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Re: AZTLAN list: who are the "American Isolationists"?
- Subject: Re: AZTLAN list: who are the "American Isolationists"?
- From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Peter van Rossum)
- Date: Tue, 11 Feb 1997 23:15:20 GMT
- Newsgroups: sci.archaeology
- Organization: CAC
- References: <E5ELGB.7J.email@example.com>
In article <E5ELGB.7J.firstname.lastname@example.org> email@example.com (Yuri Kuchinsky) writes:
[sci.arch.meso deleted from followup.]
[Yuri's disagreement with the owner of the Aztlan list deleted.]
>In the course of discussions about the theories that early American
>societies may have received some influences from Asia, and vice
>versa, an opinion was expressed by me that the field of American
>prehistory is dominated at this time by certain scholars who can be
>described as "American Isolationists". These scholars see early
>America as the "Fortress America", a sort of a cultural laboratory
>where evolution of human societies can be studied in its "pure form".
I completely disagree with the opinion of whoever told you that archs. think
its useful for New World not to have outside contacts so it can be seen as a
cultural laboratory. Archaeologists are trying to describe and explain human
societies and their change over time. If accurately fulfilling these goals
necessitates looking at transpacific interactions then they should be
included. The problem is that at present there has been little solid,
conclusive evidence that has been presented to indicate that any (much less
significant) contacts occurred. Many possibilities have been suggested but a
careful reading seems to indicate that each is problematic for proving they
are correct. Therefore, at present it seems premature to incorporate them as
significant mechanisms for cultural adaptation and change.
>No influences from anywhere should even be suggested. Any such
>suggestion is seen as a terrible and egregious violation of
>scholarly conventions -- an unforgivable transgression.
This is just a complete mischaracterization of why most archaeologists
don't believe there were significant contacts (most don't believe it because
they don't think strong enough evidence exists - look back over the past few
months disagreements for examples. Especially look at the Asian peanuts and
South American chickens). It is this sort of tiresome, inaccurate rhetoric
which makes your objectivity very suspect. Your constant use of strawmen
argumentation is very tedious.
>Someone replied to me and said that there are no "American
>Isolationists" in s.a.m. Well, I don't know... perhaps this was an
>exaggeration. So, let me ask you this, ladies and gentlemen, Are there
>"Isolationists" on Aztlan mailing list? Perhaps someone may know the
As described above the simple answer is NO (at least none I'm aware of).