Interaction and Isolation

The Empty Spaces in Panregional Political and Economic Systems
  • Steadman Upham
Part of the Interdisciplinary Contributions to Archaeology book series (IDCA)

Abstract

Since the 1960s, it has become axiomatic in American archaeology to argue that culture change is predicated on the existence of variability in cultural and behavioral strategies. The debate over whether to emphasize norms or variation in archaeological interpretation, in fact, has become passé. At the same time, site-specific studies have been argued to be less relevant. Regional and panregional approaches that emphasize the systemic development of cultural systems and interaction are now viewed as a synthetic alternative to narrower culture historical studies of single sites. The changing spatial perspectives of archaeologists (from sites to regions and panregions) and the acknowledged importance of cultural and behavioral variation in change studies is the self-evident result of disciplinary housekeeping that has taken place during the last two decades. What is not self-evident despite such housekeeping, however, is how the axes of cultural and behavioral variation are acted upon by the selective pressures that mold cultural systems. In this chapter, I explore the issues of variation and change in a limited way by focusing on the spatial characteristics of panregional systems. As the title of this chapter suggests, I am interested in the “empty” spaces in such systems, the areas most often neglected by the spatial analytic techniques that emphasize nodal analyses, connectivity measures and ideas of centrality. Yet the purpose of this chapter is to show how these “empty” spaces create an important dynamic in regional and panregional systems, and are essential in the development, maintenance, and decline of large-scale interactive networks.

Keywords

Empty Space Residential Mobility World System Cultural Resource Management American Archaeology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Steadman Upham
    • 1
  1. 1.The Graduate SchoolUniversity of OregonEugeneUSA

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