American Archaeology
Diciplines by Regional study » American Archaeology

Archaeology of the Americas is the learning of the archaeology of North America, Central America (or Mesoamerica), South America and the Caribbean, which is to say, the pre-history and Pre-Columbian history of Native American peoples.Until recently, the most broadly established interpretation of the archaeological evidence suggests a series of migrations from Siberia over a land bridge near the end of the last ice age. However, current finds in Brazil have changed the way archeologists think about how the Americas were settled.

Among these finds is a 12,000 year-old skull which is closely related to the aboriginal peoples of Australia and Melanesia. Cave paintings show images of giant armadillos, which died out before the last ice age. They also show the oldest painting of a boat anywhere in the world. Archaeologists cogitate that the first Americans drifted unknowingly from Australia.

There is a variety of alternatives to that theory, and unconventional, unrelated defusionist theories abound. These alternative theories generally are based upon less confirmation and lack a large following.

Archaeology in the United States

In the United States, physical anthropology (archeological investigations based on the study of human remains) is complicated by the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, (NAGPRA), which provides for the bodies of Native Americans and grave goods to be turned over to their tribe. In some cases, especially, that of Kennewick Man, this has exaggerated human remains many thousands of years old which seem to have no connection to the modern tribes which are requesting relief under the act.

Archaeology in Mesoamerica

Mesoamerica or Meso-America is a region and culture area in the Americas, extending approximately from central Mexico to Honduras and Nicaragua, within which a number of pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Prehistoric groups in this area are characterized by agricultural villages and large ceremonial and politico-religious capitals. This culture area included some of the most complex and advanced cultures of the Americas, including the Olmec, Teotihuacan, the Maya, and the Aztec.



Defined initially as a big-game hunting adaptation. In most places, this can be dated to before 8000 BC. Examples include the Clovis culture and Folsom tradition groups. .In the Lithic stage,it is the earliest period of human occupation in Americas and it as the post-glacial hunters ,collectors spread through the Americas. This stage derived by its name, the first appearance of tools of lithic faked stone.[3] The Paleo-Indian is generally used for indicating the same period. Lithic stage is of two major categories of techonology of stonewas not specialized and largely not formulated for core and flake industries, and it has the percussion of the dominant and it perhaps only for the employeed technique and industries were advanced "blade" techniques of stoneworking, with specialize fluted or unfluted lanceolate points the most characteristic type of artifact. Throughout of South America, there are tradition of stone tools of the lithic stage, the "fishtail of fluted" which is reflect and for localized adaptations to diverse habitats in the continent.[4] The indications and end of timings of the Lithic stage vary between regions. use of textiles, fired pottery and to start of the gradual replacement gatherer of hunter lifestyles with the use of agriculture and domesticated animalsl of factors. Vary of end dates, but are around 5,000 to 3,000 BC in more areas

Defined as cultures relying primarily on increasing intensive collecting of wild resources, after the decline of the big-game hunting lifestyle. Typically Archaic cultures can be dated from 8000 BC to 1000 BC. Examples include the Archaic Southwest, the Arctic small tool tradition, the Poverty Point culture, and the Chan-Chan culture in southern Chile.Archaic Southwest. Archaic Southwest was the culure of united states in southwestern The tradition of paleo-indian is from 10,500 BC to 7500 BC. The United States in southwestern is t was the frame of archaric time ,it was defined culturally in two ways: 1. pottery styles of agriculture and public architecture from the southwest people has a variety of strategies, alland all use their own techiniques. Crops such as maize, beans, and squash. The earliest one has maize cultivation in the Southwest and is on 2100 BC..[1] 2. The absence of Social Stratificationin formal , large cities, writing, and major architecture. .


Defined as "village agriculture" based. Most of these can be dated from 1000 BC to AD 500. Examples include the Dorset culture, Zapotec culture, Mimbres, Olmec, Woodland and Mississippian cultures.The archaeology in Americas as several chronologies that has a Formative Period and it is also defined as Formative stage . It is often divided into smaller parts as"Early", "Middle" and "Late" stages. The characteristics of this period is called "Formative" and it vary in different parts of the Americas. The broad use of the terms is follows

• In Mesoamerican chronology, the formative or preclassic is runs from the period 2000 BC to 250 AD, and it covers all the Olmec culture and the Maya culture of the early stages.

