Behavioral Archaeology: Principles and Practice

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Overview

This book is a synthesis of the fundamental method and theory of behavioral archaeology, organized in terms of the temporal order in which general topics have been addressed. The development of key ideas is recounted in relation to the historical contexts in which they emerged. Among the major topics addressed are philosophy of science and the scientific method, artifacts and human behavior, archaeological inference, formation processes of the archaeological record, technological change, behavioral change, and human communication. Case studies make clear the relevance of behavioral method and theory for the everyday practice of archaeology. Not only has behavioral archaeology successfully elucidated the nature of archaeological inference and demonstrated the importance of dealing with formation processes in every aspect of archaeological research, but it also furnishes a highly original approach for studying and explaining behavioral and technological change. The main message of the book is that behavioral archaeology, which privileges the study of people-artifact interactions at every scale, furnishes a coherent, mature, and still-developing program for conducting archaeological research in any society, past or present.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Michael Brian Schiffer is the Fred A. Riecker Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the University of Arizona, where he has taught since 1975. His interests include archaeological method and theory, behavioral change, technological change, ceramic technology, and history of electrical and electronic technologies.
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Table of Contents

Part I Introduction 1 Origins and the Four Strategies of Behavioral Archaeology 2 Conceptual Foundations Part II. Inference and Formation Processes 3 Archaeological Inference 4 Cultural Formation Processes 5 Noncultural (Environmental) Formation Processes 6 Identifying Formation Processes 7 Building Chronologies: A Hohokam Case Study 8 The Archaeological Process Part III. Technology 9 Research on Technology: History and Overview 10 Studying Technological Change (with James M. Skibo) 11 Ceramic Surface Treatments and Cooking Pot Performance 12 Folk Theories and Scientific Theories: the Case of the Early Electric Automobile 13 Long-Term Technological Competitions 14 Technological Differentiation 15 Differential Adoption and the Electric Lighthouse 16 The Cascade Model of Invention Processes Part IV. New Directions 17 The NewA" Behavioral Archaeology 18 Ritual and Religion (Kacy L. Hollenback) 19 A Behavioral Theory of Meaning (with the assistance of Andrea R. Miller) 20 The Materiality of Social Power (with William H. Walker) 21 Landscapes (Kacy L. Hollenback)

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