Volume 55, Number 1, Abstracts

Past & Present
Old World & New

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Kelley Hays-Gilpin
Department of Anthropology, Northern Arizona University, P.O. Box 15200, Flagstaff, AZ 86011-5200

Jane H. Hill
Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona, P.O. Box 210030, Tucson, AZ 85721-0030

Uto-Aztecan peoples of Mesoamerica and the U.S. Southwest, together with neighboring Pueblo and Mayan groups, share a system of verbal imagery evoking a flowery spirit world. This study traces Flower World imagery in visual arts in the prehistoric Southwest and explores possible contexts and chronology for visual expressions of the Flower World and possible links to Mesoamerica. Flower World imagery appears most coherently in the twelfth century, in Mimbres mortuary ceramics and painted wooden ritual regalia from the Mimbres and Chaco Canyon areas, in thirteenth-century Kayenta Anasazi wooden ritual regalia, and in fifteenth century Hopi and Rio Grande kiva murals. We argue that Flower World imagery played an important role in the emergence of the Puebloan Kachina religion and the broader iconographic complex which Crown terms the "Southwest Regional Cult". Flower imagery may represent recruitment of a female symbol into an increasingly formal male-dominated ritual system.


Michael Petraglia
Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560, USA

Philip LaPorta
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, City University of New York, New York, NY 10036, USA

K. Paddayya
Department of Archaeology, Deccan College, 411 006, Pune, India

An Acheulian quarry was recently identified in the Hunsgi Valley, India. An Acheulian quarry has never been described before on the Indian subcontinent, and this is a site type that has rarely been investigated anywhere in the Old World. The Isampur quarry is at a siliceous limestone bedrock source. Surface survey and test excavations have revealed Acheulian assemblages, including a high density of chipped stone waste (i.e., cores, flakes, chunks), bifacial tools (i.e., bifaces, cleavers), and hammerstones. Petrofabric analysis of the limestone beds and study of artifact attributes indiate that hominids practiced standardized biface manufacturing methods at this quarry. Handaxes were made parallel to moderately thick tabular slabs, the handaxe tips and butts often intersecting with joints. Cleavers were made on side-struck flakes from thick cores, which were derived from the thickest limestone beds. The dorsal surface of the side-struck cleavers was often subparallel to a bedding planed, and the bit was inclined into a cleavage scar or joint. The steps involved in biface manufacture prior to and during the reduction process indicate that a significant degree of planning was employed, an important observation given our lack of understanding of Middle Pleistocene hominid cognition. Repeated manufacture of certain tool types and discard of minimally retouched bifaces across the valley floors indicate relations between raw materials and behaviors that we do not yet fully comprehend.


Lisa L. Gezon
Department of Anthropology, State University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA 30118

Analysis of a conflict concerning herding versus agricultural land-use practices in Madagascar reveals that the dynamics of social organization and differentiation are central in negotiating rights to use and manage the biophysical environment and in understanding the relationship between local and national political contexts. This analysis closely examines a transcript from a village-level trial to assess the interplay among family, village, and regional state political arenas and to consider the processes of both arrivingt at individual settlements and realigning the general parameters of resource-use rights in the community.


Jayne Howell
Department of Anthropology, California State University Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90840-1003

Acquisition of formal education affects the roles and status of women throughout the globe. However, idealized gender role stereotypes emphasizing women's reproductive roles are often barriers for rural and lower-income Latin American women who wish to pursue postprimary studies. Rural women in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, typically leave school before the junior-high-school level, marry in their teens, and spend their adult years as full-time wives and mothers who perform unremunerated labor within the home. In recent decades, a minority of rural-born Oaxaquenas have obtained the skills and education required to enter the paid workforce in both support and professional positions. This ethnographic study examines how pursuit of formal education contributes to gender role change in Oaxaca. Analysis of personal and work experiences focuses on ways that local gender constructs incorporate the Oaxaquenas' economic roles.


James E. Brady
Deparment of Anthropology, California State University, Los Angeles, CA 90032

Keith M. Prufer
Department of Anthropology, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Carbondale, IL 62901

Modified and unmodified fragments of rock crystal have been recovered from a number of caves in the southern Maya Lowlands, suggesting that these stones were used in ancient ritual. A review of the archaeological literature suggests that crystal appears with some regularity, and ethnohistorical sources suggest that crystal was considered to be a precious stone. Ethnographic literature reports the utlization of crystals to be restricted to ritual speicalists for use in curing and divining. This article suggests, on the basis of similar ethnohistorical accounts, that the situation was analogous prehistorically, which may allow archaeologists to use crystal artifacts to track the activities of ritual specialists. The power of crystals was apparently believed to be derived from the power of the earth so that crystals found in caves, which are also connected to the earth, might be considered to be especially powerful. Some evidence suggests that caves may have been an important source of these "power" objects.


Function, Phylogeny, and Fossils: Miocene Hominoid Evolution and Adaptations. David R. Begun, Carol V. Ward, and Michael D. Rose, eds. New York: Plenum Press, 1997, 436 pp. $120.00, cloth. Reviewed by Charles E. Hilton, University of New Mexico.

