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Absences and Abandonments in the Mississippian Midwest

Author(s): Meghan Buchanan

Year: 2015

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Archaeological studies of hypothesized regional abandonments often perform what Tim Ingold (2008) refers to as "a logic of inversion;" by drawing lines around sites, regions, and spaces we create boundaries in which life is lived, and by extension, create spaces where life is not lived. In examples of abandonments, the absence of evidence related to human living spaces is taken as the absence of (human) life. In other words, when we demarcate "abandoned" or "unoccupied spaces" (noted as such by a lack of material culture), do we unnecessarily exclude spaces where life was lived? Drawing on Mississippian Period archaeological data (and lack of data) from portions of the Mississippi River valley, I discuss how identifying certain spaces as abandoned/vacant and others as occupied have an impact on our interpretations of regional interactions and the big histories of the midcontinental US.

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Absences and Abandonments in the Mississippian Midwest. Meghan Buchanan. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397033)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.634; min lat: 36.739 ; max long: -80.64; max lat: 49.153 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America