Method and Theory in American Archaeology

By Gordon R. Willey; Philip Phillips | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Chapter 5
Archaic Stage


Our previous use of the concept "Archaic" for the second stage of New World historical-developmental interpretation is here retained in its essentials. The term was introduced into the archaeology of eastern North America by William A. Ritchie, who applied it to his Lamoka phase in central New York.1 Soon after, the rich preceramic culture of the northern Alabama and Kentucky shell middens was revealed by the extensive excavations of W. S. Webb and his associates. Relationships to Lamoka were noted, and the term "Archaic" was extended accordingly, with a "pattern" significance in the Midwest taxonomy.2 About the same time, re- examination of earlier shell-midden investigations in the far Southeasts and excavations on the Georgia coast4 expanded the Archaic still further geographically and also slanted it toward the concept of a "Shellmound" culture. Similar extension was going on all over eastern North America, and there were suggestions that cultures as far away as California were somehow related.5 However, it was also becoming clear that the concept had outgrown its specific historical implications, and Griffin in his first synthesis of eastern

Ritchie, 1932. Alanson Skinner had previously designated certain projectile points from shell middens in the vicinity of Manhattan as "archaic" ( 1919, 1920), but Ritchie was apparently first to use the term in a full cultural sense.
Webb and DeJarnette, 1942.

Wyman, 1868, 1875; Claflin, 1931.

Unpublished work by Preston Holder and A. J. Waring, Jr.
Haag, 1942; Beardsley, 1948.


Notes for this page

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.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

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

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Method and Theory in American Archaeology


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

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?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 270

matching results for page

Cited passage

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

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.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?