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  The Effect of the Direct Historical Approach on the Development of Theory in Plains Archaeology: A Comment on Mitchell’s Analysis of the MBP Legacy Minimize

Donna C. Roper

Abstract


Mark Mitchell’s analysis of the legacy of the Missouri Basin Project (MBP) identified the direct historical approach (dha) as one discourse that shaped the MBP legacy. While that identification is certainly correct, the discussion is too limited in two ways. First, the use of the dha for tracing ethnicity was more limited than is generally recognized. Second, and more seriously, the rich documentary and ethnographic record of the Plains Village lifeway became a too-readily used source of specific analogies for reading the archaeological record. Theory became irrelevant. Some of the numerous inaccuracies this produced are only recently being corrected.

Resumen


El análisis de Mark Mitchell del legado del Missouri Basin Project (MBP) identificó el “Enfoque Historico Directo” (Direct Historical Approach o dha) como un discurso que fomentó el legado del MBP. Aunque esa identificación es correcta, la disertación es demasiado limitada en dos maneras. Primero, el uso de dha para determinar etnicidad era más limitado de lo que se reconoce. Segundo, y más importante, el registro profundo documental y etnográfico de la cultura Plains Village se convirtió en una fuente de uso frecuente para producir analogías específicas para leer el registro arqueológico. La teoría se hizo irrelevante. Algunas de las abundantes inexactitudes producidas por eso están siendo corregidas solo recientemente.

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