Seriation, Burial
Taboo, and the Self

Volume 58, Number 3, Abstracts

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R. Lee Lyman & Judith L. Harpole
Department of Anthropology, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211

A.L. Kroeber invented frequency seriation in 1916 to measure the passage of time.  This chronometer measured the flight of time's arrow with artifact types that changed their relative frequencies in a uniform fashion over what seemed, on the basis of other evidence, to be the linear passage of time.  In 1919 and again in 1940, Kroeber sought to measure cycles of cultural phenomena over time and chose a different method for doing so.  This method, now termed time-series analysis, was implemented by plotting the averages of several metric dimensions of a kind of artifact against their known age.  Kroeber observed recurring averages and concluded that cultural phenomena cycled through time.  Frequency seriation and time-series analysis as implemented by Kroeber comprise significant differences in the units they use, their protocols, and their analytical goals.


Jeannette Marie Mageo
Department of Anthropology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-4910

This article presents a multidimensional model of the self that recognizes cultural variety while providing a comparative framework-- giving translatability to difference.  In this model, cultures of self can be mapped on an array of continua that represent modes of variation in a multidimensional field.  These continua enable us to figure the position of one culture relative to others, while allowing for the possibility that dimensions of self do not co-vary among cultures.  Continua also make it possible to plot variance in styles of selfhood within a single culture that could occur between contexts, through historical time, or among subgroups of class, caste, gender, or ethnicity.  In the process of delineating this model, I interrogate theories, both venerable and contemporary, concerning experience and embodiment, ranking and gender, morality, emotion, and cognition, attachment and need, asking how these elements of self articulate with one another and in what sense their cultural divergence is meaningful.


Kofi Agyekum
Department of Linguistics, University of Ghana, P.O. Box 61, Legon-Accra,
Ghana, West Africa

This article discusses menstruation as a verbal taboo among the Akan-speakers of Ghana and considers the theory behind this phenomenon.  The use of euphemisms is the most popular verbal Taboo Avoidance Technique (TAT) among the Akan, and the euphemisms used for menstruation are outlined.  The article then examines the semantic and metaphorical relations between the euphemisms and what they denote.  Among the Akan, euphemisms for menstruation follow two basic models: (1) negative (indisposition and seclusion of the woman) and (2) positive (transition and fertility and the arrival of a protective visitor).  With urbanization, modernization, and the adoption of Western religions, some of the Akan euphemisms for menstruation have become fossilized, and others no longer have referential reality.  I argue that changing patterns in the use of the euphemisms and drastic changes in the current generation's knowledge of them reveal much about societal changes in the Akan speech community.


Lidio M. Valdez
Department of Anthropology, University of Alberta, 13-27 H M Tory Building,
Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2H4 Canada 

Katrina J. Bettcher
Department of Anthropology, Trent University, Canada

L. Ernesto Valdez
Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de Huamanga, Ayacucho, Peru

Recent archaeological salvage excavations in the Ayacucho Valley of the Peruvian Central Highlands resulted in the discovery of two totally new mortuary structure forms for the region and for the Wari culture in particular.  The first form consists of two rectangular mortuary chambers, each with a small east-facing entrance and holding the interred remains of several individuals.  The second form consists of several cylindrical cysts, each containing the remains of a single individual.  We describe both mortuary forms and compare them to other known Wari mortuary structures of the region.  Since both chambers evidently were accessible, we also discuss their possible implications with regard to ancestor worship, keeping in mind that an important aspect of Inka ayllu organization was the veneration of ancestors' mummified bodies kept in accessible mortuary buildings.

What Evolution Is. Ernst Mayr. New York: Basic Books, 2001, 192 pp. $24.00, cloth.
Reviewed by Laura Betzig, The Adaptationist Program, Ann Arbor, Michigan

The Human Inheritance: Genes, Languages, and Evolution.  Bryan Sykes, ed.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999, 208 pp. $24.95, cloth.
Reviewed by Theodore Schurr, University of Pennsylvania

The Anthropology of Modern Human Teeth: Dental Morphology and Its Variation in Recent Human Populations. G. Richard Scott and Christy G. Turner II. Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 1997, 382 pp. $80.00, cloth; $29.95, paper.
Reviewed by Brian E. Hemphill, California State University, Bakersfield

Gorillas Among Us: A Primate Ethnographer's Book of Days.  Dawn Prince-Hughes.  Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2001, 130 pp., 13 illustrations.  $40.00, cloth; $17.95, paper.
Reviewed by Vicki K. Bentley-Condit, Grinnell College

