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Prehistoric Settlement Pattern Studies: Retrospect and Prospect

Burg Wartenstein Symposium #86 Group Photo

August 16 through 24, 1980
Burg Wartenstein Conference Center

PUBLICATION:     Prehistoric Settlement Pattern Studies:  Essays in Honor of Gordon R. Willey (E.Z. Vogt and R.M. Leventhal, Eds.) Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1983.


bookcoverR.E.W. Adams (University of Texas, San Antonio, USA)
Warwick Bray (University of London, UK)
David A. Freidel (Southern Methodist University, USA)
Alberto Rex Gonzalez (Universidad de La Plata, Argentina)
Wolfgang Haberland (Hamburgisches Museum fur Volkerkunde, Germany)
Richard M. Leventhal, Rapporteur (Peabody Museum, USA)
Joyce Marcus (University of Michigan, USA)
Michael E. Moseley (Field Museum of Natural History, USA)
H.B. Nicholson (University of California, Los Angeles, USA)
Lita Osmundsen (Wenner-Gren Foundation, USA)
William L. Rathje (University of Arizona, USA)
Jeremy A. Sabloff (University of New Mexico, USA)
Donald E. Thompson (University of Wisconsin, USA)
Gair Tourtellot (Michigan State University, USA)
Evon Z. Vogt, organizer (Harvard University, USA)
Gordon R. Willey (Peabody Museum, USA)


“Gordon R. Willey has played a major role in the development of anthropology during the past forty years.  He has been innovative in developing and applying new methodological and theoretical approaches to the understanding of man’s prehistory and in identifying new trends in archaeology.  As this volume and its companion can attest, he has also helped his colleagues and students focus these trends into productive channels….”

"But there is clearly one area of anthropology in which Willey's contribu­tions have been fundamental: the initial development and utilization of set­tlement pattern studies in the New World. We are not certain that Willey would claim to have been the first to perceive a need for settlement pattern research in our examination of the prehistory of man. But it is clear that he quickly recognized the importance of such an approach and was in the fore­front of developing settlement pattern studies as the cornerstone of many of the models of man's past. Indeed, in retrospect, it seems that settlement pat­tern studies were in the vanguard of the "new archaeology" of the late 1950s and early 1960s. Today, settlement archaeology is no longer just the exami­nation of house sites within a settlement, but rather emphasizes a complete or "holistic" view of the past. Settlement pattern studies are continuing to help form the methodological, and occasionally the theoretical, basis for ex­amining an ancient culture as a whole, including its social structure, ideol­ogy, iconography, and economy.

This point is clearly underlined in the articles in this volume, focusing on some methodological issues and several specific settlement pattern studies that have recently been conducted by students and colleagues of Gordon Willey throughout the world. The articles are, in effect, an indication of the vitality and importance of the settlement pattern concepts in archaeological thinking and a measure of the breadth and diversity of Willey's interests.”

(excerpt from the introduction to "Prehistoric Settlement Patterns" by Evon Z. Vogt and Richard M. Leventhal)