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A Catalyst for Ideas

Anthropological Archaeology and the Legacy of Douglas W. Schwartz

Edited by Vernon L. Scarborough

A Catalyst for Ideas2005. 440 pp., 49 black-and-white illustrations, 8 tables, notes, references, index, 6 x 92005. 440 pp., 49 black-and-white illustrations, 8 tables, notes, references, index, 6 x 9

In his thirty-four years as president of the School of American Research, Douglas W. Schwartz's far-reaching vision placed SAR on the intellectual edge of research about humans across the globe. Nowhere is this more evident than in his influence on the field of anthropological archaeology. The twelve essays in this volume celebrate his contributions by looking back at changes in the field and forward to vital questions, methods, and theories yet nascent. Ranging geographically from the North American Southwest-where Schwartz himself conducted extensive research-to Mesopotamia, central America, and the Indian subcontinent and chronologically from early hominid evolution through archaic hunter-gatherers to the classic and historical Maya, the distinguished contributors make the case for Schwartz's enduring legacy. Addressing major issues in relations of power, writing systems, and directions for future research, this volume is at once mature in its depth and exciting in its boldness.

IMPORTANT NOTICE || August 1, 2015

This volume is available. SAR Press is moving our order fulfillment to UNM Press and new orders will be delayed by several weeks. Until they are up and running, new book orders can be emailed to press[at]sarsf.org or faxed to (505) 954-7241. We will forward your orders to UNMP. Thank you for your patience.

Contributors: Gary M. Feinman, Carolyn Heitman, Grant D. Jones, Robert L. Kelly, Richard M. Leventhal, Stephen Plog, Anna C. Roosevelt, Jeremy A. Sabloff, Vernon L. Scarborough, Carla M. Sinopoli, Gil J. Stein, David S. Stuart, W. H. Wills, Henry T. Wright

View the Table of Contents

Download an excerpt (PDF, 64 KB).

Read Reviews

  • “Vernon Scarborough has turned a festschrift into a masterful survey of current research into ancient social complexity. This subtle and closely argued portrait of current theoretical argument shows us that archaeology is alive and well. No one interested in such topics as ecology, landscape, and social dynamics should be without it. I cannot imagine a better tribute to Doug Schwartz than this important and timely volume.”
    Brian Fagan, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • “This volume honors [Douglas Schwartz's] contributions to archaeology but also reflects SAR's [School of American Research's] broader mission - all the contributors were resident scholars at the school and benefited from the … interdisciplinary intellectual stimulation provided at SAR… In sum this is an ambitious book that successfully pays tribute to the School of American Research and to Schwartz's role as a 'catalyst for ideas.'”
    William D. Lipe, New Mexico Historical Review, 82, no. 4 (Fall 2007)

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