Chapter 18 Archaeology’s Future
Outline • Archaeological Science: Pure or Applied? • The Garbage Project • Forensic Archaeology • Rediscovering Ancient Technology • Public Education • Who Has the Authority to Study the Past? • Seeking Common Ground
Questions About Our Past • People care about history for different reasons. • We will always face important issues regarding: • What is done with our knowledge of the past. • Who gets to “tell the story.” • Who controls access to data.
Archaeological Science: Pure or Applied? • Anthropology is conventionally perceived as a pure science, as the systematic pursuit of knowledge for its own sake. • But anthropologists have long attempted to apply their findings to practical ends—that is, to do applied science.
Applied Archaeology • Brings the techniques of archaeology to non-traditional venues. • Applies our knowledge of the human past to concrete economic or social problems.
The Garbage Project • Rathje’s Garbage Project began in Tucson, an urban community whose population at the time was slightly over 360,000. • Garbage was picked up from randomly selected households, and a sampling design ensured that different socioeconomic neighborhoods were included.
The Garbage Project • The project has involved hundreds of students and 60 participating organizations, recording more than 2 million items from 15,000 household refuse samples from some 250,000 pounds of garbage. • The Tucson project has operated continually since 1973, and satellite projects have been launched throughout North America.
The Garbage Project: Landfills • The Garbage Project used archaeological methods to explore nine landfills across the United States, recovering about 12 metric tons of debris deposited between 1952 and 1989. • Paper takes up 40 to 50% of the volume in American landfills. • The rest consists of construction debris, metals, plastics, other materials, food and yard waste, and glass.
Forensic Archaeology • Uses established archaeological techniques to assist law enforcement agencies. • Provide training in the recovery analysis of material remains generating firsthand evidence to be presented in courts of law.
Archaeology and Education • Archaeologists have created research and educational programs that create a better understanding of the past with the input of descendant communities’ perspectives. • Such archaeological programs bring people of different backgrounds together and break down social, ethnic, racial, and cultural walls that divide the world.
1. A ___ science isthe systematic pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, while applying findings to practical ends is _____ science.
Answer: pure, applied • A pure science isthe systematic pursuit of knowledge for its own sake, while applying findings to practical ends is applied science.
2. The Garbage Project found that ____ takes up 40 to 50% of the volume in American landfills.
Answer: paper • The Garbage Project found that paper takes up 40 to 50% of the volume in American landfills.
3. _______ _______ uses established archaeological techniques to assist law enforcement agencies.
Answer: Forensic Archaeology • Forensic Archaeology uses established archaeological techniques to assist law enforcement agencies.