Debating Archaeology

Debating Archaeology

4.16 (6 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

In this book, Binford collects and comments on the twenty-eight substantive papers he has published in the 1980's, just as he collected and commented on his papers of the 1970's in "Working at Archaeology" (Academic Press, 1983) and his papers of the 1960's in "An Archaeological Perspective" (Academic Press, 1972). This ongoing collection of self-edited papers, together with the extensive and very candid interstitial commentaries, provides an invaluable record of the development of 'The New Archaeology' and a challenging view into the mind of the man who is certainly the most creative archaeological theorist of our time.The key feature of the book is that, as the leading theoretician and principal spokesman of the 'New Archaeology' for the past thirty years, all archaeologists find Binford's "Debating Archaeology" an important addition to the literature.
This book includes: extensive discussions of empiricism and the assumptions of 'post processual' archaeology; discussions of science as a learning process in conflict with empiricism; examination of the current scholarly conflict over the nature of early hominids; examination of the current scholarly conflicts in archaeological theory; and, a reexamination of several old, established sites, which does not support their traditional interpretations.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 534 pages
  • 162.6 x 236.2 x 38.1mm | 884.52g
  • Elsevier Science Publishing Co Inc
  • United States
  • English
  • 0121000451
  • 9780121000455

Review quote

"He makes us think, and no scholar can ask for higher praise than that." --PLAINS ANTHROPOLOGIST "This book consists of twenty-nine papers published over a period of years concerning the research interests of an individual who has made--and will no doubt continue to make--important contributions to the archaeological literature and to archaeological theory...This is...an important book and a significant addition to the Binford canon. It should be read, critically but in no sense negatively; but most of all it deserves to be read by all serious students of archaeology." --ARCHAEOLOGICAL REVIEW "This third collection of articles by arguably the most important archaeologist and prehistorian of the last three decades follows Binford's An Archaeological Perspective and Working at Archaeology ... Like all of Binford's work, this collection deserves close reading." --CHOICE "To his many admirers he is the greatest archaeological thinker of his generation and a true prophet... These chapters are full of robust common sense and, as an exercise in debunking theoretical pretention, are a delight to read... In future histories of archaeology, Binford... certainly deserves a place as a teacher and polemicist, a person who has forced us all to think." --NATURE "This book is a 'must-read' for students of both archaeology and anthropology in that it questions the 'taken for granteds' so often indoctrinated into their theoretical frame of reference." --NEXUS
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Table of contents

Introduction: "Culture" and Social Roles in Archaeology. The New Archaeology, Then and Now. Much Ado About Nothing: Science to Seance, or Processual to "Post-Processual". Archaeology. In Pursuit of the Future. Data, Relativism, and Archaeological Science. Review of Hodder, Reading the Past. Current Approaches to Interpretation in Archaeology. Empiricism and Other Problems in Contemporary Archaeology: Coping with Debate Tactics. Reply to "More on the Mousterian. Flaked Bone from Cueva Morin," by L. Freeman. Brand X versus the Recommended Product. "Righteous Rocks" and Richard Gould. Some Observations on Misguided Debate (with Nancy M. Stone). Richard Gould Revisited, or Bringing Back the "Bacon". An Alyawara Day. The Stone Quarry (with James F. O'Connell). An Alyawara Day. Flour, Spinifex Gum, and Shifting Perspectives. An Alyawara Day. Making Men's Knives and Beyond. Butchering, Sharing, and the Archaeological Record. Styles of Style (1989). Researching Ambiguity. Frames of Reference and Site Structure. Models and Accommodating Arguments versus Pattern Recognition. What Drives Research Best?: Multidimensional Analysis of Sheep and Goats. Baa-ck and Forth. The Hunting Hypothesis, Archaeological Methods, and the Past. Letter to H. T. Bunn. Bones of Contention. A Reply to Glynn Isaac. Human Ancestors. Changing Views of Their Behavior. Fact and Fiction about the Zinjanthropus Floor. Data, Arguments, and Interpretations. Hyena Scavenging Behavior and Its Implications for the Interpretation of Faunal Assemblages from FLK 22 (The Zinj Floor) at Olduvai Gorge (with M. G. L. Mills and Nancy M. Stone). Were There Elephant Hunters at Torralba? Searching for Camps and Missing the Evidence? Another Look at the Lower Paleolithic. Technology of Early Man. An Organizational Approach to the Oldowan. Isolating the Transition to Cultural Adaptations. An Organizational Approach. Coping with Culture. References. Index.
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Rating details

6 ratings
4.16 out of 5 stars
5 67% (4)
4 0% (0)
3 17% (1)
2 17% (1)
1 0% (0)
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