This collection of essays brings together diverse approaches to the analysis of Native American culture in the protohistoric period.
For most Native American peoples of the Southeast, almost two centuries passed between first contact with European explorers in the 16th century and colonization by whites in the 18th century—a temporal span commonly referred to as the Protohistoric period. A recent flurry of interest in this period by archaeologists armed with an improved understanding of the complexity of culture contact situations and important new theoretical paradigms has illuminated a formerly dark time frame.
This volume pulls together the current work of archaeologists, historians, and anthropologists to demonstrate a diversity of approaches to studying protohistory. Contributors address different aspects of political economy, cultural warfare, architecture, sedentism, subsistence, foods, prestige goods, disease, and trade. From examination of early documents by René Laudonnière and William Bartram to a study of burial goods distribution patterns; and from an analysis of Caddoan research in Arkansas and Louisiana to an interesting comparison of Apalachee and Powhatan elites, this volume ranges broadly in subject matter. What emerges is a tantalizingly clear view of the protohistoric period in North America.
Between Contacts and Colonies reveals how the knowledgeable use of historical documents, innovative archaeological research, and emerging theory in anthropology can be integrated to arrive at a better understanding of this crucial period. It will be valuable for scholars and students of archaeology and anthropology, cultural historians, and academic librarians.
Cameron B. Wesson is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Mark A. Rees is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.