James River Chiefdoms: The Rise of Social Inequality in the Chesapeake

By Martin D. Gallivan | Go to book overview

Notes

Preface

1. While there is currently some dispute over the use of the labels “Indian” and “Native American,” neither term conveys the diversity of practices and experiences among the original inhabitants of the Americas. I have opted to follow the common practice among descendants of Virginia’s Native community who use the term “Indian” in self-reference.


3. Archaeological Approaches

1. Sahlins’s (1963) “man of renown” and Strathern’s (1969) financier serve as inspiration for the network/exclusionary model, as do the dynamics of prestige-good exchange systems (e.g., Friedman and Rowlands 1978) and “wealth finance” (D’Altroy and Earle 1985).

2. Sahlins’s (1963) “center man” and Strathern’s (1969) home producer flesh out the corporate strategy in that a broad coalition of followers is generated through economic relations focused on a localized setting.

3. The network and corporate distinction describes a political axis similar to the one highlighted in Renfrew’s (1974) contrast between “group-oriented” and “individualizing” chiefdoms in third millennium Europe. The group-oriented chiefdoms produced monumental architecture that defined spaces devoted to communal ritual and mass interments with few associated grave goods (Renfrew 1974:74–79). Contrasting the “faceless and anonymous” remains of group-oriented chiefdoms, the archaeology of individualizing chiefdoms in Europe reflected the aggrandizement of leaders in the form of impressive tombs filed with wealth items. These mortuary patterns and the remains of fortified settlements suggest that individualizing chiefdoms produced a political arena of competition, warfare, personal wealth, and prestige-good exchange (Blanton et al. 1996:6).

4. The probabilistic nature of radiocarbon dating and absolute seriation permits comparison of feature dates. Those dates that appear on statistical and archaeological grounds to be contemporaneous may be combined. I applied Long and Rippeteau’s (1974:206) and Thomas’s (1986:249) modified t tests to radiocarbon assays in order to evaluate whether the dated contexts represented a single “instant” in time or if differences between assays indicated the probability of distinct time periods. Even when the features contain identical diagnostic artifacts, statistical indications that two dated features have equivalent dates do not necessarily imply simultaneous feature use. Rather, given the precision of the available methods, the dated contexts could not be distinguished statistically or archaeologically On the ground, this may be conceived in terms of a single settlement, with the recognition that features on some of the sites were used over different occupations that were close in time. Long and Rippeteau (1974:206–210) also provide a method of averaging multiple

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