Matthew Johnson's Archaeological Theory: An Introduction PDF

By Matthew Johnson

Archaeological thought, 2nd Edition is the most up-tp-date and entire creation to the sector on hand. completely revised and up to date, this attractive textual content bargains scholars a great access element to the most important options and ongoing debates in archaeological study.

  • New variation of a popular introductory textual content that explores the expanding variety of methods to archaeological theory
  • Features extra prolonged insurance of 'traditional' or culture-historical archaeology 
  • Examines conception around the English-speaking global and beyond
  • Offers drastically extended assurance of evolutionary concept, divided into sociocultural and Darwinist approaches
  • Includes an improved word list, bibliography, and beneficial feedback for extra readings

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Extra resources 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.

Perhaps theory and method are one and the same thing and cannot be separated; perhaps they have to be separated if archaeology is to be a rigorous discipline that is capable of testing its theories against its data. This is a debate we shall return to in chapter 4. I’m sorry to butt in, but all this discussion of theory and method clearly demonstrates just how sterile and boring theory really is. You’re already lost in definitions and semantics, you haven’t mentioned a single fact about the past, and I’m beginning to wish I hadn’t bothered to start reading this and had turned my attention to that new book about the Hopewell culture instead.

Ah, Roger, the eternal empiricist. (Roger Beefy is an undergraduate student at Northern University, England, though women and men like Roger can be found in any archaeological institution. Roger fell in love with archaeology when he was a child, scrambling up and down the ruins of local castles, churches, burial mounds and other sites. Roger spent a year after school before coming to Northern University digging and working in museums. Roger loves handling archaeological material, and is happiest when drawing a section or talking about seriation techniques over a beer.

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