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Darwin And Archaeology

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Overview

The last decades of the 20th century witnessed strongly growing interest in evolutionary approaches to the human past. Even now, however, there is little real agreement on what evolutionary archaeology is all about. A major obstacle is the lack of consensus on how to define the basic principles of Darwinian thought in ways that are genuinely relevant to the archaeological sciences. Each chapter in this new collection of specially invited essays focuses on a single major concept and its associated key words, summarizes its historic and current uses, and then reviews case studies illustrating that concept's present and probable future role in research. What these authors say shows the richness and current diversity of thought among those today who insist that Darwinism has a key role to play in archaeology.

Each chapter includes definitions of related key words. Because the same key words may have the same or different meanings in different conceptual contexts, many of these key words are addressed in more than one chapter. In addition to exploring key concepts, collectively the book's chapters show the broad range of ideas and opinions in this intellectual arena today. This volume reflects—and clarifies—debate today on the role of Darwinism in modern archaeology, and by doing so, may help shape the directions that future work in archaeology will take.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Archaeologists and other anthropologists, almost all from the US, change the direction of the recent resurgence of evolutionary approaches to the archaeological record by founding their discussions in Darwinian theory and theoretical developments in the social and historical sciences. Each defines up a key concept that links data and theories and describes what it means to archaeologists today, why it is important in the field, and whether there is some reason to favor a particular meaning and usage of it over others that are also current. No index is provided. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780897898799
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/5/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

John Hart

JOHN P. HART is Director of Research & Collections, New York State Museum, Albany.

JOHN EDWARD TERRELL is Director of the New Guinea Research Program and Curator of Anthropology at the Field Museum in Chicago.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Table of Key Words
1 Introduction 1
2 Adaptation 15
3 Biological Constraints 29
4 Cause 49
5 Classification 69
6 Complexity 89
7 Culture 107
8 Descent 125
9 History 143
10 Individuals 161
11 Learning 183
12 Models 201
13 Natural Selection 225
14 Population 243
About the Contributors 257
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