Constructing Frames of Reference: An Analytical Method for Archaeological Theory Building Using Ethnographic and Environmental Data Sets.  Lewis R. Binford.  Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2001, 583 pp., 360 illustrations. $75.00, cloth.
Reviewed by Kim Hill, University of New Mexico

Archaeological Theory Today. Ian Hodder, ed.  Oxford: Polity Press, 2001, 328 pp. £50.00, cloth; £15.99, paper.
Reviewed by Dean J. Saitta, University of Denver

Biogeochemical Approaches to Paleodietary Analysis.  Stanley H. Ambrose and M. Anne Katzenberg, eds. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2000, 269 pp. $75.00, cloth.
Reviewed by John Krigbaum, University of Florida

Handbook of Rock Art Research. David S. Whitley, ed. Walnut Creek, Calif.: Altamira Press, 2001, 864 pp. $99.95, cloth.
Reviewed by Polly Schaafsma, Museum of Indian Arts and Culture/
Laboratory of Anthropology, Museum of New Mexico

Les origines de la pensée: Archéologie de la conscience. Marcel Otte. Sprimont, Belgium: Peirre Mardaga, 2001, 136 pp.. £14.50, cloth.
Reviewed by Georges Sauvet, Université Paris-XIII, Villetaneuse, France

Life in Neolithic Farming Communities: Social Organization, Identity, and Differentiation.  Ian Kuijt, ed. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2000, 325 pp. $80.00, cloth.
Reviewed by Roger Matthews, Institute of Archaeology, University College London

Atlantis Destroyed. Rodney Castleden. London: Routledge, 2001, xiv + 225 pp., 69 figures, 31 plates, 1 table. $19.95, paper.
Reviewed by Paul Rehak, University of Kansas 

Ancient Burial Practices in the American Southwest: Archaeology, Physical Anthropology, and Native American Perspectives. Douglas R. Mitchell and Judy L. Brunson-Hadley, eds.  Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2001, 276 pp. $59.95, cloth.
Reviewed by Ann Palkovich, George Mason University

Ruins and Rivals: The Making of Southwest Archaeology.  James E. Snead.  Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2001, 290 pp.  $35.00, cloth.
Reviewed by Don D. Fowler, University of Nevada, Reno

The Architecture of Grasshopper Pueblo.  Charles R. Riggs. Salt Lake City, UT: Salt Lake City Press, 2001, 280 pp. $40.00, cloth.
Reviewed by Thomas C. Windes, U.S. National Park Service and Elizabeth Bagwell, University of New Mexico

Casas Grandes and Its Hinterland: Prehistoric Regional Organization in Northwest Mexico. Michael E. Whalen and Paul E. Minnis. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2001, 250 pp., 9 halftones, 52 line illustrations.  $45.00, cloth.
Reviewed by David A. Phillips, Jr. SWCA Environmental Consultants

Trees of Paradise and Pillars of the World: The Serial Stelae of "18-Rabbit-God K," King of Copan.  Elizabeth Newsome.  Austin: University of Texas Press, 2001, 336 pp.  $45.00, cloth.
Reviewed by David Stuart, Harvard University

Children and Anthropology: Perspectives for the 21st Century.  Helen B. Schwartzman, ed.  Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001, 224 pp. $64.95, cloth.
Reviewed by Jonathan Benthall, University College London

Experimental Americans: Celo and Utopian Community in the Twentieth Century.  George L. Hicks.  Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2001, 272 pp. $36.95, cloth.
Reviewed by Brian J.L. Berry, University of Texas at Dallas

Marketing Democracy: Power and Social Movements in Post-Dictatorship Chile.  Julia Paley.  Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001, xviii + 255 pp.  $19.95, paper.
Reviewed by Larissa Adler Lomnitz, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Racial Revolutions: Antiracism and Indian Resurgence in Brazil.  Jonathan W. Warren. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2001, 363 pp. $64.00, cloth; $21.95, paper.
Reviewed by Laura R. Graham, University of Iowa

Dancing with the Virgin: Body and Faith in the Fiesta of Tortugas, New Mexico.  Deidre Sklar. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2001, 230 pp. $16.95, paper.
Reviewed by Sylvia Rodríguez, University of New Mexico

Female "Circumcision" in Africa: Culture, Controversy, and Change.  Bettina Shell-Duncan and Ylva Hernlund, eds.  Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2000, 349 pp. $59.95, cloth.
Reviewed by Mary H. Moran, Colgate University

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