Iroquoian Archaeology and Analytic Scale

By Perttula, Timothy K. | Southeastern Archaeology, Winter 2011 | Go to article overview

Iroquoian Archaeology and Analytic Scale


Perttula, Timothy K., Southeastern Archaeology


Iroquoian Archaeology and Analytic Scale. LAURIE E. MIROFF and TIMOTHY D. BCNAPP (eds.). University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, 2009. xxxi + 295 pp., 64 figs., 27 tables, reference, index. $48.00 (hard cover), ISBN 978-1-57233-573-8.

Reviewed by Timothy K. Perttula

This very useful and thought-provoking edited volume has as its main objective to make clear that multiscalar analytic approaches to the study of the archaeological record hold considerable promise as a means to gain more dynamic and robust understandings of the particular part of the archaeological record under study. The book's contributors do this very effectively by providing a series of substantive contributions on various aspects of Iroquoian archaeology from sites dating between ca. A.D. 900 and 1800 in New York state and Ontario in the context of illustrating the worth of different analytical scales, while the editors provide an introduction on "Scale and Iroquoian Archaeology."

As laid out in the introduction by Knapp and Miroff, adapting the concepts of "extent" and "grain" from geographic, geophysical, and biological disciplines, the editors propose that analytic scale in archaeology "consists of three primary components: spatial, temporal, and methodological" (p. xxvi). Spatial and temporal scales are components of the "extent" concept, and both are viewed as independent measurements of scale, from micro- to macro-scale. Methodological aspects of scale, analogous to "grain," are those analytical decisions made that that attempt to achieve a fine resolution of a data set in time or space where homogeneity in that data can be assumed. How those decisions on methodological scales are made can effect or mask variability in specific sets of archaeological data, such as, for example, typological or attribute-based approaches to the study of ceramic artifacts as different methodological scales. The editors recommend that multiple methodological scales be employed at every analytical opportunity. Lastly, the editors rightly note the dialectic or interactive nature of scales in archaeological studies, and that connections between archaeological phenomena cannot be understood in isolation, and that we are better served by taking a multiscalar approach to understanding changes in the past.

The contributors to the volume tackle issues of analytic scale in a number of different respects, varying the analytic scale in accordance with the issues at hand. These include issues that range from land-use changes over time and regional diversity in settlement character to gender relationships at the macro-scale, village size versus population size, the organization of village space, cultural interaction and transmission of ideas, and how Iroquoian groups were differentially effected by, and responded to, European contact in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They look at the archaeological data of interest using multiple scales of analysis.

Christiana B. Reith's chapter tackled land-use studies through the interpretation of site and nonsite data at different temporal and spatial scales of analysis, while Douglas J. Perrelli examined the life history of two sites at a local micro-scale. He took this micro-scale approach while viewing that information in conjunction with patterned variations within and between sites to better understand the social organization and gender relationships expressed in features and site function. In Peter A. Timmin's chapter, he tackles village organization at a large village to conclude that issues of scale and community need to be addressed "in constructing regional population models" (p. 55).

The Thomas/Luckey site in upstate New York is the subject of chapters by Laurie E. Miroff and Timothy D. Knapp. Miroff's take on scale is to focus on what she calls local-level analysis, namely, a fine-grained examination of households within the site (through spatial patterning of artifacts and features and identification of activity areas) and extensive radiocarbon dating to establish the chronological context and "address intrasite social dynamics. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Iroquoian Archaeology and Analytic Scale
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.