. This paper aims to fill this void by re-examining consumption patterns of various types of ceramics excavated from sites in the Spanish walled city. The result shows that the Spanish colonists consumed better products than other subordinate groups and demonstrated their power by using customized Chinese goods rather than their...

  • Precarious and Obsolete Infraestructure:Archaeology of Water Networks in Bogota (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only David Cohen. Monika Therrien.

    Infrastructure is currently one of the critical studies in social sciences at the global level, having been promoted as one of the great promises of equality and accessibility, through good performance and penetration of public services among the population, as well as a tool that would contribute to strengthen the control, authority and visibility of the State. The case study of the calle real of Bogota, being one of the oldest and most important streets in the city, makes visible what became...

  • Technology transfer, Variability, and Adaptation of Glass Production in Colonial Mexico: Preliminary Results from a Local and Global Perspective (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Karime Castillo-Cardenas.

    Glass arrived in the Americas as a fully developed technology and glass workshops appeared in New Spain soon after the establishment of the colonial regime. Little is known about the way this technology was adapted to the local resources and conditions, the variety of products made, and how this technology changed and assimilated within the viceregal world and the Spanish Empire at large. Through a multiscalar and multidisciplinary approach incorporating archaeology, history, ethnography and...

  • Test Excavation of the 17th Century Provintia, a Dutch Fort in the Southwest Taiwan (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Wei-chun Chen.

    In the 17th century, Taiwan was considered as an outpost for the Dutch East Indies Company to trade with China and Japan, and to compete with its European counterparts in the region. Located in the contemporary Tainan City, Taiwan, Provintia stood as the Island’s first planned city by the Dutch in AD 1625, the second year when they traded the city land with 15 cangan cloth from the indigenous Siraya. In AD 1653, a fort, called Fort Provintia was constructed as a result of Han Chinese rebels...

  • Transnational Considerations At Japanese American Incarceration Camps (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Koji Ozawa.

    In 1942, all people of Japanese descent living along the western coast of the United States were forcibly removed from their homes and imprisoned in 10 incarceration camps. Decades after the incarceration a congressional commission found that racism, wartime hysteria and a lack of leadership led to this unjust imprisonment. The scholarship surrounding the archaeology of the incarceration centers has grown over the past twenty years, with several ongoing studies conducted by universities and the...

  • Transnational linkages: the archaeology of the late 19th and early 20th century Chinese railroad workers (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Laura Ng.

    Archaeological studies of Chinese railroad sites in the American West tend to be site-specific and rarely position material assemblages in a global or diasporic context where both people and goods moved back and forth across the Pacific Ocean. This paper examines how transnational frameworks can help archaeologists better interpret the material culture found at Chinese railroad sites by drawing on the fields of Asian American studies and historical archaeology.

  • World prehistories and the development of a global archaeological narrative (2017)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Chris Scarre.

    The origins of prehistoric archaeology as a discipline lie in the New Learning of the 16th and 17th centuries and derive from a number of sources: antiquarian researches in northwest Europe; European exploration and the encounter with non-European peoples; and speculative accounts of human origins and development. It was only in the 19th century that these strands first began to be woven together to create a global narrative of human prehistory. Such a narrative raises a number of problematic...