The study of all aspects of humankind - biological, cultural, and linguistic; extant and extinct - employing a holistic, comparative approach and the concept of culture.
A subdiscipline of anthropology that views humans as biological organisms; also known as physical anthropology.
A subdiscipline of anthropology that emphasizes nonbiological aspects: the leaned social, linguisitc, technological, and familial behaviors of humans.
A subdiscipline of anthroplogy that focuses on human language: its diversity in grammar, syntax, and lexicon; its historical development; and ts relation to a culture's perception of the world.
The study of the past through the systematic recovery and analysis of material remains.
The primary strategy of cultural anthropology, in which data are gathered by questioning and observing people while the observer lives in their society.
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.
A research perspective that focuses on ideas, symbols, and mental structures as driving forces in shaping human behavior.
A research perspective that emphasizes technology, ecology, demography, and economics as the key factors in defining human behaviors.
Among nineteenth-century Northwest Coast Native Americans, a ceremony involving the giving away or desctruction of property in order to acquire prestige.
A language that develops among speakers of different languages to permit economic exchanges.
The search for answers through a process that is objective, systematic, logical, predictive, self-critical, and public.
Accepted principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of secure knowledge. Estblished scientific procedures involve the following steps: 1) define a relavant problem; 2) establish one or more hypotheses; 3) determine the empirical implications ofthe hypotheses; 4) collect appropriate data through observation and/or experimentation; 5) compare these data with the expected implications; and 6) revise and/or retest hypotheses as necessary.
A proposition proposed as an explanation of some phenomenon.
Working from specific oberervations to more genera hypotheses.
Reasoning from theory to predict specific observational or experimental reults.
The degree to which one's observations and experiments can be reproduced.
An explanation for observed, empirical phenomena. It seeks to explain the relationships between variables; it is an answer to a "why" question.
The observations and interpretations that emerge from hands-on archaeological field and lab work.
elevant observations made on objects that then serve as the basis for study and discussion.
A common type of archaeological site, consisting of a rock overhang 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).
Plant or animal remains found at an archaeological site.
Nonportable archeological evidence such as fire hearths, architectural elements, artifact clusters, garbage pits, and soil stains.
Hypothesis that links archaeological obervations with the human behavior or natural processes that produced them.
Theory that seeks to answer large "why"" questions.
The overarching framework, often unstated, for understanding a research problem. It is a researcher's "culture."
The paradigm that explains social, economic, and cultural change as primarily the result of adaptation to material conditions. External conditions (for example, the environment) are assumed to take causal priority over ideational factors in explaining change.
General Systems Theory
An effort to describe the properties by which all systems, including human societies, allegedly operate. Popular in processual archaeology of the late 1960's and 1970's.
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 systems.
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.
Efforts to expose the assumptions behind the alleged objective and systematic search for knowledge. A primary tool of postmodernism.
Stone monuments erected by Maya rulers to record to record their history in rich images and hieroglyphic symbols. These symbols can be read and dated.