Archaeological excavations

2020
Magdalena de Cao
Jeffrey Quilter. 12/1/2020. Magdalena de Cao, Pp. 472. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

During the early Colonial Period in the Americas, as an ancient way of life ended and the modern world began, indigenous peoples and European invaders confronted, resisted, and compromised with one another. Yet archaeological investigations of this complex era are rare. Magdalena de Cao is an exception: the first in-depth and heavily illustrated examination of what life was like at one culturally mixed town and church complex during the early Colonial Period in Peru.

The field research reported in this volume took place at the site of Magdalena de Cao Viejo, a town on the edge of the Pacific Ocean whose 150-year lifespan ran from the Late Renaissance to the Age of Enlightenment. For a decade, an interdisciplinary team of researchers conducted archaeological and historical research in Peru, Spain, and the United States. Their analysis of documentary sources and recovered artifacts—including metals, textiles, beads, and fragmentary paper documents—opens new doors to understanding daily life in Magdalena de Cao during a turbulent time. Touching on themes of colonialism, cultural hybridity, resistance, and assimilation, Magdalena de Cao provides a comprehensive overview of the project itself and a rich body of data that will be of interest to researchers for years to come.

2019
Kebara Cave, Mt. Carmel, Israel, Part II: The Middle and Upper Paleolithic Archaeology
12/31/2019. Kebara Cave, Mt. Carmel, Israel, Part II: The Middle and Upper Paleolithic Archaeology, Pp. 456. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

The remains from Skhul, Qafzeh, Amud, and Kebara caves in Israel provide evidence for the possible contemporaneity and eventual replacement of several distinct hominin populations over time: early Archaic-Modern humans by Neanderthals, and Neanderthals by Modern humans. Kebara Cave, which dates to 65,000 to 48,000 years ago, is well known for its Neanderthal remains and marvelously preserved archaeological record. Dense concentrations of fireplaces and ash lenses and rich assemblages of stone tools, animal bones, and charred plant remains testify to repeated and intensive use of the cave by late Middle Paleolithic foragers.

This second and final volume of the Kebara Cave site report presents findings from nine years of excavation and analysis of the archaeology, paleontology, human remains, and lithic industries from the Middle and Upper Paleolithic periods. Its full documentation of the daily activities of the cave’s Neanderthal inhabitants clearly indicates behavioral patterns generally attributed only to Modern humans. The two volumes on Kebara Cave provide a cornerstone for the story of humankind in a critical geographic region: the continental crossroads between Africa and Eurasia in the Levant.

2008
Remembering Awatovi: The Story of an Archaeological Expedition in Northern Arizona, 1935-1939
Hester A. Davis. 12/15/2008. Remembering Awatovi: The Story of an Archaeological Expedition in Northern Arizona, 1935-1939, Pp. 240. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

Winner, 2008 New England Book Show (General Trade, Cover)

Gold Medal, 2009 IPPY Awards (West Mountain - Best Regional Non-Fiction)

Remembering Awatovi is the engaging story of a major archaeological expedition on the Hopi Reservation in northern Arizona. Centered on the large Pueblo village of Awatovi, with its Spanish mission church and beautiful kiva murals, the excavations are renowned not only for the data they uncovered but also for the interdisciplinary nature of the investigations. In archaeological lore they are also remembered for the diverse, fun-loving, and distinguished cast of characters who participated in or visited the dig.

Hester Davis’s lively account—part history of archaeology, part social history—is told largely in the words of the participants, among whom were two of Davis’s siblings, artist Penny Davis Worman and archaeologist Mott Davis. Life in the remote field camp abounded with delightful storytelling, delicious food, and good-natured high-jinks. Baths were taken in a stock tank, beloved camp automobiles were given personal names, and a double bed had to be trucked across the desert and up a mesa to celebrate a memorable wedding.

Remembering Awatovi is illustrated with over 160 portraits and photographs of camp life. Essays by Eric Polingyouma and Brian Fagan enrich the presentation.

Kebara Cave, Mt. Carmel, Israel, Part I: The Middle and Upper Paleolithic Archaeology
Liliane Meignen. 3/30/2008. Kebara Cave, Mt. Carmel, Israel, Part I: The Middle and Upper Paleolithic Archaeology. Edited by Ofer Bar-Yosef, Pp. 352. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

The Levantine corridor sits at the continental crossroads of Africa and Eurasia, making it a focal point for scientific inquiry into the emergence of modern humans and their relations with Neanderthals. The recent excavations at Kebara Cave in Israel, undertaken by an international, interdisciplinary team of researchers, has provided data crucial for understanding the cognitive and behavioral differences between archaic and modern humans.

