Chapter Four Summary – Anthropology
- Analogy is a process of reasoning that assumes that if objects have some similar attributes, then they will share
other similarities as well. It involves using a known, identifiable phenomenon to identify unknown ones of
broadly similar type. It implies that a particular relationship exists between 2 or more phenomena because the
same relationship may be observed in a similar situation.
- Functionalist ethnographies integrate various aspects of culture with one another and with the culture as a
whole to its environment,
- Because several ethnologically known cultures might provide reasonable analogies, functionally oriented
scholars suggest selecting the ones that most resemble the archaeological culture in subsistence, technology,
and environment – and are least removed from the archaeological culture in time and space.
- We want to gain confidence in selecting one analogy over the other, we must state explicitly the implications
each would have for the archaeological data and then examine the latter again in the light of each implication.
- The basic objective in using hypotheses and deductions – the scientific method, if you will – is not to formulate
laws but to explore the relationship between past and present. This relationship is assumed to have two parts.
The first is that the past is dead and knowable through the present. The second is that accurate knowledge of
the past is essential to understanding the present.
- Middle-range theory is based on the notion that the archaeological record is a static and contemporary
phenomenon – what survives today of the once-dynamic past
- Middle-range theory begins with three fundamental assumptions
1. The archaeological record is a static contemporary phenomenon
2. The contents of the archaeological record are a complex mechanical system
3. To understand and explain the past we must comprehend the relationship between static, material