Bone Voyage: A Journey in Forensic Anthropology. Stanley Rhine. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1998, xxi + 268 pp., 47 illustrations. $49.95, cloth; $16.95, paper. Reviewed by Robert Pickering, Denver Museum.

The Social Life of Numbers: A Quechua Ontology of Numbers and Philosophy of Arithmetic. Gary Urton, with the collaboration of Primativo Nina Llanos. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1997, 267 pp. $35.00, cloth; $17.95, paper. Reviewed by Reuben Hersh, University of New Mexico.

A Cognitive Theory of Cultural Meaning. Claudia Strauss and Naomi Quinn. Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 1997, xii + 323 pp. $64.95, cloth; $24.95, paper. Reviewed by Bradd Shore, Emory University.

Opportunity House: Ethnographic Stories of Mental Retardation. Michael V. Angrosino. Walnut Creek, Calif.: AltaMira Press, 1998, 285 pp. $42.00, cloth; $19.95, paper. Reviewed by Robert B. Edgerton, Department of Psychiatry, UCLA, Los Angeles.

Organizing Women: Formal and Informal Women's Groups in the Middle East. Dawn Chatty and Annika Rabo, eds. Oxford: Berg, 1997, xi +244 pg. $45.00, cloth; $19.50, paper. Reviewed by Susan Schaefer Davis, Haverford, Pennsylvania.

Capitalism: An Ethnographic Approach. Daniel Miller. Oxford and New York: Berg, 1997, 334 pp. $60.00, cloth; $24.95, paper. Reviewed by Sidney M. Greenfield, University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee.

Steel Butterflies: Japanese Women and the American Experience. Nancy Brown Diggs. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1998, 204 pp. $18.95, paper. Reviewed by Atsushi Sumi, University of New Mexico.

Changing Ones: Third and Fourth Genders in Native North America. Will Roscoe. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998, viii + 320 pp. $24.95, cloth. Reviewed by Jay Miller, Simon Fraser University.

Storytracking: Texts, Stories, and Histories in Central Australia. Sam D. Gill. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998, xi + 276 pp. $45.00, cloth; $19.95, paper. Reviewed by Bruce Rigsby, The University of Queensland.

Women and Kinship: Comparative Perspectives on Gender in South and South-East Asia. Leela Dube. Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 1997, 224 pp. $24.95, paper. Reviewed by Mary Beth Mills, Colby College.

The Way of the Pathans. James W. Spain. Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1972, 190 pp., halftones, black-and-white illustrations. No price given, cloth. Reviewed by David Edwards, Williams College.

Pathans of the Latter Day. James W. Spain. Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1995, xi + 163 pp., black-and-white illustrations. $24.95, cloth. Reviewed by David Edwards, Williams College.

Handbook of Applied Social Research Methods. Leonard Bickman and Debra J. Rog, eds. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1998, 580 pp. $85.00, cloth. Reviewed by Jane C. Hood, University of New Mexico.

Migration and Ethnicity in Chinese History: Hakkas, Pengmin, and Their Neighbors. Sow-theng Leong (ed. by Tim Wright). Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1997, xix + 234 pp. $45.00, cloth. Reviewed by Stevan Harrell, University of Washington.

An Archaeology of Social Space: Analyzing Coffee Plantations in Jamaica's Blue Mountains. James A. Delle. New York and London: Plenum Press, 1998, xxi + 243 pp. $39.50, cloth. Reviewed by Wendy Bustard.

Eastern Shore Indians of Virginia and Maryland. Helen C. Roundtree and Thomas E. Davidson. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1997, 352 pp., 27 illustrations, 3 tables. $49.50, cloth; $16.95, paper. Reviewed by Richard Dent, American University.

The Lower Palaeolithic of the Maghreb: Excavations and Analyses at Ain Hanech, Algeria. Mohamed Sahnouni. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports, International Series 689, 1998, 162 pp. £25. Reviewed by Lawrence Guy Straus, University of New Mexico.

Le Paleolithique Inferieur et Moyen en Espagne. Joaquin Gonzalez Echegaray and Leslie G. Freeman. Grenoble: Jerome Millon, 1998, 367 pp. + 141 pp. of figures. Paper, no price given. Reviewed by Lawrence Guy Straus, University of New Mexico.

Gender in African Prehistory. Susan Kent, ed. Walnut Creek, Calif.: AltaMira Press, 1998, 352 pp. $49.00, cloth; $24.95, paper. Reviewed by Marcia-Anne Dobres, University of South Carolina.

Material Cultures: Why Some Things Matter. Daniel Miller, ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998, xi + 243 pp., halftones. $45.00, cloth; $22.00, paper. Reviewed by James Skibo, Illinois State University.

Archaeological Obsidian Studies: Methods and Theory. M. Steven Shackley, ed. New York and London: Plenum Press, 1998, xviii + 243 pp., black-and-white illustrations. $49.50, cloth. Reviewed by Richard E. Hughes, Geochemical Research Laboratory, Portola Valley, Calif.

The Moche. Garth Bawden. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1996, ix + 375 pp., black-and-white illustrations. $39.95, cloth. reviewed by Jeffrey Quilter, Pre-Columbian Studies, Dumbarton Oaks.