Although archaeology consistently refers to communities in its interpretations, concepts of community still remain undeveloped. The Archaeology of Communities develops a critical evaluation of community through a series of theoretically explicit discussions of specific archaeological case studies contributed by leading scholars of the field. This collection bridges the gap between studies of ancient societies and ancient households. The community is taken to represent more than a mere aggregation of households; it exists in part through shared identities, as well as frequent interaction and inter-household integration. Drawing on case studies which range in location from the Mississippi Valley to New Mexico, from the Southern Andes to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Madison County, Virginia, the contributors to this volume explore and discuss communities from a wide range of periods, from the Early Formative to the early twentieth century. Discussions of actual communities are reinforced by strong debate on, for example, the distinction between 'Imagined Community' and 'Natural Community'.