'One grand history': A critical review of Flagstaff archaeology, 1851 to 1988.
AuthorDownum, Christian Eric.
Archaeology -- Arizona -- Flagstaff Region.
Archaeologists -- Arizona -- Flagstaff Region.
Flagstaff Region (Ariz.) -- Antiquities.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe history of archaeological research in the Flagstaff area since 1851 is reviewed. The thesis of this study is that critical analysis of archaeological history can yield significant insights into both the process and the products of archaeological research. These insights in turn may lead to conclusions about the general nature of intellectual disputes and transitions in archaeology, and the validity of particular reconstructions and explanations of prehistoric behavior. The history of archaeological research in the Flagstaff area is broken into nine major divisions, each of which is separated by a significant intellectual or institutional transition. Particular attention is devoted to historical analysis of the period immediately before World War II, when the fundamental concepts and methods of Flagstaff archaeology were developed by Harold Colton and his associates at the Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA). These developments took place during a remarkably prolific period of archaeological investigation designed to disclose a prehistoric sequence of occupation conceived by MNA workers as "one grand history" of the Hopi people. It is argued, on the basis of the historical review, that Flagstaff archaeology, in its specific examples, indeed reveals much about the nature of intellectual disputes and transitions in American archaeology, and demonstrates that knowledge of the prehistoric past can indeed be cumulative. The study concludes with specific recommendations for improving such knowledge in the Flagstaff area, particularly for the issues of chronology and ceramic taxonomy.