Archaeologies of Supermodernity in the American West

 This project consists of a critical and quantitative history of how the Columbia Plateau became supermodern. A chronological analysis of 180 prehistoric and historic archaeological sites displays a rapid reduction in site types from the prehistoric to the present periods. The prehistoric sites exhibit a diversity of social, spatial, and cognitive strategies for engaging with the environment. From 1804 to 1968, Euro-American land use transformed the banks of major rivers into travel corridors for extracted resources entering nascent global markets. Ferry docks, steamboat routes, roads, bridges, and railroads created a circuit -- a modern space for velocity and efficiency in global marketeering. In 1969, a controversial dam spanned the Snake River and began producing electricity for a Cold War America. This dam transformed the modern into a supermodern space by drowning history, dispossessing people, and replacing a place with space.  

 Key Words: Supermodernity, Travel, Space

 Region: American West

 Period: Prehistoric, Historic, Contemporary, Future

 

Return to Home

Return to Columbia River Projects