Historical Archaeologies of the American West

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17 Scopus citations


Historical archaeology in western North America includes a vast collection of research that underscores the region’s dynamic cultural heritage. Here, I review a sample of the literature related to this research and organize them into four conceptual themes: colonialism and postcolonialism, landscape transformation, migration and diaspora, and industrial capitalism. I conclude that the future of historical archaeology in the West will be grounded in research that integrates these themes. As the region continues to experience human dilemmas related to issues such as balancing resource extraction with sustainable conservation and lingering issues of colonialism, these archaeologies have value for transcending the nature–culture divide and for understanding the ways in which humanity can navigate pressing issues relevant to our modern world, including vulnerability, risks, adaptation, resilience, and sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-228
Number of pages52
JournalJournal of Archaeological Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


  • American West
  • Aridity
  • Colonialism
  • Diaspora
  • Global change
  • Historical archaeology
  • Industrial capitalism
  • Landscape transformation
  • Migration


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