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BIC Excellence Award

Settlement Pattern Studies in the Americas
Fifty Years since Virú

Edited by Brian R. Billman and Gary M. Feinman

Settlement Pattern Studies in the Americas
Hardback, 264 pages £37.00
Published: 1999
ISBN: 9781560988267
Format: 279mm x 216mm
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Subjects: Archaeology, Eliot Werner Publications

Seventeen distinguished scholars recount the history of settlement pattern archaeology and detail case studies ranging from Alaska to Oaxaca to Peru. The chapters grow out of papers prepared for a symposium at the 61st annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, held in New Orleans in April 1996, commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the start of the Virú Valley survey.

List of Illustrations

List of tables



1. Settlement Pattern Research in the Americas: Past, Present, and Future   Brian R. Billman

Part One: The Development of Settlement Pattern Archaeology in the New World

2. The Viru Valley Project and Settlement Archaeology: Some Reminiscences and Contemporary Comments   Gordon R. Willey

3. Three Valleys: Twenty-Five Years of Settlement Archaeology in Mesoamerica   William T. Sanders

4. Spatial Scales and Process: In and around the Valley of Oaxaca   Laura Finsten and Stephen A. Kowalewski

Part Two: Settlement Pattern Studies and the Origins of Sedentism

5. From Traveler to Processor: Regional Trajectories of Hunter-Gatherer Sedentism in the Inoy-Mono Region, California   Robert L. Bettinger

6. Sedentism, Settlement, and Village Organization on the Lower Alaska Peninsula: A Preliminary Assessment   Herbert D.G. Maschner

Part Three: Settlement Pattern Studies and the Origins of Ranked Societies

7. Late Prehistoric Settlements and Wetlands in the Central Mississippi Valley   George R. Milner and James S. Oliver

8. The Settlement Pattern of Mississippian Chiefdoms in Northern Georgia   David J. Hally

9. Settlement Pattern Shifts and Political Ranking in the Lake Titicaca Basin, Peru   Charles Stanish

Part Four: Settlement Pattern Studies and States and Empires

10. Reconstructing Prehistoric Political Economies and Cycles of Political Power in the Moche Valley, Peru   Brian R. Billman

11. Regional Approaches to the Study of Prehistoric Empires: Examples from Ayacucho and Masca, Peru   Katharina J. Schreiber

12. Reflections  on Regional Survey: Perspectives from the Guirin Area, Oaxaca, Mexico   Gary M. Feinman and Linda M. Nicholas

13. Settlement Pattern Studies in the Mixteca Alta, Oaxaca, 1966-1996   Andrew Balkansky

14. Conclusions: The Settlement Pattern Concept from an Americanist Perspective   Suzanne K. Fish



'[A]n important and successful book. . . . [I]t provides a fine overview of what settlement pattern archaeology has contributed to anthropology in the Americas.' (Jeffrey R. Parsons, American Antiquity)

'Readers will find the case-studies especially useful for their excellent and well-illustrated reviews of previous research, along with the presentation of new data and analyses. Also important are issues cross-cutting the individual case-studies.' (Deborah L. Nichols, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute)

'The studies in this volume . . . demonstrate the utility of the [settlement pattern] approach and how it has expanded over the last half-century. . . . [I]ncludes state-of-the-art work.' (Robert Santley, Canadian Journal of Anthropological Research)

'This set of papers is strong and represents some of the success stories in site-organized settlement pattern work. . . . [A] credit to the grand impact of the family of settlement archaeology approaches in our discipline.' (Barbara L. Stark, American Anthropologist)

Brian R. Billman, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Gary M. Feinman, University of Wisconsin, Madison. Madison, Wisconsin

Publication Details:

 Hardback , 264 pages
 279mm x 216mm

BIC Code:
  SOC003000, SOC050000
 Eliot Werner Publications


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