Matthew Johnson's Archaeological Theory: An Introduction PDF

By Matthew Johnson

ISBN-10: 1405100141

ISBN-13: 9781405100144

Archaeological conception, 2nd Edition is the most up-tp-date and complete advent to the sector on hand. completely revised and up to date, this attractive textual content bargains scholars an incredible access aspect to the most important innovations and ongoing debates in archaeological examine.

  • New version of a popular introductory textual content that explores the expanding variety of ways to archaeological theory
  • Features extra prolonged assurance of 'traditional' or culture-historical archaeology 
  • Examines conception around the English-speaking international and beyond
  • Offers significantly extended insurance of evolutionary idea, divided into sociocultural and Darwinist approaches
  • Includes an accelerated word list, bibliography, and worthwhile feedback for extra readings

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Sample text

Theory is irrelevant to the practice of archaeology; we can just use our common sense. 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.

In Chaco Canyon the ancient pueblos are built of stone. Do the sentences above add up to a meaningful account of the past, a coherent archaeological narrative? No. Simply dredging up facts and waiting for them to cohere into an orderly account of the past is like putting a number of monkeys in front of typewriters and waiting for them to come up with the complete works of Shakespeare. What makes us archaeologists as opposed to mindless collectors of old junk is the set of rules we use to translate those facts into meaningful accounts of the past, accounts that ‘make sense’ to us as archaeologists and (it is hoped) to those who read or engage with our work.

Indeed, very little in the world is obvious or self-evident when examined closely, though our political leaders would have us think otherwise. 2 We need to evaluate one interpretation of the past against another, to decide which is the stronger Archaeology relies in part for its intellectual credibility on being able to distinguish ‘good’ from ‘bad’ interpretations of the past. Were the people who lived on this site hunter-gatherers, or were they aliens from the planet Zog? Which is the stronger interpretation?

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Archaeological Theory: An Introduction by Matthew Johnson


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