Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory

Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory

Volume 1

1st Edition - January 1, 1978

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  • Editor: Michael B Schiffer
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483214795

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Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory, Volume 1 presents the progressive explorations in methods and theory in archeology. This book discusses the strategy for appraising significance, which is needed to maximize the preservation and wise use of cultural resources. Organized into 10 chapters, this volume begins with an overview of planning for the best long-term use of cultural resources, which is the essence of conservation archeology. This text then examines importance of the concept in cultural ecological studies. Other chapters consider the methods used in determining the density, size, and growth rate of human populations. This book discusses as well the use of demographic variables in archeological explanation. The final chapter deals with the decisions that must be made in designing a survey and to identify the alternative consequences for data recovery of various strategies. This book is a valuable resource for archeologists and planners.

Table of Contents

  • List of Contributors


    1 Optimizing Strategies for Evaluating Archaeological Significance


    Some Categories of Significance

    Specious Criteria

    Ranking Cultural Resources

    Summary and Conclusions


    2 The Concept of Carrying Capacity in the Study of Culture Process

    Definitions and Uses of the Carrying Capacity Concept

    Criticisms of Carrying Capacity Measures

    A Defense of the Carrying Capacity Concept

    Population Pressure Theory and Carrying Capacity



    3 Demographic Archaeology

    Demographic Archaeology

    Part I: Demographic Methods in Archaeology

    Part II: Demographic Models and Explanation in Archaeology

    Concluding Remarks


    4 Mortuary Practices and the Study of Prehistoric Social Systems

    Mortuary Practices: Basic Concepts

    Problems in the Interpretation of Mortuary Remains

    The Significance of Mortuary Data

    The Use of Social Typologies in Mortuary Studies

    Classification of Mortuary Data

    Selection of Data for Mortuary Studies

    Mortuary Studies: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

    Quantitative Modeling

    Mortuary Practices: Concluding Evaluations


    5 Social Interaction and Stylistic Similarity: A Reanalysis

    Assumptions and Methods

    Criticisms of the Assumptions

    Criticisms of the Interpretations

    Criticisms of the Methods

    Reanalysis of the Data



    6 Inference and Evidence in Archaeology: A Discussion of the Conceptual Problems


    Knowing the Past

    Inference and Archaeology

    Concepts of Archaeological Evidence

    Archaeological Evidence and Archaeological Theory

    A Model of Past Information Transmission

    Formation Theory

    Recovery Theory

    Analytic Theory

    Concluding Remarks


    7 Independent Dating in Archaeological Analysis


    Definition of Terms

    The Dating Problem in Archaeology

    The General Model

    Application of the Model

    Implications of the Model

    The Future of Archaeological Dating Theory



    8 Advances in Archaeological Seriation

    Advances in Seriation Techniques

    Advances in Seriation Theory

    Seriation in Context

    The Practice of Seriation


    9 A Survey of Disturbance Processes in Archaeological Site Formation


    Two General Soil-Forming Processes

    Faunalturbation: Disturbance by Animals

    Floralturbation: Disturbance by Plants

    Cryoturbation: Disturbance by Freeze-Thaw Action

    Graviturbation: Mass Wasting

    Argilliturbation: Disturbance by Expanding and Contracting Clays

    Aeroturbation: Disturbance by Soil Gas and by Wind

    Aquaturbation: Disturbance by Artesian Action

    Crystalturbation: Growth and Wasting of Crystals in Soil

    Seismiturbation: Disturbance by Earthquakes

    Concluding Statements


    10 Decision Making in Modern Surveys

    Selection of a Survey Universe

    Site Definition


    Sampling Strategies

    Surface Collections

    Site Records

    Individual Variability and Measurement Error

    Analytical Frontiers


    Subject Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 442
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1978
  • Published: January 1, 1978
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483214795

About the Editor

Michael B Schiffer

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