In this first of two volumes, the authors discuss site formation processes, subsistence strategies, land-use patterns, and intrasite organization. Hearths and faunal remains reveal a dynamic and changing settlement system during the late Mousterian period, when Kebara Cave served as a major encampment. The research at Kebara Cave allows archaeologists to document the variability observed in settlement, subsistence, and technological strategies of the Late Middle and early Upper Paleolithic periods in the Levant.

Holon: A Lower Paleolithic Site in Israel
1/30/2008. Holon: A Lower Paleolithic Site in Israel, Pp. 214. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

Excavations at the open-air site of Holon, Israel, have provided a unique perspective on hominin behavior, technology, and subsistence strategies in the Middle East at the end of the Lower Paleolithic. This excavation, carried out by Tamar Noy between 1963 and 1970, was one of the first successful salvage projects in the region. This ASPR volume is the first integrated monograph on a Lower Paleolithic site to be published from the region. It brings together the results of interdisciplinary research on the site of Holon—geology, dating, archaeology, paleontology, taphonomy, and spatial analysis—by a team of leading international researchers. The results are synthesized to address fundamental questions of human evolution, including whether early hominins hunted or scavenged very large animals, and the nature of culture change in the Lower Paleolithic. The lithic analysis documents the final stage of the Lower Paleolithic before the transition to Middle Paleolithic technology. This book will be an essential point of reference for students and specialists working in the archaeology of human evolution, as well as all archaeologists working in the region of the Levant.

2006
A Noble Pursuit: The Duchess of Mecklenburg Collection from Iron Age Slovenia
Gloria Polizzotti Greis. 4/30/2006. A Noble Pursuit: The Duchess of Mecklenburg Collection from Iron Age Slovenia, Pp. 128. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

Photographs by Hillel S. Burger

In 1905, to the consternation of her family and in defiance of convention, the 48-year-old Duchess Paul Friedrich of Mecklenburg took up the practice of archaeology. In the nine years leading up to the First World War, she successfully excavated twenty-one sites in her home province of Carniola (modern Slovenia), acquiring the patronage of Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Josef I and German Kaiser Wilhelm II. Mentored by the most important archaeologists of her time—Oscar Montelius and Josef Dechellette—the Duchess became an accomplished fieldworker and an important figure in the archaeology of Central Europe. Gloria Greis incorporates previously unpublished correspondence and other archival documents in this colorful account of the Duchess of Mecklenburg and her work.

The Mecklenburg Collection, the largest systematically excavated collection of European antiquities outside of Europe, resides in Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. The sites excavated by the Duchess, which encompass the scope of Iron Age cultures in Slovenia, form an important resource for studying the cultural history of the region. A Noble Pursuit presents a selection of beautifully photographed artifacts that provide an overview of the scope and importance of the collection as a whole and attest to the enduring quality of the Duchess’s pioneering work.

Gloria Polizzotti Greis is Executive Director of the Needham (Massachusetts) Historical Society.

The Faunas of Hayonim Cave, Israel: A 200,000-Year Record of Paleolithic Diet, Demography, and Society
Mary C. Stiner. 2/28/2006. The Faunas of Hayonim Cave, Israel: A 200,000-Year Record of Paleolithic Diet, Demography, and Society, Pp. 330. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

A decade of zooarchaeological fieldwork (1992-2001) went into Mary Stiner’s pathbreaking analysis of changes in human ecology from the early Mousterian period through the end of Paleolithic cultures in the Levant. Stiner employs a comparative approach to understanding early human behavioral and environmental change, based on a detailed study of fourteen bone assemblages from Hayonim Cave and Meged Rockshelter in Israel’s Galilee. Principally anthropological in outlook, Stiner’s analysis also integrates chemistry, foraging and population ecology, vertebrate paleontology, and biogeography. Her research focuses first on the formation history, or taphonomy, of bone accumulations, and second on questions about the economic behaviors of early humans, including the early development of human adaptations for hunting large prey and the relative "footprint" of humans in Pleistocene ecosystems of the Levant.

2005
The Neville Site: 8,000 Years at Amoskeag, Manchester, New Hampshire
Dena Ferran Dincauze. 9/15/2005. The Neville Site: 8,000 Years at Amoskeag, Manchester, New Hampshire, Pp. 160. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

The 1968 excavation of the Neville Site in Manchester, New Hampshire, was a major event in the archaeological history of New England. Analysis of the site extended the known duration of continuous occupation in the region by some 3,000 years and demonstrated early connections between the New England area and the Southeast. The Neville Site was first occupied nearly 8,000 years ago, when the Eastern coastal plain from North Carolina to New Hampshire was essentially a single cultural province. Current excavations in Manchester have reinvigorated interest in the archaeology of New Hampshire and created a demand for this facsimile edition of the original 1976 publication.

