Fishweirs: A World Perspective with Emphasis on the Fishweirs of Mississippi

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9780938896890: Fishweirs: A World Perspective with Emphasis on the Fishweirs of Mississippi

Fishweirs is the first book ever devoted entirely to the long established, globally significant practice of harvesting masses of freshwater and coastal saltwater fishes by human beings. This book provides (1) an historical overview of the distribution, construction, and use of fishweirs worldwide, and particularly in North America; (2) a definition and description of different kinds of fishweirs and their construction and uses; (3) a review of legal aspects of the construction, maintenance, and use of fishweirs in North America historically, and their basis in English Law; (4) a detailed identification, description, and discussion of the fishweirs of Mississippi, both prehistoric and historic, as examples of the worldwide phenomenon of freshwater fish harvesting structures; (5) an extensive glossary of fishweir and mass fish harvesting terminology; (6) an extensive annotated bibliography of global literature on the subject of fishweirs, including many obscure and elusive references to the subject; and (7) more than 190 maps, diagrams, photographs, tables, and appendices.

Fishweirs is substantive yet accessible. The book, one result of more than thirty years of research on the subject by the author, is an important reference volume; it will serve as a baseline from which future studies of fishweirs and the mass harvesting of freshwater and coastal saltwater fishes will depart; it will increase public awareness of what once was an important method of resource procurement and the surviving evidence of that activity; and it will guide historians, anthropologists, cultural and natural resource managers, and policymakers in identifying, evaluating, and assessing these distinctive elements of the cultural landscape. Fishweirs is Archaeological Report No. 33 of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

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About the Author:

John M. Connaway was born in New London, Connecticut, and grew up in Helena, Arkansas. He holds degrees in Biology and Anthropology (B.A.) and Anthropology (M.A.) from the University of Mississippi, and has been employed as a field archaeologist by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History since 1968. John has specialized in the prehistoric archaeology of Mississippi and has authored several books, monographs, and articles on the subject.

Fishweirs began when, in 1975, John recognized and subsequently published upon the prehistoric Sturdivant Fishweir, the first such feature recorded from Mississippi. That discovery initiated an increasingly complex journey of exploration and discovery of what was, and was not, known about fishweirs globally. Fishweirs is the result of John's more-than-thirty-year search for the history of how humans have harvested freshwater and coastal saltwater fishes en masse.

Review:

This lavisly illustrated book is a magnum opus and remarkable synthesis, filled with enough data to sink a swimming archaeologist, but beautifully written, edited, organized, and produced. ...at nearly 600 pages of rich text, 160 illustrations, and wealth of data, it is a bargain for anyone interested in the deep history of human fishing and fishing technologies. ...Connaway has done an immense service to archaeologists, historians, and other managers and scholars of fisheries and cultural resources. Fishweirs is a marvelous book that will be an invaluable resource for future research on fishweirs, submerged archaeological sites, and the evolution of fishing societies and technologies. ---- Jon M. Erlandson, Journal of Island & Coastal Archaeology (2009)

John Connaway's massive volume, Fishweirs: A World Perspective with Emphasis on the Fishweirs of Mississippi, is the result of more than three decades of research on Mississippi's fishweirs. But more than that, Connaway's desire to understand fishweirs spurred far-reaching study of then phenomenon in a truly global perspective. With more than 1000 entries--from well-known accounts to some pretty obscure references from Maryland and Virginia--this compendium is a testament to the depth of Connaway's research. Other appendices include an inventory of fishweirs listed on the National Register of Historic Places, a questionnaire for use in future fishweir studies, and a very helpful and informative glossary. Fishweirs is an impressive book. It is a must-have for anyone studying these structures. More than that, it is a great source for generalists, as it entices the reader to really think about an otherwise mundane pursuit--fishing--from technological, subsistence, and societal perspectives. John Connaway has produced a masterpiece. --Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology, Volume 24 (2008)

Fishweirs: A World Perspective with Emphasis on the Fishweirs of Mississippi by John M. Connaway is a 564-page compendium of descriptive, archeological, and historical information on a form of trap used to catch fish. Called a 'fishweir,' these traps come in many forms and (according to archaeological record) have been utilized in streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans for thousands of years. An impressive and seminal work of exhaustive, comprehensive scholarship, Fishweirs... is organized into two main sections. Fishweirs in a Global and Regional Context describes what fishweirs are, provides a global perspective into their uses and designs, and the development of fishweir law in North American waters. Fishweirs in Mississippi draws a tighter focus into the use and design of fishweirs in the Mississippi from prehistory and in Native American cultures down to the present day. A third section is devoted to four appendices: an Annotated Bibliography: Worldwide Archaeological and Historical Source Material on Fishweirs; Fishweir Questionnaire; and Glossary of Selected Terms Related to Fishweirs and Mass Fish Procurement. Enhanced further with occasional illustrations and maps, as well as the inclusion of an extensive bibliography and a comprehensive index, Fishweirs... is a unique and valued contribution that should be a part of professional and academic library reference collections. --John Burroughs, Reviewer for The Midwest Book Review

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John M. Connaway
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Book Description Mississippi Dept of Archives &, 2007. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. original edition. 564 pages. 11.25x8.00x0.75 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # 093889689X

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