“This elegantly simple model is an innovative approach to visualizing interregional interaction in the ancient world. An original and significant contribution.”—Bradley J. Parker, coeditor of New Perspectives on Household Archaeology
“A most welcome contribution to the study of relationships between sociocultural units. I look forward to seeing this model used by archaeologists worldwide.”—Patricia A. Urban, coeditor of Resources, Power, and Interregional Interaction
Modeling Cross-Cultural Interaction in Ancient Borderlands introduces the Cross-Cultural Interaction Model (CCIM), a visual tool for studying the exchanges that take place between different cultures in borderland areas or across long distances. The model helps researchers untangle complex webs of connections among people, landscapes, and artifacts, and can be used to support multiple theoretical viewpoints.
In diverse case studies, contributors demonstrate the versatility and analytical power of the CCIM, applying it to various regions and time periods. The model is used to explore the hanging relationships on the ancient Egyptian-Nubian frontier and the interactions between native Inuit and European colonists in Greenland, as well as connections between Bronze Age Thessaly and Mycenaean civilizations at different sites along their border. To study trade and exchange networks, the model is applied to mortuary sites in ancient Panama and Costa Rica. It is even used to define interactions with supernatural realms in ancient Mississippian Cahokia. The flexibility of the CCIM is highlighted in its application to the changing regional relations in the Moquegua Valley in Peru. Contributors to this volume adapt the model to best represent their data, successfully plotting connections in many different dimensions, including geography, material culture, religion and spirituality, and ideology.
The Cross-Cultural Interaction Model enables users to expose what motivates people to articipate in cultural exchange, as well as the influences that people reject in these interactions. With this tool to bridge the gap between theory and data, archaeologists and anthropologists can rethink previous interpretations of their research, leading to new ideas, new theories, and new directions for future study.
Ulrike Matthies Green is instructor in the Department of Anthropology at Orange Coast College. Kirk E. Costion is a residential faculty member specializing in anthropological archaeology in the Cultural Science Department at Mesa Community College.