New PDF release: Archaeological Theory: An Introduction

By Matthew Johnson

ISBN-10: 1405100141

ISBN-13: 9781405100144

Archaeological concept, 2nd Edition is the most up-tp-date and accomplished advent to the sphere on hand. completely revised and up-to-date, this enticing textual content deals scholars an amazing access element to the key ideas and ongoing debates in archaeological examine.

  • New version of a popular introductory textual content that explores the expanding range of techniques to archaeological theory
  • Features extra prolonged insurance of 'traditional' or culture-historical archaeology 
  • Examines idea around the English-speaking international and beyond
  • Offers enormously improved assurance of evolutionary concept, divided into sociocultural and Darwinist approaches
  • Includes an improved word list, bibliography, and beneficial feedback for additional readings

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Extra info for Archaeological Theory: An Introduction

Sample text

A second is a ‘middle-range’ assumption: that is, it connects particular facts on the one hand to general theories on the other (see chapter 4). Alcock assumes that the relative numbers of coins on different site types (note the use of an implicit site hierarchy that equates with a social hierarchy, assumed rather than demonstrated: ‘the humblest sites’) will accurately reflect the level of what Alcock has termed ‘commercial activity’. Of course, we have already acknowledged that commercial activity is a much more theoretically complex beast.

What makes us archaeologists as opposed to mindless collectors of old junk is the set of rules we use to translate those facts into meaningful accounts of the past, accounts that ‘make sense’ to us as archaeologists and (it is hoped) to those who read or engage with our work. And those rules, whether they are implicit or explicit, are theoretical in nature. Facts are important, but without theory they remain utterly silent. Let’s take the example of a distinguished Professor of Archaeology who claims to be writing in an atheoretical, factual manner using ‘common sense’, and see what he is really doing.

Where does that get us? There is an infinity of archaeological facts. They are piled in their millions in museum and laboratory storerooms, in microfiche lists and in tables of data. Here are some pretty undeniable ‘facts’: The pot I am holding is 600 years old. Cuzco is an Inca site in Peru. Lepenski Vir is a Mesolithic site in Serbia. Colono Ware pottery has been found in Virginia. A skeleton was excavated at Maiden Castle, Dorset, England, with an iron projectile lodged in its spine. Great Basin projectile points come in different sizes.

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Archaeological Theory: An Introduction by Matthew Johnson


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