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University of Arizona Press
Archaeological Anthropology: Perspectives on Method and Theory

Archaeological Anthropology: Perspectives on Method and Theory


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For centuries, the goal of archaeologists was to document and describe material artifacts, and at best to make inferences about the origins and evolution of human culture and about prehistoric and historic societies. During the 1960s, however, a number of young, primarily American archaeologists, including William Longacre, rebelled against this simplistic approach. Wanting to do more than just describe, Longacre and others believed that genuine explanations could be achieved by changing the direction, scope, and methodology of the field. What resulted was the New Archaeology, which blended scientific method and anthropology. It urged those working in the field to formulate hypotheses, derive conclusions deductively and, most important, to test them. While, over time the New Archaeology has had its critics, one point remains irrefutable: archaeology will never return to what has since been called its “state of innocence.”

In this collection of twelve new chapters, four generations of Longacre protégés show how they are building upon and developing but also modifying the theoretical paradigm that remains at the core of Americanist archaeology. The contributions focus on six themes prominent in Longacre’s career: the intellectual history of the field in the late twentieth century, archaeological methodology, analogical inference, ethnoarchaeology, cultural evolution, and reconstructing ancient society.

More than a comprehensive overview of the ideas developed by one of the most influential scholars in the field, however, Archaeological Anthropology makes stimulating contributions to contemporary research. The contributors do not unequivocally endorse Longacre’s ideas; they challenge them and expand beyond them, making this volume a fitting tribute to a man whose robust research and teaching career continues to resonate.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780816525171
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Publication date: 04/05/2007
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

James M. Skibo is a professor of anthropology at Illinois State University and coeditor of the Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory. Michael W. Graves is a professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico. Miriam T. Stark is a professor of anthropology at the University of Hawai'i at M noa. She is the editor of the journal Asian Perspectives and is the codirector of the Lower Mekong Archaeological Project.

Table of Contents

Foreword: The New Archaeology and After   Patty Jo Watson     vii
The Intellectual Legacies of an Archaeological Paradigm   Michael W. Graves   Ezra B. W. Zubrow     3
Middle Range Theory in Historical Archaeology   Mark P. Leone     21
Archaeological Anthropology and Strategies of Knowledge Formation in American Archaeology   Alan P. Sullivan III     40
Some Thoughts on the Archaeological Study of Social Organization   Michael Brian Schiffer     57
Smudge Pits and Hide Smoking Revisited   James M. Skibo   John G. Franzen   Eric C. Drake     72
A History of the Kalinga Ethnoarchaeological Project   Miriam T. Stark   James M. Skibo     93
Midden Ceramics and Their Sources in Kalinga   Margaret E. Beck   Matthew E. Hill Jr.     111
Contingency Theory and the Organizational Behavior of Traditional Pottery Production   Mark A. Neupert     138
A Holistic Approach to Pre-Hispanic Craft Production   Izumi Shimada   Ursel Wagner     163
Learning about Learning   Patricia L. Crown     198
Migration, Population Movement, and Process at Grasshopper Pueblo, Arizona   J. Jefferson Reid   Stephanie M. Whittlesey     218
Epilogue   Lewis R. Binford     236
References     243
About the Contributors     295
Index     301

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