Glory, Trouble, and Renaissance at the Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology


Glory, Trouble, and Renaissance at the Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology

Edited and with an introduction by Malinda Stafford Blustain and Ryan Wheeler 

Critical Studies in the History of Anthropology Series

272 pages
54 illustrations, 1 map, 1 table, index


April 2018


$50.00 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

April 2018


$50.00 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

April 2018


$50.00 Add to Cart

About the Book

Glory, Trouble, and Renaissance at the Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology chronicles the seminal contributions, tumultuous history, and recent renaissance of the Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology (RSPM). The only archaeology museum that is part of an American high school, it also did cutting-edge research from the 1930s through the 1970s, ultimately returning to its core mission of teaching and learning in the twenty-first century. 

Essays explore the early history and notable contributions of the museum’s directors and curators, including a tour de force chapter by James Richardson and J. M. Adovasio that interweaves the history of research at the museum with the intriguing story of the peopling of the Americas. Other chapters tackle the challenges of the 1990s, including shrinking financial resources, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and relationships with American Indian tribes, and the need to revisit the original mission of the museum, namely, to educate high school students. Like many cultural institutions, the RSPM has faced a host of challenges throughout its history. The contributors to this book describe the creative responses to those challenges and the reinvention of a museum with an unusual past, present, and future.

Author Bio

Malinda Stafford Blustain is the former director of the Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology. Ryan Wheeler is the director of the Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology. He is a former editor of the Florida Anthropologist.


“The Robert S. Peabody Museum, Phillips Academy, and its faculty, students, and affiliates have played important roles in the history of Americanist archaeology for a century. The excellent essays in this volume chronicle the fluctuating history of the institution as a museum, science center, and teaching institution.”—Don D. Fowler, Mamie Kleberg Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the University of Nevada, Reno, and past president of the Society for American Archaeology

“Behold, dear reader! You hold the rarest of literary creatures—an honest institutional historiography. This is a remarkable history of a history, a bold narrative that critically engages authentic sources and key particulars about the Robert S. Peabody Museum, synthesized as they should be, warts and all.”—David Hurst Thomas, curator of anthropology at the American Museum of Natural History

“This is an excellent book on the history not only of one of the treasured institutions of archaeology in the United States but of the many colorful people who worked there. Their collective legacy in archaeology is almost unparalleled. Those of us who are interested in the history of American archaeology must have this book on our shelves.”—Michael J. O’Brien, provost at Texas A&M University–San Antonio 

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations    
Series Editors’ Introduction    
Introduction: Present and Past at the Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology    
Malinda Stafford Blustain and Ryan Wheeler
1. A Biographical History of the Robert S. Peabody Museum of Archaeology    
Nathan D. Hamilton and Eugene C. Winter Jr.
2. A History of Research: Focusing on the Peopling of the Americas    
James B. Richardson III and James M. Adovasio
3. A.V. Kidder, Pecos Pueblo, and the Robert S. Peabody Museum: A Continuing Legacy    
Linda S. Cordell
4. Laying the Foundations for Northeastern North American Archaeology    
Brian S. Robinson
5. Recent Research at Maine Sites    
Nathan D. Hamilton and Donald A. Slater
6. A Retrospective Interpretation of the Origins of American Agriculture    
Mary Eubanks
7. Trials and Redemption at the Peabody Museum    
Malinda Stafford Blustain
8. Negotiating NAGPRA: Rediscovering the Human Side of Science    
James W. Bradley
9 . Pecos Pathways: A Model for Lasting Partnerships    
Lindsay Randall and Christopher Toya
10. Teaching Science at the Peabody Museum    
Jeremiah Hagler
11. Experiential Learning and the New Peabody Museum    
Donald A. Slater and Nathan D. Hamilton
12. Reflections and Stories
Using Archaeology as a Basis for Learning: How Archaeology Can Teach Almost Anything!    
Margaret Conkey
Perspectives from Indian Country    
Hillary Abé
The Piette Program in France    
Claire Gallou
Just Down the Road: A Former Student’s Perspective on the Peabody Museum and Its Approach to Secondary Education    
Kristi Gilleon
From Research to Education: The Peabody-Phillips Academy Connection    
Rebecca Miller Sykes
Open Doors: A Retrospective on the Robert S. Peabody Museum    
Abigail Seldin
List of Contributors    

Also of Interest