Samuel Holley-Kline

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Stanford U.

Grant number

Gr. 9383

Approve Date

October 17, 2016

Project Title

Holley-Kline, Samuel T., Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research on 'Exploring Entangled Landscape Histories in El Tajín, Veracruz,' supervised by Dr. Lynn Meskell

SAMUEL HOLLEY-KLINE, then a graduate student at Stanford University, Stanford, California, was awarded funding in October 2016 to aid research on ‘Exploring Entangled Landscape Histories in El Taj’n, Veracruz,’ supervised by Dr. Lynn Meskell. This dissertation research explores the social and material means by which a bounded and federally administered archaeological site ‘ El Taj’n, Mexico ‘ was carved from a landscape of pre-Hispanic mounds, and the histories that that process silenced. Ethnographic research focused on the indigenous Totonac communities around El Taj’n to explore 20th-century histories rarely discussed with reference to the archaeological site: infrastructural development (or lack thereof), oil exploration, and vanilla cultivation. In the contemporary archaeological site of El Taj’n, ethnographic and archival research focused on the histories of labor, custodianship, management, and administration, with the objective of understanding the political economy of archaeological bureaucracy and labor. Supplementary archival research in Mexico City dealt with rarely consulted site guard reports and personnel files dating from 1889-1964, while an additional three months of archival research in the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas focused on materials from Isabel T. Kelly’s 1947-1948 in fieldwork in El Taj’n. This dissertation contributes to novel research at the intersections of sociocultural anthropology and archaeology with a fine-grained account of how one particular landscape became archaeological, with implications for understanding such landscape in global contexts.