Class Notes (838,436)
Canada (510,887)
Anthropology (1,688)
ANT200Y1 (111)


7 Pages
Unlock Document

Christopher Watts

ANT200 Lecture Notes 3 Term test 1 on Dec. 5 will be held in EX200 from 6-8pm Next week’s reading is Boast (1997) “A Small Company of Actors”. See website or syllabus for details Paradigms for the Past What is a paradigm? • A philosophical and theoretical framework within which theories, laws, and generalizations are formulated • E.g. Paradigm: Darwinian Evolution • E.g. Scientific school: Biology, Zoology, etc. Why study paradigms? • To understand the historical development of the discipline  What trajectory led archaeologists to discuss the past in a specific way? • To understand epistemological bases for interpretations  Allows for contextual interpretation of past works (e.g. archaeological papers from the 60s-80s would possibly be written in the framework of processual archaeology) • Because conceptual frameworks are inextricably linked to the ‘doing’ of archaeology  Cannot divorce methodology from theory Key Paradigms in Archaeology Early Evolutionary Thought (mid to late 19 century) Culture History (after 1920) Processualism (after 1960) Post-Processualism (after 1980) Early Evolutionary Thought • Tied to Victorian ideals (e.g. ‘scientific rationalism’ – the world can be understood through scientific principles) of the mid to late th 19 century • Thoroughly ‘Modern’  Though there were interests in the physical remains of old since ancient times, archaeology did not become a scholarly discipline until then • Thoroughly Eurocentric  The rest of the world and the past world could be put on a scale of their overall prowess and fitness; this was based on the European standard (hunter-gatherer societies  industrial modernity) - Key tenet: Uniliear evolution Lewis Henry Morgan’s Ancient Society (1877) • Unilinear evolution • Savagery, Barbarism, Civilization (The stages of evolution of peoples) • Key technological inventions were associated with each stage - Savagery: fire, bow and arrow, pottery - Barbarism: domestication, agriculture, metallurgy - Civilization: alphabet and writing The Birth of Culture History • Emerged in the late 19 century • Replaced emphasis on evolution as historical ‘prime mover’ (Reaction?) • New emphasis on time and place (peoples); replaced ‘flat’ view of culture - New emphasis on mechanisms of change (e.g. diffusion and migration) - No longer believed that technological innovation alone pushes humanity forward, with culture being static - How do groups change? How do peoples adopt technology? How is culture transmitted from place to place and generation to generation? • Based on two fundamental principles: - Descriptive Research Methods  Numerous specific observations > generalizations  Must actually go out and do fieldwork; describe the process and methods; - “Normative” View of Culture  Normal behaviour governed by abstract rules  Artefacts are products of the shared culture; this shared culture dictated the norm by which the people produced things like pottery, homes, etc.  reconstruct people’s minds through analyzing their material culture • Descriptive approach rooted in artefact ‘styles’ • Key works: - V. Gordon Childe’s The Dawn of European Civilization (1925)  Introduced concept of “archaeological culture”(saying something about these groups based on their material inventory; these cultures are no longer “living”, therefore it cannot be considered as ordinary culture)  Stressed that each culture had to be delineated and defined individually  Led to the birth of regional cultural chronologies in European ‘prehistory’ - Alfred Kidder’s An Introduction to the Study of Southwestern Archaeology (1924)  First culture-historical synthesis of American archaeology (US Southwest)  Archaeological materials described in terms of successive periods: Basketmaker, Post-basketmaker, Pre-pueblo and Pueblo Processualism or the ‘New’ Archaeology • Replaced Culture History as the dominant paradigm in North American archaeology after the 1960s • Brand of Neo-Evolutionary thought associated with Lewis Binford • Appealed to a generation of archaeologists disillusioned with the descriptive nature of Culture Historical research • Binford was critical of the normative conception of culture associated with Culture History • Recast culture as an integrated system – “man’s extrasomatic means of adaptation” to the environm
More Less

Related notes for ANT200Y1

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.