"Excellent book . . . . History and engagement do not end when people leave a place."
"The chapters all effectively combine sharp description with insightful theoretical discussion to broaden and deepen the reader’s understanding of abandonment and shifting settlement patterns in each culture. The book is readable and engaging, and it should appeal to both students and scholars who are interested in the dynamics of settlement, mobility, and the 'mysteries' of abandonment."
—Latin American Antiquity
Detachment from Place is the first comparative and interdisciplinary volume on the archaeology of settlement abandonment, with contributions focusing on materiality, ideology, the environment, and social construction of space. The volume sheds new light on an important but underexamined aspect of settlement abandonment wherein sedentary groups undergoing the process of abandonment leave behind many meaningful elements of their inhabited landscape. The process of detaching from place—which could last centuries—transformed inhabitants into migrants and transformed settled, constructed, and agricultural landscapes into imagined ones that continued to figure significantly in the identities of migrant groups.
Drawing on case studies from the Americas, Africa, and Asia, the volume explores how relationships between ancient peoples and the places they lived were transformed as they migrated elsewhere. Contributors focus on social structure, ecology, and ideology to study how people and places both disentangled from each other and remained tied together during this process. From Huron-Wendat villages and Classic Maya palaces to historical villages in Togo and the great Southeast Asian Medieval capital of Bagan, specific cultural, historical, and environmental factors led ancient peoples to detach from their homes and embark on migrations that altered social memory and cultural identity—as evidenced in the archaeological record.
Detachment from Place provides new insights into transfigurations of community identity, political organization, social and economic relations, religion, warfare, and agricultural practices and will be of interest to landscape archaeologists as well as researchers focused on collective memory, population movement, migratory patterns, and interaction.
Contributors: Tomas Q. Barrientos, Jennifer Birch, Eduardo José Bustamante Luna, Catherine M. Cameron, Marcello A. Canuto, Jeffrey H. Cohen, Michael D. Danti, Phillip de Barros, Pete Demarte, Donna M. Glowacki, Gyles Iannone, Louis Lesage, Patricia A. McAnany, Asa R. Randall, Kenneth E. Sassaman