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Anth 321W Intellectual Background of Archaeology . MWF 9:00-9:55AM 008 Life Sciences Bldg. Added to the Website Trigger (2006) Chapters 1-8 Heizer (1962) Entire Volume Skim these to seek paper topic inspiration Diagnostic Essay Style Guide: 12 point aerial

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anth 321w intellectual background of archaeology

Anth 321WIntellectual Background of Archaeology

MWF 9:00-9:55AM

008 Life Sciences Bldg


Added to the Website

    • Trigger (2006) Chapters 1-8
    • Heizer (1962) Entire Volume
  • Skim these to seek paper topic inspiration
  • Diagnostic Essay Style Guide:
    • 12 point aerial
    • Margins less than or equal to 1”
    • Spacing less than or equal to double
    • No sentence more than three lines (unless the sentence is a list)
grab bag of paper topics
Grab Bag of Paper Topics
  • An exploration of thoughts about style over time
  • How have changing notions of culture influenced archaeological narratives?
  • What are the major developments in dating and how have these impacted archaeology?
  • What influences did the advent of computers have on archaeological research and theory?
  • Survey of mapping methods and how changes in spatial control alter ways of thinking about archaeological data.
  • Does archaeology serve the national agenda, can it serve other agendas. Is it possible to conduct archaeology without a political agenda, and if so then how?
gamble 2001
Gamble 2001
  • “Archaeological imagination”: reconstruction of the past from evidence left behind.
  • Archaeology:
    • is the refinement of a way of thinking
    • grows out of the industrial revolution
political contexts of archaeology
Political Contexts of Archaeology
  • Nationalist: Ancient remains used to forge the identity of new nation states.
  • Colonialist: Colonial powers investigated the remains found in dependent territories. Change often viewed as external. After independence colonial archaeology becomes nationalist. Example: Great Zimbabwe.
  • Imperialist: Development of a universal world archaeology.
    • Soviet = Marxist
    • British = Comparative
    • United States = “New Archaeology” or Processual approach that developed post WWII.
  • “Globalized?”: A response to Imperialist model. Post-modern or Post-processual.

C.J. Thomsen (1819) three age system

    • Really kicks off nationalist mode.
    • Museum of National Antiquities in Copenhagen
    • Public display
    • Nationalist Mode
    • Temporal organization of material based on
      • Style
      • Seriation (not formally defined)
  • FYI = Wonderful subject for a term paper.
  • Multiple definitions and uses of style
  • Gamble = visual resemblance between objects
  • Types defined based on visual similarities
  • There are many other thoughts and approaches to the analysis of style.
    • E.g. technological style and emblematic style
    • Active, multi-vocal, and multivalent style
  • Style is often at the basis for defining archaeological types
  • Formally defined and developed by Flinders Petrie in the 1880’s.
  • Basic ideas of seriationarepresent in Thomsen’s three age system.
    • Technology: Stone, Bronze, Iron
    • Style: Tested the ordering of objects within the three ages and refined some observations.
  • Thomsen’ contribution significant archaeological innovation because the method is not borrowed.
induction vs deduction
Induction vs. Deduction
  • Thomsen’s development of three age system was Inductive.
  • Had Thomsen tested an existing theory about the development of technology the exercise would have been Deductive.
  • Inductive = specific cases used to build generalities
  • Deductive = generalities evaluated by examination of specifics
more recent stages in archaeological history
More recent stages in archaeological history
  • Culture history
    • 1880-1960 “Long sleep of archaeological theory”
    • Follows from Thomsen
    • Influenced by evolutionary thinking
    • Emphasizes: progress, description, dating, ethnicity.
    • Part of a Nationalist and Colonialist modes of archaeology
  • Anthropological archaeology today (Orser 1999)
    • Global: place remains in wider context
    • Mutualistic: networks of relationships inter-relate and overlap
    • Multiscalar: relate component processes with system wide ones
    • Reflexive: self-critical and self-aware
facts and essence
Facts and Essence
  • Archaeological Facts = always complex and never neutral or value free
  • Facts are theoretically charged and take on greater meaning when embedded in stories.
  • Theory laden facts have strong yet often implicit “essences”
  • Entities defined by the essences or properties they are expected to have in the first place.
  • Typological essentialism is a major trap in archaeological (and other) thinking.