COVID-19 Update: We are currently shipping orders daily. However, due to transit disruptions in some geographies, deliveries may be delayed. To provide all customers with timely access to content, we are offering 50% off Science and Technology Print & eBook bundle options. Terms & conditions.
Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780120031016, 9781483214795

Advances in Archaeological Method and Theory

1st Edition

Volume 1

0.0 star rating Write a review
Editor: Michael B Schiffer
eBook ISBN: 9781483214795
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 28th November 1978
Page Count: 442
Sales tax will be calculated at check-out Price includes VAT/GST
Price includes VAT/GST

Institutional Subscription

Secure Checkout

Personal information is secured with SSL technology.

Free Shipping

Free global shipping
No minimum order.


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


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1978
28th November 1978
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

About the Editor

Michael B Schiffer

Ratings and Reviews