Designing Experimental Research in Archaeology is a guide for the design of archaeological experiments for both students and scholars. Experimental archaeology provides a unique opportunity to corroborate conclusions with multiple trials of repeatable experiments and can provide data otherwise unavailable to archaeologists without damaging sites, remains, or artifacts. Each chapter addresses a particular classification of material culture-ceramics, stone tools, perishable materials, composite hunting technology, butchering practices and bone tools, and experimental zooarchaeology-detailing issues that must be considered in the development of experimental archaeology projects and discussing potential pitfalls. The experiments follow coherent and consistent research designs and procedures and are placed in a theoretical context, and contributors outline methods that will serve as a guide in future experiments. This degree of standardization is uncommon in traditional archaeological research but is essential to experimental archaeology. The field has long been in need of a guide that focuses on methodology and design. This book fills that need not only for undergraduate and graduate students but for any archaeologist looking to begin an experimental research project.
designing experimental research in archaeology
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This manual pulls together—and illustrates with interesting case studies—the variety of specialized and generalized archaeological research strategies that yield new insights into science. Throughout the book there are templates, consisting of questions, to help readers visualize and design their own projects. The manual seeks to be as general as possible, applicable to any society, and so science is defined as the creation of useful knowledge—the kinds of knowledge that enable people to make predictions. The chapters in Part I discuss the scope of the archaeology of science and furnish a conceptual foundation for the remainder of the book. Next, Part II presents several specialized, but widely practiced, research strategies that contribute to the archaeology of science. In order to thoroughly ground the manual in real-life applications, Part III presents lengthy case studies that feature the use of historical and archaeological evidence in the study of scientific activities.
The dramatic increase in all things food in popular and academic fields during the last two decades has generated a diverse and dynamic set of approaches for understanding the complex relationships and interactions that determine how people eat and how diet affects culture. These volumes offer a comprehensive reference for students and established scholars interested in food and nutrition research in Nutritional and Biological Anthropology, Archaeology, Socio-Cultural and Linguistic Anthropology, Food Studies and Applied Public Health.
This volume builds bridges between usually-separate social groups, between different methodologies and even between disciplines. It is the result of an innovative conference held at Swansea University in 2010, which brought together leading craftspeople and academics to explore the all-too-often opposed practices of experimental and experiential archaeology. The focus is upon Egyptology, but the volume has a wider importance. The experimental method is privileged in academic institutions and thus perhaps is subject to clear definitions. It tends to be associated with the scientific and technological. In opposition, the experiential is more rarely defined and is usually associated with schoolchildren, museums and heritage centres; it is often criticised for being unscientific. The introductory chapter of this volume examines the development of these traditionally-assumed differences, giving for the first time a critical and careful definition of the experiential in relation to the experimental. The two are seen as points on a continuum with much common ground. This claim is borne out by succeeding chapters, which cover such topics as textiles, woodworking and stoneworking. And Salima Ikram, Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo, here demonstrates remarkably that our understanding of the classic Egyptian funerary practice of mummification benefits from both 'scientific' experimental and sensual experiential approaches. The volume, however, is important not only for Egyptology but for archaeological method more generally. The papers illuminate the pioneering of individuals who founded modern archaeological practice. Several papers are truly groundbreaking and deserve to circulate far beyond Egyptology. Thus the archaeologist Marquardt Lund tackles the problem of understanding the earliest known depictions of flint knife manufacture, those from an Egyptian tomb dated around 1900 BC. He shows the importance of thinking outside 'traditional', i.e. modern, knapping practice. Lund's knapping method, guided by the tomb depictions, is surprising but effective, and very different from that presented in manuals of lithic technology or taught in academic institutions.
This major study reflects the increasing significance of careful model formation and testing in those academic subjects that are struggling from intuitive and aesthetic obscurantism toward a more disciplined and integrated approach to their fields of study. The twenty-six original contributions represent the carefully selected work of progressive archaeologists around the world, covering the use of models on archaeological material of all kinds and from all periods from Palaeolithic to Medieval. Their common theme is archaeological generalisation by means of explicit model building, testing, modification and reapplication. The contributors seek to show that it is the use of certain models in particular ways that defines archaeology as the practice of one discipline, with a set of general tenets that are as applicable in Peru as in Persia, Australia as Alaska, Sweden as Scotland, on material from the second millennium B.C. to the second millennium A.D. They assert that careful model formulation within archaeology and the cautious exchange and testing of models within and beyond the discipline provides the only route to the formation of the common, internationally valid body of theory which defines a vigorous and coherent discipline and distinguishes it from being a collection of merely regionally applicable special cases.
In its 2007 obituary of Bruce Trigger (1937–2006), the Times of London referred to the Canadian anthropologist and archaeologist as “Canada’s leading prehistorian” and “one of the most influential archaeologists of his time.” Trained at Yale University and a faculty member at McGill University for more than forty years, he was best known for his History of Archaeological Thought, which the Times called “monumental.” Trigger inspired scholars all over the world through his questioning of assumptions and his engagement with social and political causes. Human Expeditions pays tribute to Trigger’s immense legacy by bringing together cutting edge work from internationally recognized and emerging researchers inspired by his example. Covering the length and breadth of Trigger’s wide-ranging interests – from Egyptology to the history of archaeological theory to North American aboriginal cultures – this volume highlights the diversity of his academic work and the magnitude of his impact in many different areas of scholarship.