- Emphasis on cultural process
approached via systems theory
- TAYLOR - holistic view through a combination of efforts.
- taking into account the full range of a culture system when trying to explain it.
- basically anything done after the colonial period
- part of an attempt to understand the ethics & politics of archaeology
- asks about context (location/associations) to infer human behavior or activity that led to the deposition of artifact.
- insights into social organization & status differences.
- context can help answer questions about function etc.
SELECTONISM - inheritance, mutation, selection, drift.
- long-term evolutionary trends through human history.
- application to cultural processes
attributes = genes
- process producing cultural stability & change similar to biology
natural selection & cultural dimensions.
N & C Formation Processes
- site formation processes
- culturally or naturally created
- study of human experience & consciousness in everyday life
linked w/landscape archaeology
- signs, symbols, & how we understand them
- GIDDENS - connecting agency & structure
- agents relation to social structure - constrained by environment (pre-existing structure - contextual rules) but pursue social actions
change by agents
- systems & signs underlaid by structure (dualism)
- characterizing archaeological record. → ↑
- understand the multiple issues of the whole
- structure = rules
- performance = agents
- everyday actions relationship to structure
- NOT free will
- acknowledgement that individuals act intentionally
Neo - Marxist Archaeology
- long-term social change dynamic
- denied priority of infrastructure over super structure.
- relationships between social classes
- men made by & make own history
quantitative study of distribution patterns (GIS)
- interpretation rather than explanation (processual focus)
- data is subjective
- interpretive archaeology
- to & fro between data & theory.
- find best fit for data because we our subjective
- how meaning is achieved through interpretation
- linking artifacts to culture.
- means of interpreting data - leading to general laws
- the facilitator to reach high level theories (general systems, laws)
- trying to use processes to reach general theory
- study of roles, activities, ideologies & identities of gender & the differences therein
- study of the relationship between humans & their NATURAL environment through time.
- ecofacts - pollen analysis
- human engagement - not cultural - w/nature
- material objects symbolic of concepts
- human engagement with material world a decisive processes
concepts precede symbols
- material expression of human thought
- looking at secondary meanings
- symbols as a function of info exchange.
★ material culture as a text ★
- system - subsystems
- system as a living society - not static
find underlying rules that govern behavior
- coherent approaches about behavior & development
- how does a system function
☓ individual overlooked & underplayed by general system ☓
ARTIFACTS VS. FITNESS
- process that produced archaeological record.
- formation processes
- methods to understand past/present behavior
- N & C, ethnoarchaeology, experimental
- reconstruct ⇒ explain
- processes to infer behavior
- study of the processes people/society adapt to the environment
- cultural regularities based - but not determined - by environment
- multi-linear evolution