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Events in the Archaeological Context and Archaeological Explanation [with Comments and Replies]

Robert L. Brooks, Robert L Bettinger, Luis Alberto Borrero, Gordon Bronitsky, Kenneth L. Brown, David L. Carlson, John Clegg, Peter Ihm, Ronald T. Marchese and David L. Pokotvlo
Current Anthropology
Vol. 23, No. 1 (Feb., 1982), pp. 67-75
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2742552
Page Count: 9
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Events in the Archaeological Context and Archaeological Explanation [with Comments and Replies]
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Abstract

Many archaeologists have expressed dissatisfaction with the degree of explanatory power provided by the "new archaeology." It is the author's contention that this failure of explanation is due to a continued emphasis on the modal character of archaeological data. The variation in a cultural system's activity structure has not been perceived as influencing the archaeological context. A heuristic device is suggested to help archaeologists conceptualize variation in activities within a cultural system. The detailed study of archaeological features is described as the best way of examining events in the archaeological context. Ethnoarchaeology is proposed as a means for interpreting these events.

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