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Historical Archaeology Through a Western Lens
California Archaeology  (IF),  Pub Date : 2020-01-02, DOI: 10.1080/1947461x.2020.1724371
Benjamin Curry

his highlighting of Native laborers, which served an important archaeological purpose, reminding us that indigenous-produced material culture in these colonial contexts is not about “mixed deposits,” but a poignant index of real, often overlooked presence. The final chapter, by James Brooks, offers a comparative look between Alta California and New Mexico. The regions share notable similarities of Spanish colonialism, missionization, labor regimentation, resistance, and community formations linked to place, kinship, and material culture. They also differ notably in indigenous cultural organization, physiography, and the time depth of Spanish colonial incursions. Brooks, in his characteristically thoughtful fashion, lays out observations that bring the book to a worthwhile end. I recommend this book for anyone researching archaeology, anthropology, and Native American and colonial history in Western North America (and beyond) for the adept ways it handles complex questions about community formation, identity, networks, and dissolution. The emphasis on “belonging” brings tightness to the analyses, while also generating some questions about how belonging is constructed and variably experienced. Hull and Douglass have done a masterful job of compiling a wonderful set of chapters and pairing them in a careful arc through timely intellectual and historical terrain.