Mission Archaeology in North America
Religious missions have played an important role in colonial programs across the globe, and in North America they were one of the most intense forms of colonialism encountered by indigenous peoples. The archaeological study of missions has followed the same developmental trajectory as research in historical archaeology more generally: from particularistic studies focused on restoration of historic sites to laboratories for building cross-cultural generalizations about culture change and to increasingly collaborative research that furthers our understanding of intercultural entanglement, resistance to colonial domination, and human agency.
Mission archaeology includes research on missions founded by various religious orders representing the colonial interests of several European nations in North America. Significant archaeological work, for example, has been conducted on the interactions between Native Americans and Jesuit missionaries operating as part of the French...
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