AAA Annual Meeting Program

AAA Annual Meeting Program Details

Session Information:
This session may be of particular interest to:  Students
Program Number: 2-0800
Type: Session
Session Sponsor: Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Thu., 1:45 PM-5:30 PM
Organizer(s): ALAN GREENE (University of Chicago), DAVID PETERSON 
Chair(s): SARAH GRAFF (University of Chicago) 
1:45 PM: KATHARINA REBAY-SALISBURY (University of Leicester) -- Tracing Networks: Tracking Objects, Modelling Movements  
2:00 PM: WILLIAM MEYER (University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill) -- Trafficking in Greek Boys: Recasting the Master-Slave Relationship in Iron Age Studies  
2:30 PM: DAVID PETERSON, JOHN DUDGEON, MONICA TROMP, WHITNIE RAUH -- What Moves Between the Margins? Metallurgy, Networks and Social Identity in Ancient Eurasia  
2:45 PM: KRISTINA KILLGROVE (University of North Carolina) -- All Roads Lead to Rome: An Old World Perspective on Human Circulation  
3:00 PM: ALAN GREENE (University of Chicago) -- Ceramic Social Life at Tsaghkahovit: A Biographical Look at Pottery Economy in the Late Bronze Age South Caucasus  
3:15 PM: PHILLIP TRELLA (University of Virginia) -- On the Hoof: The Expansion of States and the Circulation of Animals in Third Millennium B.c. Upper Mesopotamia  
3:30 PM: KEVIN SMITH (Brown University) -- Thinking Locally About Acting Globally: A North Atlantic Rock Opera in Three Acts  
3:45 PM: CAROLYN FREIWALD -- Reconstructing Population Movement in the Belize River Valley During the Late and Terminal Classic: An Isotopic and Contextual Model of Ancient Maya Migration  
4:15 PM: MARIE-PIERRE GADOUA -- The Social Networks of Hunters, Animals, Spirits and Technology Among Ancestral Inuit in the Canadian Arctic  
4:30 PM: JOHN DUDGEON, AMY COMMENDADOR, MONICA TROMP -- Trace Elements, Residues and DNA Microsatellite Data in Archaeological Mobility Studies: Evaluating Demographic Barriers to Panmixia in Rapa Nui (Easter Island)  
4:45 PM: ERICK ROCHETTE -- "Understanding What Moves, by Seeing What Stays": The Organization of Classic Period Maya Jade Artifact Production as Seen From the Middle Motagua Valley, Guatemala  
5:00 PM: SARAH GRAFF (University of Chicago) -- Circulation and the Nature of Economic Behavior  
5:30 PM: End of Session
Abstract: Archaeology has recently seen tremendous advances in techniques for chemical, isotopic, and microstructural analysis as an aid in documenting past movements of archaeological subjects and objects—be they people, animals, or artifacts. These methods have enabled researchers to track the changing locations of humans and animals during their lives (and deaths), and artifacts and materials as they were transported and exchanged within and between regions. However, the incorporation of such data in archaeological argumentation has contributed only slightly to broader anthropological discussions of the social significance and variable meaning of subject and object motion.

For archaeologists interested in the circulation of people and animals, strontium isotope analysis of osteological materials has achieved a remarkable analytical impact, making data available on mobility and interaction barely conceivable mere decades ago. The similarly revolutionary analysis of the circulation of artifacts and “raw” materials, through compositional techniques such as mass spectrometry and neutron activation analysis, has revolutionized our understandings of how materials were gathered, transported, and exchanged in the past. New applications of microstructural analysis are providing exciting insights on the artifact fabrication practices utilized by different communities and on the distirbution networks of their final products.

Nevertheless, satisfactory interpretation of the nature of the movements captured in these datasets has often lagged behind the acquisition of the data themselves, while interpretive frameworks have not always productively accommodated new methodological insights. In addressing the 2010 annual meeting theme of “Circulation,” we ask, how might anthropological archaeology more effectively marshal such powerful analytical datasets to address the implications of particular subject and object circulations? In addition, how can archaeometric techniques be more productively configured to enable an anthropological perspective of the past human activity surrounding these movements? Presentations in this session will shed new light on archaeological evidence from the lab and field for the circulation of people, animals, and material things from a variety of interpretive perspectives.

Encouraged approaches include, but are not limited to: economic (studies examining circulation within the context of holistic models of production, exchange, and consumption), biographical (life history accounts of both object and subject movements in the past), socio-technical (analyses of the complicated relationships between the technological and social goals wrapped up in circulatory activity), and biological (demographic accounts of shifting patterns in human movement).


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