This essay deals with aspects of the intellectual development of North American archaeology, especially work in the eastern half of the continent, which I came to know as a graduate student and young professional. While I was active in archaeological research and writing in undergraduate college and graduate school, events in the World War Π period plus the multidisciplinary intellectual atmosphere of the University of Chicago led me into the never-never land of cross-disciplinary social science. But I never lost my curiosity about the prehistoric past, or the tantalizing semantic and methodological problems surrounding the analysis of ambiguous objects and inverted stratigraphy.