Some archaeologists are condemned to join “those who have gone”.
Harold Gladwin is damned with faint praise even though he confessed his scholarly sins and [apparently] recanted his blasphemous beliefs.
Harold Sterling Gladwin [1883-1983] was an early twentieth century archaeologist that specialized in Southwestern archaeology of the United States.
Taking into account the rapid increase of information about Southwestern cultures and the increase in accuracy of dating methods, Gladwin admitted that he and his team originally had made some judgments and suppositions incompatible with the current criteria of now eleven years later. This publication exemplifies Gladwin’s commitment to the field of archaeology, for in his publications he typically admitted where he had gone wrong, and where he needed to keep an open mind in his work.
Harold Sterling Gladwin and his wife Winifred spent the better portion of their lives in a commitment to archaeology and its ever-changing ways.
Donating his archaeological foundation wasn’t enough to secure his legacy.
In 1928, Harold and his future wife, Winifred, founded the Gila Pueblo Archaeological Foundation over the remains of a pueblo that the two had excavated together. … From the Gila Pueblo, the Gladwins conducted research on Southwestern prehistory for over twenty years before donating the facility to the University of Arizona in 1951.
When Gila Pueblo was disbanded in 1951 by its founder, Harold Gladwin, both the archaeological and ethnographic artifact collections as well as the archival collections of Gila Pueblo were deeded to the Arizona State Museum.
Arizona State Museum Archives
The records are held by the Arizona State Museum Library & Archives with the finding aid located on Arizona Archives Online. The building in which the foundation was located, now part of Eastern Arizona College, is on the National Register of Historic Places.
“Most” of his Snaketown excavations have joined “those who have gone”.
Arguably Gladwin’s most famous excavations took place outside Phoenix at a place called Snaketown … Most of the archaeological excavations were backfilled to protect the site for future research.
Snaketown is an archaeological site 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Phoenix, Arizona that was inhabited by the Hohokam people. Definitive dates are not clear, but the site was generally thought to be inhabited between 300 BCE and 1200 CE.
Hohokam is an O’odham word meaning “those who have gone.”
The eight layers of dirt marking the periods of quiescence in Snaketown [between the 11th and 14th centuries] have joined “those who have gone”.
Snaketown, Gila River Indian Community, Archaeological Excavation 1969
The evidence clearly indicated to us that the Hohokam had mounds which they used as stages – probably for dances – beginning as early AD 500.
The flat top pyramids and platforms of Mexico were the inspiration for these.
The clearest example of a specially constructed mount at Snaketown was this one – Mound 16 – dateable to the 11th century.
It was made by piling up natural dirt to a height of three feet and a round flat-topped elevation fifty feet in diameter. The sloping sides were faced with a mixture of caliche and clay – a more durable material than made up the core of the mound.
We recognized eight different layers or surfaces which represented enlargements or repairs to the structure.
A careful reading of the tilt walls reveal differences in the colour, hardness, and structure of the soils. By knowing these we soon detected the places where the older canals where.
Having determined what they look like in cross-section we could then plan our strategy for excavating broadly to expose portions of the canals to full view. Super positions of canals represent remodelings of the irrigation systems, or cleanings, at different times.
Each cleaning did not go to the full depth of the original, or older canal, so we have one canal riding on top of another. Two are seen here. The top one, therefore the most recent, was last used in the 14th century.
Most of the carvings we have seen were recovered from one sacrificial cache in which all the pieces were shattered. They date from about AD 700 to 900.
The Hohokam and their canals have joined “those who have gone”.
Ancient Waterways – Hohokam Engineers
CityofPhoenixAZ – 25 June 2019
Canal Building in the Salt River Valley with a stone hoe held in the hand without a handle.
These were the original engineers, the true pioneers who built, used and abandoned a canal system when London and Paris were a cluster of wild huts.
Map of Prehistoric Irrigation Canals – 5th edition
Omar Turney – 1929
North Arizona University
Now in Phoenix, the Hohokam are known for their large-scale irrigation networks. Their canal network in the Phoenix metropolitan area was the most complex in ancient North America.
When Hohokam society collapsed, the dirt canals fell into disrepair.
In 1947 Harold Gladwin was in the doghouse.
If you have ever gone out to spend the evening and, returning at 1:00 a.m., have found that you left the key to the front door on your dressing table, you will know how we feel in ending this discussion.
All the lights in the House of the High Priests of American Anthropology are out ; all the doors and windows are shut and securely fastened ( they do not sleep with their windows open for fear that a new idea might fly in) ; we have rung the bell of Reason, we have banged on the door with Logic, we have thrown the gravel of Evidence against their windows; but the only sign of life in the house is an occasional snore of Dogma.
