1st Edition

Infrastructure in Archaeological Discourse Framing Society in the Past

    262 Pages 51 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume expands perspectives on infrastructure that are rooted in archaeological discourse and material evidence.

    The compiled chapters represent new and emerging ideas within archaeology about what infrastructure is, how it can materialize, and how it impacts and reflects human behavior, social organization, and identity in the past as well as the present. Three goals central to the work include: (1) expand the definition of infrastructure using archaeological frameworks and evidence from a wide range of social, historical, and geographic contexts; (2) explore how new archaeological perspectives on infrastructure can help answer anthropological questions pertaining to social organization, group collaboration, and community consensus and negotiation; and (3) examine the broader implications of an archaeological engagement with infrastructure and contributions to contemporary infrastructural studies. Chapters explore important aspects of infrastructure, including its relationality, scale, history, and relevance, and provide archaeological case studies that examine the social repercussions of infrastructure and the various ways it has materialized in the past. This compilation ultimately expands the discourse of infrastructure in archaeology and social sciences more broadly.

    Social scientists can turn to this volume for insights into an archaeologically informed perspective on infrastructure relevant to the study of past and current human behavior.

    1. New Perspectives on Material Infrastructures: Emerging Ideas within Archaeological Discourse

    M. Grace Ellis, Carly M. Desanto, and Meghan C. L. Howey

    2. Perspectives: Infrastructure as Relational

    Anna T. Browne Ribeiro, Mairead K. Doery, and Darryl Wilkinson

    3. From the Ground Up: Earthen and Botanical Traces of Biotic Infrastructures from Ancient Amazonia

    Anna T. Browne Ribeiro

    4. Indigenous Infrastructure: Iconography, Dance, and Nomadic Strategy in the Historic Ute (Núuchiu) World

    Mairead K. Doery

    5. Infrastructure and Interconnectivity in Pre-Columbian Amazonia

    M. Grace Ellis, Christopher T. Fisher, and Anna T. Browne Ribeiro

    6. Perspectives: Scale of Infrastructure

    Tristram R. Kidder, Katherine Peck, Yorke M. Rowan, Meghan C. L. Howey, and Austin "Chad" Hill

    7. Landscape Infrastructure and Local Infrastructure: Scales of Intervention in Urban Water Management

    Monica L. Smith

    8. Desert Kites: Neolithic Infrastructure in the Margins

    Austin "Chad" Hill and Yorke M. Rowan

    9. Perspectives: Historicity and Temporality of Infrastructure

    Edward R. Henry and Rodrigo Solinis-Casparius

    10. Legacies of Infrastructure in Bronze and Iron Age China

    Tristram R. Kidder

    11. Transportation Systems and Movement Infrastructure: Evaluating Use, Maintenance, and Modification of Roads at Angamuco, Michoacan (AD 250–1530)

    Rodrigo Solinis-Casparius

    12. Adena and Hopewell Institutional Responsibilities and Aging Infrastructure in the Middle Ohio Valley, USA

    Edward R. Henry

    13. Perspectives: Relevance of the Archaeology of Infrastructure

    Monica L. Smith and Francisco Pugliese

    14. Agricultural Infrastructure in the Kawaihae Uplands: Ancient Management to Modern Resilience

    Katherine Peck

    15. Consumption or Infrastructure? Theorizing Ceramics in Ancient Empires

    Darryl Wilkinson

    16. Building Meanings as Places: The Archaeology of the Shellmounds and the Indigenous Infrastructure of the Amazon

    Francisco Pugliese, Luis Cayón, and Eduardo Neves


    M. Grace Ellis is a doctoral candidate in the Anthropology and Geography Department at Colorado State University and student researcher at the Interdisciplinary Center for Archaeological Research and Evolution of Human Behavior at the University of Algarve. She specializes in landscape archaeology and remote sensing approaches to explore human-environment interactions in the past. Her research examines land use intensification and social interaction in ancient Amazonia, cosmopolitan networks and seafaring across the Caribbean Sea prior to European contact, and neanderthal extinction and human colonization of Iberia.

    Carly M. DeSanto is a Project Manager at Chronicle Heritage. She obtained her MA in Anthropology from Colorado State University in 2021, which focused on earthen enclosures and monumental construction during the Woodland Period in the Middle Ohio Valley. She specializes in geoarchaeology, archaeogeophysics, infrastructure, earthen monuments, and monumentality. Her current work in cultural resource management focuses on managing archaeological projects in the southwestern United States.

    Meghan C. L. Howey is currently the Director of the Center for the Humanities at the University of New Hampshire where she is a Professor of Anthropology and in the Earth Systems Research Center. She is an anthropological archaeologist who specializes in colonialism, public archaeology, ethnohistory, landscape, and geospatial analyses. Her current project focuses on the 17th century in the Great Bay Estuary in New England, working collaboratively with regional Indigenous knowledge keepers, community volunteers, and ecologists to explore the lasting socioecological legacies of early colonialism.