One idiosyncrasy of archaeology in North America is that it is considered a sub-field of cultural anthropology. To explore the dimensions of this situation, editor Alan P. Sullivan assembled a group of practicing archaeologists, each with different expertise, to analyze problems with the current disciplinary arrangement and to recommend changes in practice and pedagogy that might coalesce into a truly archaeological study of the cultural past.
By using the theoretical tension that has arisen between archaeology and cultural anthropology, the contributors illustrate the effectiveness of concepts and methods that have little, if any, overlap with those of the mother discipline.
Archaeological Concepts for the Study of the Cultural Past examines the degree to which the historically close relationship between archaeology and cultural anthropology may actually have inhibited archaeological investigations—particularly of those aspects of the cultural past that may be ethnographically undocumented or incompletely described.
Alan P. Sullivan III is professor of anthropology at the University of Cincinnati.
Table of Contents:
List of Figures
List of Tables
1. Forward to the Cultural Past
2. An Archaeological View of the Archaeological Record
3. Raising the Bar: Making Geological and Archaeological Data More Meaningful for Understanding the Archaeological Record
4. Archaeological Science in American and Britain
5. Remote Sensing Approaches to Archaeological Reasoning: Pattern Recognition and Physical Principles
6. Non-Anthropological Approaches to Understanding Lithic Artifact and Assemblage Variability
7. Exploring the Historical Foundation and Interpretive Potential of Provenience
8. Theory, Method,and the Archaeological Study of Occupation Surfaces and Activities
9. Abandonment Patterning at Archaeological Settlements
List of Contributors
Praise and Reviews:
"The volume will make a significant contribution to the ongoing discussion of how archaeology relates to anthropology as well as to the other social sciences, hard sciences, and humanistic disciplines such as history."— William A. Parkinson, associate professor of anthropology, Florida State University