Frequently Asked Questions / Theory

How do archaeologists draw conclusions about prehistoric cultures?

Archaeologists often deal with cultures that have no written history. All that is left of these cultures are there material remains: the tools they used, the remains of the food they ate, the impressions left by their houses, the pots they cooked with, and the remains of their bodies. While much can be said about … Continue reading

Frequently Asked Questions / Theory

Is archaeology isolated from other fields of study?

The answer to this question is a resounding no. Archaeologists constantly draw from other fields- if you somehow find one who does not, chances are they are not a very good archaeologist. There are two major ways that we employ work from other fields; the use of theory, and the use of data and methodologies. … Continue reading

Theory

Culture History vs. Processualism

Last week’s blog postĀ focused on the key components of the processual paradigm, and I thought that it would be useful to detail how this body of theory differs from the culture-historical approach that proceeded it. The fall of culture-history and the development of new archaeological theory, especially the processual archaeology paradigm coincides with the idea … Continue reading

Theory

Processualism: The New Archeology

Uncovering Theory Topic #3 Processualism, or the New Archeology, is a school of thought that has its beginnings in the 1960’s and 1970’s of American Archaeology. (Note: New Archeology is not a misspelling- many processualists used this spelling to associate themselves with a more science or social-science oriented practice). In his book Archaeological Theory, Matthew … Continue reading