Monday, September 26/11
Culture History: Time-Space Systematics
• Binfords ‘Actualistic Studies’: Ethnographic observations by archaeologists with specific
intent of linking certain activities to certain kinds of archaeological patterns
• E.g. Nunamiut hunters kill a caribou, then butcher it for transport to base camp. What is left
at kill site? What ends up at base camp?
• Do all hunter butcher and transport meat as the Nunamiut do?
• All hunters have same logistical problem (bulk transport) to solve and therefore, base
camps (in terms of high MUI bones) shouldn’t look too diferent
• This approaches a law-like statement
• Archaeologists work from static to dynamic
• What would create this site? (multiple working hypotheses)
• Similarities in form sometimes called piecemeal parallels
• Analogies drawn on basis of similarity of appearance (morphology) or similarities of certain
• E.g. IronAge English Hillforts (static) look like Maori ‘pa’(dynamic)