Juggling and sand: Ethics, identity, and archaeological geophysics in the Mississippian world
Journal of Archaeological Sicence: Reports
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This review piece evaluates the suitability of geophysical data collection methods for anthropological research on cultural identity in the Mississippian interaction sphere, which lies predominantly in the American Southeast. An understanding of an Indigenous Muskogean ontology described by Creek and Seminole philosophers, in conversation with other Indigenous theorists, is developed with emphasis on the role of all beings, including the archaeologist, within a relational web of responsibility. We then explore how this ontology suggests that the cultural lives of Mississippian peoples would be particularly visible to the methods of archaeological geophysics. The value of geophysical methods in ethical, collaborative work with descendant communities is highlighted, with special care taken to outline the dissonant bodies of concern found in Indigenous and scientific communities. Finally, the research articles presented in this special issue are reviewed, with an eye to the three concerns detailed within the previous discussion.