We are very much afraid that no one is going to come down and let us into the warm, musty halls where the venerable old ideas are nailed to the walls.
So it looks as if we will have to make ourselves as comfortable as possible in the doghouse, while we ponder our problems and wait for the dawn of a new day.
Men Out of Asia – Harold Sterling Gladwin – 1947
Harold Gladwin enumerated his heinous heresies:
#1 Heresy: Old World Contact
#2 Heresy: Asian Origins
#3 Heresy: Chronology
First, I think it highly improbable that all the traits that constituted native American civilizations were invented by American Indians without any contact or influence from the Old World.
Second, I think that most, if not all, of the duplications of Old World traits which have been found in the Americas were carried in from Asia, either through Alaska or across the Pacific.
Third, I think that the origins of the civilizations of Mexico, Middle America, and the Andean region were all much more recent than has heretofore been supposed — so recent, in fact, that some sort of a connection may be discerned between the first stirrings of these civilizations in the New World and the upheavals and the dislocations that were taking place in the Old World shortly before the beginning of the Christian Era.
Men Out of Asia – Harold Sterling Gladwin – 1947
Nowadays, a fourth heresy can be appended.
#4 Heresy: Political Incorrectness
The Voices of Authority, which have always insisted that American Indians were independently responsible for the origin, evolution and development of the five great native cultures, are losing their vim, vigor and vitality, and we doubt if you will be plagued as we have been.
It is no longer enough for these Voices to assert that their American Indian race was equal in inventive ingenuity to the peoples of the Old World; as the span of dates is shortened, the Voices are lowered to whisper that the American Indian must have been mentally superior to the European and the Asiatic, since he required less than half the time to achieve his duplications.
Unfortunately for the theory, however, there are the last 450 years of recorded history during which there have been few, if any, instances of native Indian discoveries or inventions within the great centers of culture, and this is all the more unfortunate since inventions have been said to be adaptations or applications of existing knowledge, so that with the great fund the Indians possessed in 1492 and with what the white man brought them, they should have made things hum during the last four and a half centuries.
Men Out of Asia – Harold Sterling Gladwin – 1947
Essentially, his heresies stem from his belief in Cultural Diffusion.
In cultural anthropology and cultural geography, cultural diffusion, as conceptualized by Leo Frobenius in his 1897/98 publication Der westafrikanische Kulturkreis, is the spread of cultural items—such as ideas, styles, religions, technologies, languages—between individuals, whether within a single culture or from one culture to another.
While the “Voices of Authority” usually invoke Multiple Independent Discovery when they’re confronted with inconvenient and embarrassing information.
The concept of multiple discovery (also known as simultaneous invention) is the hypothesis that most scientific discoveries and inventions are made independently and more or less simultaneously by multiple scientists and inventors.
Multiple independent discovery, however, is not limited to only a few historic instances involving giants of scientific research. Merton believed that it is multiple discoveries, rather than unique ones, that represent the common pattern in science.
The remarkably sparse early examples of Multiple Independent Discovery listed by Wikipedia can all be interpreted as masking Cultural Diffusion from East to West.
3rd century BCE
Aristarchos of Samos (c. 310 – c. 230 BCE) was the first known originator of a heliocentric (solar) system. Such a system was formulated again some 18 centuries later by Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543).
13th century CE
1242 – first description of the function of pulmonary circulation, in Egypt, by Ibn al-Nafis. Later independently rediscovered by the Europeans Michael Servetus (1553) and William Harvey (1616).
Gresham’s (Copernicus’) law: Nicole Oresme (c. 1370); Nicolaus Copernicus (1519); Thomas Gresham (16th century); Henry Dunning Macleod (1857). Ancient references to the same concept include one in Aristophanes’ comedy The Frogs (405 BCE), which compares bad politicians to bad coin (bad politicians and bad coin, respectively, drive good politicians and good coin out of circulation).
Multiple Independent Discovery is a critical concept that enables the mainstream to maintain a catalogue of chronologies that cater for different countries, creeds, cultures, and other constructs.
Providing the different threads of history don’t interact the court historians can delete inconvenient years and insert phantom years as required.
When it’s decided different threads of history need to interact then court historians have to harmonise [somehow or other] their phantom years chronologies.
The Annals of China may contain 1,152 years of duplicate data.
The difference of 1,170 years accounts for most of the 1,208 phantom years added into the Radiocarbon Calibration Curve between 465 BCE and 743 CE.
Unsurprisingly, Harold Gladwin had some interesting interaction ideas …