A new technique for delineating aboriginal trade and Spanish colonial expedition routes and the route of the Mendoza-Lopez expedition
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Our theoretical background determines how research is viewed and can even color its resuhs. The historians who have studied the Mendoza-Lopez expedition use only documentary evidence or the experiences of early Anglo residents of the area in questions to come to their conclusions. The weakness here is that historical theoretical framework generally ignores the contributions of anyone but the writer of the source document. Thus the other researchers into the route of the Mendoza-Lopez expedition do not use the Jumano knowledge of the area or even acknowledge the use of native guides by the Europeans (Foster 1997: 22). Without Native help the Europeans would have been unable to traverse what to them was unknown wilderness. Another relevant theoretical perspective used in this thesis is military science, specifically the current doctrine (theory), Air-Land Battle. This also is a body of knowledge that gives the user a perspective that allows the filtration of all but the information that is relevant to a military problem. It also gives a common bases for decision making and for operations. At the very basic level the current U.S. Army doctrine is almost identical to the doctrine used around the world and back through history (Headquarters, Department of the Army 1993). Thus a understanding of current military theory gives insights into past military theory and thus can help identify locations that Mendoza, a Spanish military officer, would have used. The last theoretical perspective used here is a anthropological one. Despite a great deal of flux, there are three generally accepted modem archeological theories. Processual archeology, or "new" archeology, is an attempt to place a scientific approach to understanding prehistoric human behavior. It is characterized by an attempt to find testable hypotheses and theories used to interpret human behavior. Processualism views culture as a "extrasomatic adaptation," or the Unkage between humans and their environment. Technology is the means of that interface and thus by understanding technology you can understand human behay^or (Schiflfer 1996:580).