Evolutionary and Interpretive Archaeologies: A Dialogue

Overview

This collection of original articles compares various key archaeological topics—agency, violence, social groups, diffusion—from evolutionary and interpretive perspectives. These two strands represent the major current theoretical poles in the discipline. By comparing and contrasting the insights they provide into major archaeological themes, this volume demonstrates the importance of theoretical frameworks in archaeological interpretations. Chapter authors discuss relevant Darwinian or interpretive theory with ...
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Overview

This collection of original articles compares various key archaeological topics—agency, violence, social groups, diffusion—from evolutionary and interpretive perspectives. These two strands represent the major current theoretical poles in the discipline. By comparing and contrasting the insights they provide into major archaeological themes, this volume demonstrates the importance of theoretical frameworks in archaeological interpretations. Chapter authors discuss relevant Darwinian or interpretive theory with short archaeological and anthropological case studies to illustrate the substantive conclusions produced. The book will advance debate and contribute to a better understanding of the goals and research strategies that comprise these distinct research traditions.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781598744279
  • Publisher: Left Coast Press
  • Publication date: 6/1/2011
  • Series: UNIV COL LONDON INST ARCH PUB Series
  • Pages: 361
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Ethan Cochrane (PhD, University of Hawaii 2004) is Projects Manager and Senior Archaeologist at the International Archaeological Research Institute and was formerly Lecturer of Pacific Island Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. His research concentrates on Pacific Island prehistory, ceramic stylistic, functional and provenance analyses, and archaeological method and theory, particularly evolutionary theory. Ethan’s work has been published in several edited volumes and international journals including the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, Journal of Archaeological Science, Asian Perspectives, Archaeology in Oceania, and the Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology. Andrew Gardner is Lecturer in the Archaeology of the Roman Empire at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL. He has worked previously at the University of Reading, the University of Leicester, and Cardiff University. His publications include the edited volume Agency Uncovered: Archaeological Perspectives on Social Agency, Power and Being Human (Left Coast Press), and his research interests center upon the social dynamics of Roman imperialism, the role of material culture in the expression of cultural identity, and the ways in which people in different societies understand time.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations 7

Preface 9

1 Evolutionary and Interpretive Archaeologies: A Dialogue Andrew Gardner Ethan E. Cochrane 11

Part 1 Theoretical Converns

2 Units of Transmission in Evolutionary Archaeology and the Role of Memetics Ethan E. Cochrane 31

3 Action and Structure in Interpretive Archaeologies Andrew Gardner 63

4 'Style versus Function' 30 Years On R. Alexander Bentley 83

5 Intentionality Matters: Creativity and Human Agency in the Construction of the Inka State Bill Sillar 105

Part 2 Contexts of Study

6 Interpretive Archaeologies, Violence and Evolutionary Approaches Simon James 127

7 Violence and Conflict: Warfare, Biology and Culture Robert Layton 151

8 Tribes, Peoples, Ethnicity: Archaeology and Changing 'We Groups' Ulrike Sommer 169

9 Cultural Selection, Drift and Ceramic Diversity at Bogazköy-Hattusa Claudia Glatz Anne Kandler James Steele 199

10 Cultural and Biological Approaches to the Body in Archaeology: Can They Be Reconciled? Ruth D. Whitehouse 227

11 Missing Links: Cultures, Species and the Cladistic Reconstruction of Prehistory Jamshid J. Tehrani 245

12 The Ambiguity of Landscape: Discussing Points of Relatedness in Concepts and Methods Sue Hamilton 263

Part 3 Future Directions

13 Contrasts and Conflicts in Anthropology and Archaeology: The Evolutionary/Interpretive Dichotomy in Human Behavioural Research Heidi Colleran Ruth Mace 281

14 A Visit to Down House: Some Interpretive Comments on Evolutionary Archaeology Matthew H. Johnson 307

15 An Evolutionary Perspective on the Goals of Archaeology Stephen Shennan 325

Index 345

About the Authors 357

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