By C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky
The purpose of the seventeen essays during this quantity is either to explain contemporary theoretical advances in archaeological examine and to provide substantive interpretations of prehistoric info drawn from numerous cultures and time frames, together with Mesoamerica, crucial Asia, India, and China.
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Extra info for Archaeological Thought in America
1983). Other studies have documented how wealthy patrons (Hinsley 1985) or government funding agencies (Patterson 1986b) have shaped the development of archaeology through selective support of research or how sexual stereotypes have biased the interpretation of archaeological data (Conkey and Spector 1984). As a result of these studies there is more awareness that archaeological interpretation must be understood in relation to the social, political, and historical context in which it occurs. Relativists argue that even archaeological data are mental constructs and hence not independent of the presuppositions of the milieu in which they are utilized (Wylie 1982, 1985c).
I. Lenin. Discussion The new trends in American prehistoric archaeology do not represent a movement in the direction of historical materialism, but rather a drift towards historical particularism, a doctrine in keeping with the intellectual obfuscation currently rampant in American popular culture (Harris 1981). Regardless of the sophistication of the contextual and Marxist-influenced approaches, extreme forms of these views are encouraging a return to an analytical position that anthropologists long ago abandoned as sterile.
Strategies for application Biological evolution is just that. It is a theory that developed in the context of biology. It is designed to explain a particular range of phenomena of concern to that field. In consequence, one cannot simply assert it is applicable to cultural phenomena uncritically. There are two general strategies that have been employed in the extension of evolutionary theory to people. The simplest strategy is to assert that people are not qualitatively different from any other organism and therefore biological evolution is directly applicable to cultural phenomena.