Measuring Time with Artifacts: A History of Methods in American Archaeology

Author:   Michael J. O'Brien ,  R. Lee Lyman
Publisher:   University of Nebraska Press
ISBN:  

9780803229662


Pages:   348
Publication Date:   31 May 2006
Format:   Hardback
Availability:   Out of stock   Availability explained
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Measuring Time with Artifacts: A History of Methods in American Archaeology


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Overview

Combining historical research with a lucid explication of archaeological methodology and reasoning, Measuring Time with Artifacts examines the origins and changing use of fundamental chronometric techniques and procedures and analyzes the different ways American archaeologists have studied changes in artifacts, sites, and peoples over time. In highlighting the underpinning ontology and epistemology of artifact-based chronometers-cultural transmission and how to measure it archaeologically-this volume covers issues such as why archaeologists used the cultural evolutionism of L. H. Morgan, E. B. Tylor, L. A. White, and others instead of biological evolutionism; why artifact classification played a critical role in the adoption of stratigraphic excavation; how the direct historical approach accomplished three analytical tasks at once; why cultural traits were important analytical units; why paleontological and archaeological methods sometimes mirror one another; how artifact classification influences chronometric method; and how graphs illustrate change in artifacts over time. An understanding of the history of artifact-based chronometers enables us to understand how we know what we think we know about the past, ensures against modern misapplication of the methods, and sheds light on the reasoning behind archaeologists' actions during the first half of the twentieth century.

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Author:   Michael J. O'Brien ,  R. Lee Lyman
Publisher:   University of Nebraska Press
Imprint:   University of Nebraska Press
Weight:   0.590kg
ISBN:  

9780803229662


ISBN 10:   0803229666
Pages:   348
Publication Date:   31 May 2006
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Professional & Vocational
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   Out of stock   Availability explained
The supplier is temporarily out of stock of this item. It will be ordered for you on backorder and shipped when it becomes available.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction; Ontology 2. The Concept of Evolution in Early Twentieth-Century American Archaeology The Epistemology of Measurement Units 3. Cultural Traits as Units of Analysis in Early Twentieth-Century Anthropology; 4. Chronometers and Units in Early Archaeology and Paleontology; 5. A. L. Kroeber and the Measurement of Time's Arrow and Time's Cycle; 6. Time, Space, and Marker Types in James Ford's 1936 Chronology for the Lower Mississippi Valley The Epistemology of Chronometers 7. The Direct Historical Approach; 8. American Stratigraphic Excavation; 9. Graphic Depictions of Culture Change; 10. Artifact Classification and Artifact-Based Chronometry

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Author Information

R. Lee Lyman is a professor in and the chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Michael J. O'Brien is a professor of anthropology and an associate dean in the College of Arts and Science at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Lyman and O'Brien are the coauthors of Archaeology as a Process: Processualism and Its Progeny and Cladistics and Archaeology, among other books.

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