Item – Thèses Canada

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Burns, John Conor,1969-
Networking Ohio valley archaeology in the nineteenth century.
Ph. D. -- University of Toronto, 2006
Ottawa :Library and Archives Canada = Bibliothèque et Archives Canada,[2007]
4 microfiches
Includes bibliographical references.
In the nineteenth century, the Ohio valley contained dense concentrations of spectacular earthwork monuments and other sites attributed to the mysterious "moundbuilders." For North American ethnologists, positioning the moundbuilders within accounts of the pre-Columbian peopling of the New World was seen as a fundamental theoretical problem. At the same time, regions such as southern Ohio witnessed the accelerating dispersal and loss of archaeological data to development, agriculture, and increasing numbers of hobbyist archaeologists, relic-hunters, and others. This dissertation situates nineteenth century Ohio valley archaeology within a broader context of ethnological science. More importantly, it views the history of this archaeological work as a function of centralization. Efforts toward this goal became most pronounced in the 1880s through the involvement of the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of Ethnology and the Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology. Centralization was not at all a straightforward sort of process. It involved establishing complex networks of associations linking field spaces with institutional centers. Viewing Ohio valley archaeology in terms of centralization clarifies the effects of institutions such as the Smithsonian and the Peabody upon archaeological practice, and it allows for a broad understanding of the nature of fieldwork in the nineteenth century context. This perspective helps make sense of the actions of individuals within the networks, and it explains the sometimes intense inter-institutional competition underlying the Smithsonian and Peabody efforts. It also suggests that the production of archaeological knowledge cannot be disentangled from the networks facilitating centralization.