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Relationality, Circularity, and Monumentality: Ontological Materializations in the Belle Glade Monumental Landscape

Author(s): Nathan Lawres

Year: 2017

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Summary

The Belle Glade monumental landscape exhibits a high level of monumentality, with architectural features ranging from large circular ditches to massive geometric arrays of earthen architecture. However, this unique architecture has seen few archaeological interpretations. Those that have been put forth have largely emphasized economic explanations, many of which have been refuted with the acquisition of new archaeological data. Additionally, recent ecological studies show that the physical landscape itself was much different than previously envisioned. These studies make it apparent that this was an aqueous landscape subject to water flowing across its entirety for nine months of the year. Much like the physical landscape they are a part of, the Belle Glade monuments are also unlike anything else in North America. I argue that in order to comprehend the architecture of this landscape we need to shift our line of thought away from thinking of these features as strictly functional architectural elements and envision them as monuments that embody the alterity of the landscape itself. By engaging the ontological turn of anthropology I will show how the Belle Glade people materialized their ontology in monumental form by embodying the relational elements of their landscape in architectural form.


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Relationality, Circularity, and Monumentality: Ontological Materializations in the Belle Glade Monumental Landscape. Nathan Lawres. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429581)


Keywords


Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15150

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