AAA Annual Meeting Program

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This paper may be of particular interest to:  Practicing and Applied Anthropologists     Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges     Students
Type: Paper
Paper Title: FROM EARTHEN MOUNDS TO PAINTED WALLS: THE IMPLICATIONS OF MOBILITY IN THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL IMAGINATION
Author: KARI JONES, BURCU TUNG   
Date/Time: Thu., 10:30 AM
Co-Author(s): KARI JONES, BURCU TUNG 
Abstract: Using two case studies from two continents, specifically Middle Archaic hunter gatherers of Louisiana, known to have constructed the earliest monumental structures in the Americas, and the Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük, known to be one of the earliest urban centres in Southwest Asia, we explore the tensions between mobility as an organizing principle in archaeological inquiry and interpretation of the often thin empirical record. We argue that the theoretical and methodological space opened by rejecting the notion that mobility determines social complexity promotes an appreciation for and attention to the way subjects are free (or not) to move in and out of physical and social space. This has profound effects for our interpretations of the constitution of social life, heterarchy, and intimate knowledge in prehistory. Further, we discuss the inadequacies of interpretations that rely exclusively on site-based research, as well ontological categories such as “sedentism”. Tacking back and forth between the two archaeological traditions, we explore the ways in which historical process is conditioned by mobility, whether through cyclical or abrupt practices. We draw attention to the way that certain divisions between the mobile and the localized are constructs of the anthropological and archaeological imagination rather than the fluid processes experienced by our subjects. As such, using mobility as a point of departure point, we contribute to anthropological discussions surrounding knowledge, practice, and continuity.

Program Number: 2-0215
Session Title: MOVING BODIES, BEING SUBJECTS: ETHNOGRAPHIC, ARCHAEOLOGICAL AND HISTORICAL APPROACHES TO MOBILITY
Session Sponsor: Co-Sponsored by Archaeology Division and Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Thu., 8:00 AM-11:45 AM
Organizer(s): MAUREEN MARSHALL (University of Chicago), MICHELLE LELIEVRE (University of Chicago) 
Chair(s): MAUREEN MARSHALL (University of Chicago)  
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