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Measuring the Flow of Time, Measuring the Flow of Time, 0817309918, 0-8173-0991-8, 978-0-8173-0991-6, 9780817309916, , , Measuring the Flow of Time, 0817383662, 0-8173-8366-2, 978-0-8173-8366-4, 9780817383664,

Measuring the Flow of Time
The Works of James A. Ford, 1935-1941
James A. Ford, edited by R. Lee Lyman and Michael J. O'Brien

Quality Paper
1999. 600 pp.
Price:  $44.95 s
E Book
2009. 600 pp.
Price:  $44.95 d

A Dan Josselyn Memorial Publication

This collection of Ford's works focuses on the development of ceramic chronology—a key tool in Americanist archaeology.


When James Ford began archaeological fieldwork in 1927, scholars divided time simply into prehistory and history. Though certainly influenced by his colleagues, Ford devoted his life to establishing a chronology for prehistory based on ceramic types, and today he deserves credit for bringing chronological order to the vast archaeological record of the Mississippi Valley.


This book collects Ford's seminal writings showing the importance of pottery styles in dating sites, population movements, and cultures. These works defined the development of ceramic chronology that culminated in the major volume Archaeological Survey in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley, 1940-1947, which Ford wrote with Philip Phillips and James B. Griffin. In addition to Ford's early writings, the collection includes articles written with Griffin and Gordon Willey, as well as other key papers by Henry Collins and Fred Kniffen.


Editors Michael O'Brien and Lee Lyman have written an introduction that sets the stage for each chapter and provides a cohesive framework from which to examine Ford's ideas. A foreword by Willey, himself a participant in this chronology development, looks back on the origin of that method. Measuring the Flow of Time traces the development of culture history in American archaeology by providing a single reference for all of Ford's writing on chronology. It chronicles the formation of one of the most important tools for understanding the prehistory of North America and shows its lasting relevance.


Michael J. O'Brien is Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Museum of Anthropology at the University of Missouri—Columbia, where R. Lee Lyman is also Professor of Anthropology.

"O'Brien and Lyman have provided a new generation of Southeastern archaeologists with the thought and work James Ford. Ford's Lower Valley data and analyses, as well as his theoretical constructs, will again be readily accessible for reassessment and appreciation."
—Lewis Larson, State University of West Georgia

"Sheds a great deal of light on the struggle of eastern North American archaeology to find its place in the larger anthropological study of Native American cultures."
American Anthropologist

Also of Interest

Method and Theory in American Archaeology
by Gordon Willey, Philip Phillips
Edited by R. Lee Lyman, Michael J. O'Brien

Setting the Agenda for American Archaeology
Edited and with an introduction by Michael J. O'Brien and R. Lee Lyman

W. C. McKern and the Midwestern Taxonomic Method
R. Lee Lyman and Michael J. O'Brien

Tennessee, Green, and Lower Ohio Rivers Expedition
Clarence Bloomfield Moore, edited and introduced by Richard R. Polhemus