By Andrew Jones
Modern archaeology is polarized among the technically useful excavators, who've refined methods of recording, interpreting, classifying and describing their websites, and the social theorists, motivated by means of sceptical sociologies in technological know-how and cultural stories. This ebook defines the contours of every faction and argues that clash among their goals and systems is senseless. Andrew Jones as a substitute emphasizes the method of interpretations, that is, in his view, the true obstacle of archaeologists.
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Extra resources for Archaeological Theory and Scientific Practice (Topics in Contemporary Archaeology)
Science and the technologies produced by science are not then simply the result of inanimate objects articulating together; rather, they are a product of the forces of both animate subjects (people) and inanimate objects (instruments). It is the articulation of these processes together which creates a network, and networks are composed of weaker and stronger associations between people and things. 34 Archaeological theory and scientiﬁc practice However, due to the fact that science and technology are ‘black-boxed’, the human factor in the process of technological production is removed from the equation.
While systems theory attempts to describe the dynamics of systems, relationships between elements of the system are examined as if they were in distinct stable states. One of the core concepts of such a theory is the notion of homeostasis, the process of remaining stable. Ecological theory similarly relies on systematising and creating mathematical models as a means of understanding settlement patterns or trade systems. Finally, cultural evolution itself relies on the notion of stable bounded social formations such as tribes and chiefdoms.
Science operates most comfortably within the wider ﬁeld of archaeology when we are able to employ well-deﬁned and rigorous scientiﬁc techniques to the archaeological record. I am thinking here of some of the techniques routinely used in archaeology which have been imported from the physical sciences (Tite 1972), or from chemistry (Pollard and Heron 1996). In other words, these are instrumental scientiﬁc techniques that can be usefully employed in order to provide a more detailed characterisation of the archaeological object.
Archaeological Theory and Scientific Practice (Topics in Contemporary Archaeology) by Andrew Jones