Fifty Years of Southeastern Archaeology: Selected Works of John W. Griffin
"This volume of essays not only charts the trajectory of a distinguished Floridian's remarkable career, it also chronicles much that has happened in North American archaeology over the past sixty years. . . . No practitioner of American archaeology has influenced the directions and content of research in Florida more than John Griffin. His work not only shaped archaeology in Florida, it also influenced the development of the field of historical archaeology in general."
"John Griffin was one of archaeology's pioneers. This collection of papers spans his remarkable career, mirroring the development of archaeology in the eastern United States."--Jerald T. Milanich, Florida Museum of Natural History
John Griffin was held in equally high esteem by archaeologists and historians. Before his death in 1993, he was urged to collect some of his original and path-breaking writings into a volume that would trace the story of his professional life. In doing that, he created a work that documents the critical early years of historical archaeology in the Southeast.
This volume includes 16 selections from Griffin's extensive publication list, which began in the 1930s. Ten of the essays relate to Florida archaeology and history, while the others cover investigations in other parts of the Southeast and the Midwest.
They include an article on bison in Illinois archaeology, Griffin's first attempt to apply principles of ecology to cultural change; a report on the sleuthing that unraveled the story of Chief Osceola's grave and mortal remains; an article on Florida archaeology entered into the Congressional Record by Senator Claude Pepper; a chapter from Here They Once Stood, the pioneering work on Florida missions that he coauthored; and a study of Booker T. Washington's boyhood home, one of the first archaeological studies of an African-American historic site.
Griffin was the first professional archaeologist employed in the state of Florida (1946). His frequently cited scholarship stands the test of time, and he was widely regarded as a friend, mentor, and source of wisdom among his colleagues. As one of them, Kathleen Deagan, remarks in the foreword, this book "offers the kinds of insights into both the past and the profession that can only come from depth of experience in partnership with a continually open and curious mind."
Patricia C. Griffin, author of Mullet on the Beach: The Minorcans of Florida, 1768-1788 (UPF, 1991), received her Ph.D. in anthropology in 1988 and today is an independent scholar. She was married to John Griffin for 48 years and in 1996 will accept a posthumous Award of Merit on his behalf from the Society for Historical Archaeology. She lives in St. Augustine, Florida, where she remains active in conservation and restoration projects.
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