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

Preliminary abstract: To many scholars, El Tajin, Veracruz, is an archaeological site. However, decades of research have made the site stand for the area’s past, at the cost of indigenous Totonac histories. Using archival, ethnographic, and geospatial methods in the archaeological site and the surrounding communities, I question 1) how the Tajin landscape became archaeological, 2) what histories that process silenced, and 3) how these histories interact in the landscape they share. My preliminary research has indicated that the production of vanilla, the exploitation of oil, and consolidations of land holdings — as well as the violence they entailed and propagated — are locally-relevant features of the archaeological landscape’s history. Drawing on research on the intersections of archaeology and sociocultural anthropology, I combine an ethnographic attention to local history with an archaeological emphasis on the ability of material things to prompt contextual human responses. In so doing, I contribute to the intersections between archaeology and sociocultural anthropology, the development of entanglement theories of human-thing relations, and provide a Veracruz counterpart to studies of the practice and politics of archaeology in the Maya region.