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Lecture 6

Lecture 6 Part 1 – Archaeological Theory

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Anthropology 2229F/G
Christopher Ellis

Lecture 6 Part 1 – Archaeological Theory  How do archaeologists achieve the three main goals of archaeology? o Have to do more than just “discover things” o Takes a lot of information and analysis to put the pieces together o Objects cannot speak for themselves o Have to recognize the significance and importance of objects o Make the archaeological dynamic and come to life  Epistemology o Tool kit to interpret the past o Consists of theories and analytical/reasoning methods Theory  What is theory? o Body of ideas and knowledge about how things work, how the world works or reportedly works o 2 kinds of knowledge:  1. Experiential Knowledge  Know that world works in a certain way through experience  May describe how it works, but doesn’t explain why or how it works  Non-explanatory  2. Theoretical Knowledge  Overtly explanatory, explains how and why things work  Explains events, empirical phenomena, etc.  Not only tells us what happens and why it happens  Also explains why it didn’t happen some other way  3. Gives meaning to information  Not just the information  Gives da
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