Painted by a Distant Hand
Steven A. LeBlanc. 4/30/2005. Painted by a Distant Hand, Pp. 120. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

Foreword by Rubie Watson

Photographs by Hillel S. Burger

1st place, 2006 NEMA Awards (Books Over $10)

Highlighting one of the Peabody Museum’s most important archaeological expeditions—the excavation of the Swarts Ranch Ruin in southwestern New Mexico by Harriet and Burton Cosgrove in the mid-1920s—Steven LeBlanc’s book features rare, never-before-published examples of Mimbres painted pottery, considered by many scholars to be the most unique of all the ancient art traditions of North America. Made between A.D. 1000 and 1150, these pottery bowls and jars depict birds, fish, insects, and mammals that the Mimbres encountered in their daily lives, portray mythical beings, and show humans participating in both ritual and everyday activities. LeBlanc traces the origins of the Mimbres people and what became of them, and he explores our present understanding of what the images mean and what scholars have learned about the Mimbres people in the 75 years since the Cosgroves’ expedition.

Steven A. LeBlanc is an archaeologist and former Director of Collections at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University.

Rubie Watson is Curator of Comparative Ethnology in the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University.

2004
Mecklenburg Collection, Part I: Data on Iron Age Horses of Central and Eastern Europe and Human Skeletal Material from Slovenia
Sándor Bökönyi J. Lawrence and Angel. 12/1/2004. Mecklenburg Collection, Part I: Data on Iron Age Horses of Central and Eastern Europe and Human Skeletal Material from Slovenia. Edited by Hugh Hencken, Pp. 116. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

These three volumes deal with the Iron Age grave materials from Magdalenska gora, excavated by the Duchess Paul Friedrich von Mecklenburg-Schwerin. The Duchess of Mecklenburg, a member of an Austrian royal family with estates in Slovenia, conducted her excavations in the early years of the twentieth century. The materials from Magdalenska gora were purchased by the Peabody Museum in the 1930s.

Volume I presents data and analysis of the horse remains and human skeletal materials.

Excavations at Tepe Yahya, Iran, 1967-1975, Volume IV: The Iron Age Settlement
Peter Magee. 7/26/2004. Excavations at Tepe Yahya, Iran, 1967-1975, Volume IV: The Iron Age Settlement, Pp. 108. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

Tepe Yahya provides a stratigraphic sequence that stretches some 6,000 years, from the Neolithic period to the early centuries AD. As a result, the site is critical for understanding cultural processes in southeastern Iran. In this fifth volume of results of the excavations at Tepe Yahya, Peter Magee presents evidence from the Iron Age occupation of the site. Looking beyond the epigraphic and historical data and examining the insights provided by the artifactual record, Magee describes how a small settlement, located some distance from the main centers of power, came into being and was affected by the emergence of the Achaemenid imperial system, which stretched from Pakistan to Libya.

Gifts of the Great River: Arkansas Effigy Pottery from the Edwin Curtiss Collection
John H. House. 1/22/2004. Gifts of the Great River: Arkansas Effigy Pottery from the Edwin Curtiss Collection, Pp. 120. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

Foreword by Ian W. Brown

In 1879 Edwin Curtiss set out for the wild St. Francis River region of northeastern Arkansas to collect archaeological specimens for the Peabody Museum. By the time Curtiss completed his fifty-six days of Arkansas fieldwork, he had sent nearly 1,000 pottery vessels to Cambridge and had put the Peabody on the map as the repository of one of the world’s finest collections of Mississippian artifacts. John House brings us a lively account of the work of this nineteenth-century fieldworker, the Native culture he explored, and the rich legacies left by both. The result is a vivid re-creation of the world of Indian peoples in the Mississippi River lowlands in the last centuries before European contact. The volume’s focus is Curtiss’s collection of charming and expressive effigy vessels: earthenware bowls and bottles that incorporate forms of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians, and humans, including the Peabody’s famous red-and-white head vase.

John H. House is Station Archaeologist, Pine Bluff Research Station, and Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

2001
Excavations at Tepe Yahya, Iran, 1967-1975, Volume III: The Third Millennium
D. T. by Potts. 11/14/2001. Excavations at Tepe Yahya, Iran, 1967-1975, Volume III: The Third Millennium. Edited by C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky, Pp. 388. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

Situated roughly midway between the great cities of the Indus Valley and those of the Mesopotamian plains, Tepe Yahya occupies a special place in our conceptions of relations between these distant territories during the early Bronze Age. Its third-millennium levels, dating from 3000 to 2100 B.C., are particularly important.

