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Lecture 6

Lecture 6 Part 2 – Archaeological Theory

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Western University
Anthropology 2229F/G
Christopher Ellis

Lecture 6 Part 2 – Archaeological Theory  Example of a Good Archaeological Theory o 1. Three Age Theory  Stone Age  Bronze Age  Iron Age  Explanatory – people have not always been the same and have changed over time  Technological progress, shift from stone to bronze to iron  Dates back to ancient Greeks, Romans, Chinese but not tested until Christian Thomsen  Had to power to outline cultural evolution  Could explain variation; represent a time sequence  Explained a large number of other observations  If the Three Age Theory worked, could also explain variability in material and form of tools  Led to typological dating  Different Classes of Theory o All theories that archaeologists use can be divided into:  1. Low Level  Basic observations of human activity  Develop chronology o Objects change in certain ways over time
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