Historical Archaeologies of the American West

Map of West

Publication: Journal of Archaeological Research, Vol. 22, No. 3

Author: Kelly Dixon

Date of Publication: September 2014

PDF File: Dixon-2014-Historical-Archaeologies-of-the-American-West.pdf

URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10814-013-9071-3


Historical archaeology in western North America includes a vast collection of research that underscores the region’s dynamic cultural heritage. Here, I review a sample of the literature related to this research and organize them into four conceptual themes: colonialism and post colonialism, landscape transformation, migration and diaspora, and industrial capitalism. I conclude that the future of historical archaeology in the West will be grounded in research that integrates these themes. As the region continues to experience human dilemmas related to issues such as balancing resource extraction with sustainable conservation and lingering issues of colonialism, these archaeologies have value for transcending the nature culture divide and for understanding the ways in which humanity can navigate pressing issues relevant to our modern world, including vulnerability, risks, adaptation, resilience, and sustainability.