By G. Reichel-Dolmatoff
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Stephens and Catherwood’s books revealed the wonders of ancient Maya culture to readers in England and the United States (Fig. 4). 5 When Squier and Davis encountered Monk’s Mound, Cahokia (Illinois), it was crowned by a modern house (compare Fig. 16). but destructive search for other so-called lost civilizations, not only in the New World but in Africa and Asia as well. But Stephens’s appraisal of the source of Maya civilization stands in marked contrast to the speculations popular at the time: “We are not warranted in going back to any ancient nation of the Old World for the builders of these cities.
P. P. P. 5 million Approx. age ? Origins of toolmaking ? p. 5 million years. Note that the historical era represents much less than 1 percent of the total span of known cultural development. P. P. P. 1000 Approx. age Origins of writing (SW Asia) PREHISTORY Origins of food production (SW Asia) HISTORY Prehistory/historical period 16 introduction of the fragmentary material remains from sites like Slack Farm. Of course, both historical and archaeological data are fragmentary; neither can provide a complete reconstruction of the past.
The purpose and goals of archaeology stand opposed to those of pseudoarchaeology—fanciful reconstructions of the past that ignore facts and instead cater to human desires for fantasy and mystery. Archaeology, like any scientiﬁc discipline, involves a search for knowledge based on making careful observations and following a logical and consistent method, all guided by a body of theory. Archaeology is allied to several other disciplines. These include history, the study of the past from the written record; and anthropology, the study of human society, past and present, from both cultural and biological perspectives.