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Hopewell Settlement Patterns, Subsistence, and Symbolic Landscapes$
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A. Martin Byers and DeeAnne Wymer

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034553

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034553.001.0001

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Where Do (Hopewell) Research Answers Come From?

Where Do (Hopewell) Research Answers Come From?

(p.309) 11 Where Do (Hopewell) Research Answers Come From?
Hopewell Settlement Patterns, Subsistence, and Symbolic Landscapes

DeeAnne Wymer

University Press of Florida

This chapter addresses the questions of where our ideas about the Hopewell come from and how we assess or ought to assess these ideas. The chapter claims that prehistoric archaeology is a social science and, therefore, characterizations and explanations of the archaeological record require generating and testing ideas, expressed as theories and models, that may have been and, indeed, in all likelihood was, profoundly different from any social world that has been experienced by modern-day anthropologists. The chapter feels that we are faced with a heavy burden of explaining an archaeological record while being able to rely on only some of the current anthropological theoretical knowledge since much of the patterning of this record, particularly the great earthworks and mortuary features, may have been generated by a people whose cultures have no direct analog today. The chapter concludes that scientific conclusions can be achieved through objective theoretical, methodological, interpretive, and empirical debate.

Keywords:   Hopewell, prehistoric archaeology, social science, archaeological record, modern-day anthropologists, earthworks, mortuary features

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