• In peri columbo peru of periodization, the Formative Period is divided into two parts, the first Initial Period, from 1800 BC – 900 BC (sites & cultures:, Kotosh culture, Las Haldas, Sechin Alto), and the formative period or early horizion, 900 BC – 200 BC, (Chavín, Late Chiripa, Paracas, Chankillo). .In North American chronology ,the Post-archaic period was incorporated with three stages of American architecture Formative, Classic and post-Classic stages, and it runs from the period of 1000 BC to the present, and it is ended by the year 500 AD. Sites & cultures of Adena, Old Copper, Woodland, and Mississippian cultures. The third of five stages of the formative is defined by Gordon Willey and Philip Phillips in the year 1958 method of books and American Archaeologyin theory.[1]Cultures of this Stage is supposed to have the technologies of pottery, weaving, and it was developed for food production; and it have a large opinion on agriculture. It was supposed by social organisation to involve in the permanent towns and villages, . Ideally,the early priestly class or the theocracy is often in development or present state.

Defined as "early civilizations," and typically dating from AD 500 to 1200. Willey and Phillips considered only cultures from Mesoamerica and Peru to have achieved this level of complexity. Examples include the early Maya and the Toltec.

In north america the archeology , the classic stage is the theoretical of North and Meso-American societies is existed between the period DC 500 and 1200. This stages is the fourth stages of American architecture was posted by Gordon Willey and Philip Phillips in the year 1958 by Method of books and American Archaeology in theory ,The classic stage of culture is supposed to possess specialization of craft and the metallurgy. Social organization was supposed to involve in the beginnings of urbanism and the quite big ceremonial centers. Ideally, Classic cultures should have been developed a theocracy. The "Classic Stage" is initially defined and it was restricted to the complex societies of Mesoamerica and the Peru. However, the time period include other advanced cultures, such as Hopewell, Teotihuacan, and the early Maya. The "Classic Stage" is followed from the Formative stage (Pre-Classic) and it was further developed by the post classic stage. There are different systems of classification and this ranking through the world overlap with others and classified into the Woodland period and Mississippian cultures.  


Defined as "later prehispanic civilizations" and typically dated from AD 1200 onward. The late Maya and the Aztec cultures were Post-Classic.

Humans entering the Americas

Settlement of the Americas address the central question of when and how humans reached the Americas. The earliest definite human peoples visible in the archaeological record throughout the Americas are today known as the Paleo-Indians.

The Post-Classic Stage of culture is defined by metallurgy which was already developed. Social organization is need to involve in more complex areas of urbanism and in the militarism. Ideally, Post-Classic cultures is described by showing their tendency towards to the society of securalisation Mesoamerica of post classic stage runs from the period 900 to 1519 AD,. the "Post-Classic Stage" of north American chronology is followed the Classic stage in some areas.  


Pre-Columbian era

The Pre-Columbian era incorporates all period subdivisions in the history and prehistory of the Americas before the appearance of significant European influences on the American continents, spanning the time of the original settlement in the Upper Paleolithic to European colonization during the Early Modern period.

While technically referring to the era before Christopher Columbus' voyages of 1492 to 1504, in practice the term usually includes the history of American indigenous cultures until they were conquered or significantly influenced by Europeans, even if this happened decades or even centuries after Columbus' initial landing.

Famous Archaeologists in Region of America:
Myron Eells

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Dorothy Way Eggan

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Frederick Russell Eggan

From his research, Eggan composed a presidential address to the ...
Loren Corey Eiseley

Some of the Notable awards received by Loren ...
Melvin Lawrence Ember

Ember did field work in American Samoa studying the effects ...

Books on the American Archaeology:
First Peoples in a New World - Colonizing Ice Age America

More than 12,000 years ago, in one of the greatest triumphs of prehistory, humans colonized North America, a continent that was then truly a new world. Just when and how they did so has been one of the most perplexing and controversial questions in archaeology.

The First Americans - The Pleistocene Colonization of the New World

The peopling of the Americas has become one of archaeology's most compelling and contentious subjects, as these new lines of evidence reveal a more complex solution. In this volume, distinguished scientists from the fields of archaeology, physical anthropology, paleoecology, genetics, and linguistics assess the latest evidence from Siberia to Chile and offer provocative ideas for how, when, and where humans entered the Americas.

Archaeologies of Colonialism

This book presents a theoretically informed, up-to-date study of interactions between indigenous peoples of Mediterranean France and Etruscan, Greek, and Roman colonists during the first millennium BC.

Rich Resources over the web on Amerian Archaeology
  • American Archaeology :

    American Archaeology is the only popular magazine devoted to the excitement and mystery of archaeology in the United States, with additional coverage of Canada and Latin America.

  • Society of American Archaeology :

    International organization dedicated to the research, interpretation, and protection of the archaeological heritage of the Americas.

Diciplines by Regional study
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