Introduction to the Study of North America Archaeology

Cover of book Introduction to the Study of North America Archaeology
Categories: Nonfiction

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ODS OF STUDY. Although the method of studying American archaeology has been touched upon to some extent in the preceding chapters, it may be well to add something more on this subject before entering upon a discussion of the antiquities of the divisions outlined above. Most of the writers dealing generally with this subject begin their works with the primitive, or supposed primitive inhabitants?paleolithic men, men of the mastodon age, cave men, etc. It is probably the correct and scientific method in an extended treatise on American archaeology to begin with the earliest traces of man on the continent, thence following him down the ages, marking his advance in culture, but it is very questionable whether this is the best method of studying North American archaeology. It is the belief of the author of this work that the most satisfactory plan is to begin with the known and work back toward the unknown ; to begin with the aborigines and monuments and trace them back step by step into the past. The evidence so far ascertained leads to the conclusion that, as a general rule, the monuments of the various sections are attributable as a whole, or in part, to the ancestors of the people found inhabiting those sections at the incoming of the whites. This has been found true in regard to Mexico and Central America,and is now generally accepted as true in regard to the regions of the Mound-builders and Cliff-dwellers. It is therefore advisable to proceed upon this supposition in regard to other sections until evidence incompatible with this conclusion has been brought to light. Pre- liistoric migrations, of which frequent mention will lie made herein, have undoubtedly taken place, for, without this, population could not have spread over the continent, but this w...

Introduction to the Study of North America Archaeology
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