Distributional Archaeology

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Overview

Archaeology is founded implicitly on the concept of the site, making a careful distinction between sealed sites—presumed to have complete temporal integrity—and the surface record, which is generally considered to be without chronological resolution. While most American archaeologists focus on reconstructing events and episodes at camps, pueblos, and villages, Jim Ebert questions this distinction. Instead, he characterizes the archaeological record as an accumulation of many human events superimposed upon each other across time and distance.

The prehistoric Seedskadee area in southwestern Wyoming was something of a frontier: a cultural melting pot, and a transport route between the Great Basin, Great Plains, and intermontane region, where many different lifeways and adaptations have existed. Using the results of work conducted there as a model for a distributional approach, Ebert discusses human settlement and mobility, subsistence and technological strategies, ethnoarchaeology, Great Basin ethnohistory, field survey methods, formation processes, and spatial analytical approaches. Ebert concludes that data collection and analysis that are explicitly nonsite can be utilized to arrive at a different archaeological record based on varying scales and distributions of the actual, definable physical items occurring across large, contiguous landscapes.
 

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874806854
  • Publisher: University of Utah Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 316
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

James I. Ebert is a consulting archaeologist with Ebert and Associates.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Many Archaeologies, Two Archaeological Records 3
2 Explanatory Frameworks in Contemporary Archaeology 15
3 Toward a Distributional Archaeological Method 45
4 Great Basin Adaptive Systems Interpreted by Archaeologists 75
5 Great Basin Adaptive Systems Interpreted by Ethnographers 103
6 Alternative Systems, Their Components, and Their Expression in the Archaeological Record 127
7 Distributional Fieldwork: An Example from Southwestern Wyoming 157
8 Exploring Scales of Patterning in the Archeological Record with Distributional Data 173
9 Beyond Survey Archaeology 245
Appendix A: Lithic Data Coding Form 255
References 261
Index 287
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