In this definitive study, D. T. Potts describes the stratigraphy, architecture, ceramics, and chronology of the site and presents a full inventory of the small finds. Holly Pittman contributes comprehensive illustrations and a discussion of the seals and sealings, and Philip Kohl provides an analysis of the carved chlorite industry. In a foreword and afterword, project director C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky tells the story of the archaeological expedition and reflects on the contributions of the Tepe Yahya project.

1994
Origins of the Bronze Age Oasis Civilization in Central Asia
Fred Hiebert. 11/28/1994. Origins of the Bronze Age Oasis Civilization in Central Asia, Pp. 240. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

The Murghad River delta, the site of ancient Margiana, was extensively settled during at least part of the Bronze Age, between 2200 and 1750 B.C. Oases in an otherwise desert region, settlements were situated along deltaic branches of the river or canals dug from those branches. Excavations at one of the largest and most complex of these sites, Gonur depe, have been ongoing for many years under the direction of Victor Sarianidi. During the 1988–89 field season, Fred Hiebert excavated part of Gonur in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture of Turkmenistan and the Institute of Archaeology in Moscow.

Published here, the results provide a key to understanding the large corpus of material of the Bactro-Margiana Archaeological Complex extracted over the past 30 years from this and neighboring sites of the Oxus civilization.

An Early Neolithic Village in the Jordan Valley, Part II: The Fauna of Netiv Hagdud
Eitan Tchernov. 9/15/1994. An Early Neolithic Village in the Jordan Valley, Part II: The Fauna of Netiv Hagdud, Pp. 112. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

The “Neolithic Revolution” in Southwestern Asia involved major transformations of economy and society that began during the Natufian period in the southern Levant and continued through Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) and into Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB). The authors describe that process at Netiv Hagdud, with additional material from the Natufian site of Salibiya IX. Includes reports on the archaeology, lithics, bone tools, lithic use-wear, marine shells, burials, and plant remains.

1985
Stephen Williams Jeffrey P. and Brain. 7/31/1985. Excavations at the Lake George Site, Yazoo Country, Mississippi, 1958–1960, Pp. 512. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

This milestone volume describes and interprets excavations at one of the greatest late prehistoric sites in the southeastern United States. Lake George reached its zenith between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries A.D., during the florescence of the Mississippian culture. This is a detailed analysis of the site and its relationship to the corpus of Southeastern archaeology.

1983
Rural Economy in the Early Iron Age
Peter S. Wells. 11/28/1983. Rural Economy in the Early Iron Age, Pp. 192. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

This volume presents data and analysis on settlement structure, subsistence patterns, manufacturing, and trade from the Peabody Museum’s four seasons of excavation at Hascerkeller, Bavaria, a typical Central European agricultural community at the start of the final millennium B.C.

Excavations at Seibal, Department of Peten, Guatemala, III
Gordon R. Willey, A. Ledyard Smith, Jeremy A. Sabloff, Ronald L. Bishop, Garman Harbottle, Robert L. Rands, and Edward V. Sayre. 3/1/1983. Excavations at Seibal, Department of Peten, Guatemala, III, Pp. 260. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

1. Major Architecture and Caches. 2. Analyses of Fine Paste Ceramics

Seibal is a major ruin of the southern Maya lowlands, its vast ceremonial center covering several high hills on the banks of the Pasion River in the Guatemalan Department of Peten. In five volumes published over a 15-year period, the archaeological team headed by Gordon R. Willey presents a comprehensive review of their fieldwork from 1964 to 1968 and the results of many years of subsequent data analysis. The volumes also report on explorations in the peripheral settlements outside of the Seibal center and provide a regional view of the evolution of lowland Maya culture from the Middle and Late Preclassic through the Late Classic periods.

1980
Mariana Mesa: Seven Prehistoric Settlements in West-Central New Mexico
Charles R. McGimsey III. 6/13/1980. Mariana Mesa: Seven Prehistoric Settlements in West-Central New Mexico, Pp. 320. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

A detailed report on the excavations of, and a comprehensive account and analysis of artifacts and materials from, seven settlements that varied in size from units of one or two families to small communities of several dozen individual houses.

1978
Bones from Awatovi
Stanley J. Olsen. 12/1/1978. Bones from Awatovi, Pp. 84. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Peabody Museum Press. BUY THIS BOOKAbstract

Bones from Awatovi contains a detailed analysis of the massive collection of both the faunal remains and the bone/antler artifacts recovered from the site of Awatovi. Unique in its size and degree of preservation, the Awatovi faunal collection provides rich ground for analysis and interpretation. Olsen and Wheeler deliver an in-depth examination which is of interest to archaeologists and faunal analysts alike.

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