a research perspective that emphasizes technology, ecology, demography, and economics in the definition of human behavior
a subdiscipline of anthropology that focuses on human language: its diversity in grammar, syntax, and lexicon; its historical development, and its relation to a culture's perception of the world
the documentation of artifacts and other material remains, along with their contexts recovered from archaeolgical sites
the study of the past through systematic recovery and analysis of material means
a subdiscipline of anthropology that views humans as biological organisms; also known as physical anthropology
logical statements linking observations on the static archaeological record to the dynamic behavior or natural processes that produced it.
a subdiscipline of anthropology that emphasizes nonbiological aspects: the learned social, linguistic, technological, and familial behaviors of humans.
a research paradigm that takes a scientific approach and that emphasizes that importance of material factors --- such as environment, population density, subsistence, and technology --- understanding change and diversity in human societes.
an integrated system of beliefs, traditions, and customs that govern or influence a person's behavior. culture is learned, shared by members of a group, and based on the ability to think in terms of symbols.
relevant observations made on objects that then serve as the basis for study and discussion.
efforts to expose the assumptions behind the alleged objective and systematic search for knowledge. a primary tool of postmodernism.
reasoning from theory to account for specific observational or experimental results.
plant or animal remains found in an archaeological site.
a western philosophy that advocated ideas of linear progress, absolute truth, science, rational planning of ideal social orders, and the standardization of knowledge. it held that rational thought was the key to progress; that science and technology would free people from the oppression foo historical traditions of myth, religion and superstition; and that the control of nature through technology would permit the development of moral and spiritual values.
the study of contemporary peoples to determine how human behavior is translated in the archaeological record
experiments designed to determine the archaeological correlates of ancient behavior; may overlap with both ethnoarchaeology and tophonomy.
the nonportable evidence of technology; usually fire heaths, architectural elements, artifact clusters, garbage pits, soil stains, and so on
high-levle (or general) theory
theory that seeks to answer large "why questions
a doctrine, attitude or way of life that focuses on human itnerests and values. in general, a humanistic approach tends to reject a search for universals and stress isntead of the importance of the individual's lived experience
a proposition proposed as an explanation of some phenomena
the research perspective that detines ideas, symbols and mental structures as driving forces in shaping human behavior.
working from specific observations to more general hypothesis
in cultural materialism, the elements most important to satisfying basic human survival and well-being --- food, shelter, reproduction, health which are assumed to lite at the causal heat of every sociocultural system.
the observations and interpretations that emerge from hands-on archaeological field and lab work
middle-level (or middle-range) theory
hypothesis that links archaeological observations with the human behavior or natural processes that produced them.
the attempt to observe things as they actually are, without prejudging or falsifying observations in light of some preconceived view of the world --- reducing subjective factors to a minimum.
the overarching framework, often unstated, for understanding a research problem. it is a researcher's "culture".
a paradigm that rejects grand historical schemes in favor of humanistic approaches that appreciate the multiple voices of history. it seeks to see how colonialism created our vision of hte world we occupy today; it eschews science and argues against the existence of objective truth.
a paradigm that focuses on humanistic approaches and rejects scientific objectivity; it sees archaeology as inherently political and is more concerned with interpreting the past than with testing hypotheses. it sees change as arising largely from interactions between individuals operating within a symbolic and/or competitive system
principle of infrastructural determinism
argument that the infrastructure lies at the causal heart of every sociocultural system, that human society responds to factors that directly affect survival and well-being, and that such responses determine the rest of the sociocultural system.
the paradigm that explains social, economic, and cultural chagne as primarily the result of adaptation to material condtions; external conditions (for example, the environment) are assumed to take casual priority over ideational factors in explaining change.
a common type of archaeological site, consisting of rock overhagn that is deep enough to provide shelter but not deep enough to be called a cave (technically speaking, a cave must have an area of perpetual darkness).
accepted principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of secure knowledge. established scientific procedures invovle the following steps: define a relevant problem; established scientifc procedures involve the following steps: define a relevant problem; establish one or more hypotheses; determine the empirical implications of the hypotheses; collect appropriate data through observation and/or experimentation; compare these data with the expected implications; and revise and/or retest hypotheses as necessary.
stone monuments erected by maya rulers to record their history in rich images and heiroglyphic symbols. these symbols can be read and dated.
the behavior that supports choices made at the level of infrastructure including the organization of reproduction, production, exchange, family structure, division of labor, age and sex roles, political units, social organization and warfare.
a group's values, aesthetics, rules, beliefs, religions, and symbols, which can be behaviorally manifested as art, music, dance, literature, advertising, religious rituals, sports, games, hobbies, and even science.
the study of how organisms become part of the fossil record, in archaeology it primarily refers to the study how natural processes produce patterning in archaeological data.
the degree to which one's observations and experiments can be reproduced.
an explanation for observed, empirical phenomena. it is empirical and seeks to explain the relationships between variables; it is an answer to a "why" question.