Behavioral Archaeology

Behavioral archaeology is an emerging branch of anthropology emphasizing the study of relationships between human behavior and artifacts (material culture) in all times and places. As such, it aspires to make contributions beyond the confines of archaeology to other behavioral sciences and to society in general.

Behavioral Archaeology is a selection of writings by Michael Schiffer, one of the field’s primary proponents. The chapters include important works published between 1972 and 1987, the formative period of behavioral archaeology. Schiffer has crafted a lengthy introduction to the coume, a personal history that contextualizes the development of these works. Also new is the last chapter, which lists—and keys to the preceding chapters—the field’s most important principles, tenets, and premises.

Readers will discover that although behavioral archaeologist have put archaeological inference on a scientific footing and have fostered the growth of experimental archaeology and ethnoarchaeology as research strategies, behavioral archaeology is not confined to methodology.

Indeed, cultivation of the fields established here is leading to the development of new behavioral science focused on studies of people-artifact interactions. By closely juxtaposing method and theory, principles and applications, science and history, this book illustrates the coherence and scope of behavioral archaeology’s conceptual framework.

Michael Schiffer is professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona.

Table of Contents:

List of Figures
List of Tables

1. A Personal History of Behavioral Archaeology
2. Archaeological Context and Systemic Context
3. A Synthetic Model of Archaeological Inference
4. Archaeology as Behavioral Science
5. Behavioral Chain Analysis
6. The Four Strategies of Behavioral Archaeology (with contributions by J. Jefferson Reid and William L. Rathje)
7. Some Further Comments on the Dalton Settlement Pattern Hypothesis
8. Archaeology Research and Contract Archaeology
9. Methodological Issues in Ethnoarchaeology
10. Waste Not, Want Not: An Ethnoarchaeological Study of Reuse Processes in Tucson, Arizona (with Theodore E. Downing and Michael McCarthy)
11. The Place of Lithic Use-Wear Studies in Behavioral Archaeology
12. A Preliminary Consideration of Behavioral Change
13. On Lewis R. Binford's For Theory Building in Archaeology
14. Problems of Confirmation of Ethnoarchaeology
15. Some Fundamental Correlates (with William L. Rathje)
16. Hohokam Chronology
17. On Marvin Harris's Cultural Materialism
18. Toward the Identification of Formation Processes
19. On Lewis R. Binford's Working at Archaeology
20. Is There a "Pompeii Premise" in Archaeology?
21. The Ceramics of Broken K Pueblo: A Reanalysis
22. Theory and Experiment in the Study of Technological Change (with James K. Skibo)
23. The Conceptual Structure of Behavioral Archaeology