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Social Archaeology.docx

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Bonnie Glencross

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Social Archaeology  A subcategory to archaeology developed in the 1970s  Involves reconstructing past societies & social practices in their totality  Focuses on social systems, institutions & organization of the society before attempting to look at the role of the individual & their actions  Artifacts & other archaeological finds are placed in a social context Systems perspective  A way of conceptualizing the complex, systemic & dynamic behaviour of a group society belief & subsisstence thoughts contact & exchange technology  Time, space, context, continuum o Space: organized at multiple levels, properties of one level are contingent on relationships with & activities in other levels o Time: structures vary & change through time o Context: interactions at different levels of organization & various external factors experience are mediated in a broader social & ecological context Middle Range Theory  An approach to bridging the gap between archaeological remains & the societies they represent Analogy  Use of information derived in one context (the present) to explain data from another context (the past)  Assumption: conditions in the past were like those in the present Sources of data  Settlement pattern: a core concept in archaeology, also called non-site archaeology o Examine regions or areas, rather than focusing on individual sites o Factors influencing this include subsistence strategy, political structure, social structure, population density & carrying capacity o Willey pioneered settlement patterns… based on fieldwork in Peru’s…… o ADD *2 o Willey demonstrated that the spatial relations…  Written records: archives containing commercial media accounts, actuarial records, official documentary records, private records  Oral tradition: cultural material & tradition transmitted orally from one generation to the next  Ethnoarchaeology o Archeologists recognize that modern societies & their material cultures are important sources of information o Archaeologists have used ethnographic data as analogs for observable patterns in the archaeological record since the emergence of the discipline o The Mousterian question: Different culture groups or different adaptations? o The Nunamiut Hunters: What kinds of hunter-gatherer activities give rise to what kinds of archaeological assemblages? Classification of societies  ADD? (not sure) Working towards determining social organization  Adaptive strategies developed by the Neolithic societies in response to the adoption of agriculture & the domestication of animals set into play future developments in Europe & many other areas of the globe  New investigations of human health, activity patterns, land use, resources & social ADD Catalhoyuk, Turkey  Scale o Populat
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