Embracing Anomalies to Advance Frontiers

Author(s): Michael Nassaney

Year: 2017


The field of historical archaeology is indebted to its founders who charted a path for inquiry into the post-Columbian world. Among them was George Irving Quimby who developed a relatively robust database that he used to order sites chronologically in the western Great Lakes region. However, he struggled to rectify observations that contradicted his theoretical framework of acculturation such as the persistence of Native subsistence and settlement practices despite Native adoption of European goods. I argue that we must embrace anomalies—data that do not fit with our preconceived notions—if we are to advance the frontiers of our field. In contemporary archaeology, those frontiers include efforts to decolonize the discipline and our understandings of the subtleties of cultural interactions. The challenge remains as to how we can recognize anomalies for what they are and resist the urge to dismiss them as outliers. 

Cite this Record

Embracing Anomalies to Advance Frontiers. Michael Nassaney. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435434)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 387