The book opens with a short explanation of Triggers own theoretical stance, which serves to explain the underlying dismissive attitude towards certain other theoretical positions. Following that, the beginnings of archaeology in various countries are explored. For the main part, it offers a very condensed overview over the entirety of archaeological theory. Historic archaeologies are mostly left out.
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Life[ edit ] Born in Preston, Ontario now part of Cambridge , Trigger received a doctorate in archaeology from Yale University in Chang , a Chinese archaeologist, who joined the department during his final year of his PhD. He was married to Dr Barbara Welch, a British geographer trained in Physical Geography , who was despite being less known than her husband was considered an equally sophisticated thinker.
Leo Klejn , Lev Samuilovich Klejn, known as Leo Klejn, was an internationally acclaimed Russian archaeologist who corresponded with him at great length and depth wrote "Since then I always felt and said that if there were another archaeologist in the world whose positions were the most similar to mine, it would be Bruce Trigger.
There must have been something unique about his spirit or personality that inspired and equipped him to deal creatively with American Indians, Ancient Egypt, world civilizations and the theory and history of archaeology, and it is interesting to try to understand some of the principles underlying his explorations of these very different themes.
These excavations were directed by William Kelly Simpson. The Children of Aataentsic earned Trigger numerous accolades, including adoption by the Huron-Wendat Nation as an honorary member. Trigger would later reiterate some of the key arguments of the book in Natives and Newcomers, a polemical work aimed at educating laypeople. In Natives and Newcomers Trigger, writing in the tradition of Franz Boas , argued that the colonial and Aboriginal societies of early Canada all possessed rich and complex social and cultural systems, and that there are no grounds to argue that any society of early Canada was superior to the others.
A second and expanded edition was published in Archaeological theory[ edit ] In Understanding Early Civilizations: A Comparative Study Trigger uses an integrated theoretical approach to look at the meaning of similarities and differences in the formation of complex societies in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia , Shang of China, Aztecs and Classic Maya of Mesoamerica, Inka of the Andes, and Yoruba of Africa.
Trigger also made significant contributions to theory and debates on epistemological issues within archaeology. The book "Artifacts and Ideas" is a collection of previously published papers that trace the history and development of these contributions. In particular were his arguments about how the social and political contexts of research affect archaeological interpretation.
One essay entitled "Archaeology and the Image of the American Indian" documents how archaeological interpretation reflected and legitimated stereotypes of Native American peoples and expressed the dominant political ideas and interests of Euro-American culture. For example, prior to Euro-American stereotypes resulted in a prehistory that saw native cultures as being primitive and inherently static.
It was commonly believed that Native Americans had not undergone any significant developmental changes and that they were incapable of change. It was believed that natives had arrived in the Americas only recently, and this "fact" explained their alleged lack of cultural development.
Some early Euro-American archaeologists explained away the contrary evidence of earthwork mounds as the creations of "more enlightened" non-native peoples who had been exterminated by Native American savages.
These popular beliefs, supported by the claims of early archaeologists, served to legitimate the displacement of native peoples from their homelands. John Wesley Powell , who led the debunking of the mound builder myths, not coincidentally also recognized that great injustices had been perpetuated against Native American peoples.
Although Trigger recognized that Euro-American political interests tended to influence and distort interpretations of the archaeological record, he also argued that the accumulation of evidence served to correct these distortions. In he was awarded the Cornplanter Medal. His most cherished honour was his adoption in into the Great Turtle Clan of the Wendat Huron Confederacy, with the name Nyemea .
Trigger died of cancer on December 1, His archive is kept at the McGill University Archives. Beyond History: The Methods of Prehistory.
New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, The Huron: Farmers of the North. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, , revised edition, The Impact of Europeans on Huronia. Nubia Under the Pharaohs.
London: Thames and Hudson, Time and Traditions: Essays in Archaeological Interpretation. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, U. Handbook of North American Indians, Vol.
Northeast, Washington: Smithsonian Institution, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, Gordon Childe: Revolutions in Archaeology. Kemp, D. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, A History of Archaeological Thought. Early Civilizations: Ancient Egypt in Context. New York: Columbia, New York: Cambridge University Press, Sociocultural Evolution: Calculation and Contingency.
Oxford: Blackwell, Artifacts and Ideas: Essays in Archaeology.
A history of archaeological thought
Estas creencias se popularizaron y sirvieron para legitimar el desplazamiento de los pueblos indios de sus tierras. Obras[ editar ] History and Settlement in Lower Nubia. Beyond History: The Methods of Prehistory. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston,