In 1996, the Society for American Archaeology's Committee on the History of Archaeology established a biennial symposium named after Gordon R. Willey, one of the fathers of American archaeology, to focus on the history of the discipline. This volume grew out of the second symposium, presented at the 1998 meeting of the Society for American Archaeology. Interest in the intellectual history of the field is certainly nothing new - the first such volume appeared in 1856 - but previously, focus has been on individuals and their theories and methods, or on various government agencies that supported, developed, or mandated excavations in North America. This volume, however, focuses on the roots of Americanist archaeology, including its pre-1915 European connections, and on some of the earliest work by women archaeologists, which has been largely overlooked. Full of valuable insights for archaeologists and anthropologists - both professional and amateur - into the history and development of Americanist archaeology, New Perspectives will also inspire and serve as a model for future research.
David L. Browman is Professor of Anthropology and Chair of the Interdisciplinary Program in Archaeology at Washington University. Stephen Williams is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Harvard University.