American Pioneers and Traditions

  • David M. CarballoEmail author
Living reference work entry


The Americanist tradition of archaeology is defined by cross-cultural comparative research that draws heavily on an innovative tradition of regional-scale fieldwork (Willey and Phillips 2001[1958]; Willey and Sabloff 1980). Many early pioneers worked in multiple culture areas of the Americas, seeking direct connections between the archaeological record and living or historical indigenous peoples, and fostering close ties with anthropology as a result. This brief overview covers seminal developments in stratigraphic excavation, regional survey, and other field methods within their historical and geographic context.


Pioneering archaeological efforts across the globe are often lauded for their early attention to stratigraphy and the association of geological or cultural strata with change in human societies over time. In the Americas, as in other parts of the globe, such attention was often the result of nonsystematic excavations into mounds of anthropomorphic...

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyBoston UniversityBostonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Martin Carver
    • 1
  • Sandra Monton Subias
    • 2
  • Bisserka Gaydarska
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyUniversity of YorkYorkUK
  2. 2.Departament d'HumanitatsICREA/Universitat Pompeu Fabra.BarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Department of ArchaeologyDurham UniversityDurhamUK