The Rise and Fall of Culture History

The Rise and Fall of Culture History

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The Rise and Fall of Culture History presents an insightful critical analysis of the culture history approach as developed and practiced by North American-trained archaeologists during the first six decades of the twentieth century. How and why critical concepts were incorporated are discussed in detail, as are the paradigm's strengths and weaknesses. The framework for this analysis is founded on the contrast between two metaphysics used by evolutionary biologists in discussing their own discipline: materialistic/populational thinking and essentialistic/typological thinking. Employing this framework, the authors show not only why the culture history paradigm lost favor in the 1960s, but also which of its aspects need to be retained if archaeology is ever to produce a viable theory of culture change.Their choice of such index fossils is empirical; one has to examine many exposures to determine which kinds of organisms were unique to and diagnostic of ... Early biostratigraphers did not make this interpretive leap explicit (Hancock 1977).

Title:The Rise and Fall of Culture History
Author:R. Lee Lyman, Michael J. O'Brien, Robert C. Dunnell
Publisher:Springer Science & Business Media - 1997-06-30


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