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30 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
descriptive (inductive) research methods
the development of generalizations about a research problem based on numerous specific observations on artifacts and other finds
normative view of culture
a view of human culture arguing that one can identify the abstract rules regulating a particular culture; a commonly used basis for studying archaeological cultures through time
inevitable variation
cumulative culture change due to minor differences in learned behavior over time
cultural selection
process that leads to the acceptance of some culture traits and innovations that make a culture more adaptive to its environment; somewhat akin to natural selection in biological evolution
invention
new ideas that originate in a human culture by accident or design
diffusion
the spread of ideas over short or long distances
components
all the artifacts from one occupation level at a site
phases
archaeological units defined by characteristic groupings of cultural traits that can be identified precisely in time and space, lasting for a relatively short time and found at one or more sites in a locality or region, with cultural traits that are clear enough to distinguish one phase from other phases
regions
areas defined by natural geographic boundaries that display some cultural homogeneity
culture areas
arbitrary geographic or research areas in which general cultural homogeneity is found
horizons
widely distributed sets of cultural traits and artifact assemblages whose distribution and chronology allow researchers to assume that they spread rapidly; often formed of artifacts that were associated w/ widespread, distinctive religious beliefs
traditions
persistent technological or cultural patterns identified by characteristic artifact forms that outlast a single phase and occur over a wide area
migration
the deliberate movement of people from one area to another
analogy
a process of reasoning whereby two entities that share some similarities are assumed to share many others
stelae
commemorative columns or uprights
functionalism
the notion that a social institution w/in a society has a function in fulfilling all the needs of a social organism
ethnographic analogy
analysis of living societies to aid in understanding and interpreting the arch. record
ethnoarchaeology
the study of living societies to aid in the interpretation of ancient ones
experimental archaeology
conducting controlled experiments with ancient technologies and other methods to provide a basis for interpreting ancient human behavior
scientific method
method of inquiry based on the formal testing of hypotheses, cumulative research, and replicable experiments
inductive reasoning
using specific observations to form general conclusions
deductive reasoning
forming specific implications from a generalized hypothesis
processual archaeology
studying the process of culture change using a systems or environmental approach
general systems theory
the notion that any organism or organization can be studied as a system broken down into many interacting subsystems or parts; sometimes called cybernetics
pollen analysis (palynology)
the study of ancient vegetation by using minute pollens preserved in organic deposits
cultural ecology
the study of the ways in which human societies adapt to and transform their environments
multilinear cultural evolution
cultural evolution along many diverse tracks
post-processual archaeology
approaching the past by examining ideology, motives, and nonenvironmental aspects of culture change
cognitive archaeology
the "archaeology of mind" using arch. methods to study human motives, ideologies, and intangibles.
cognitive-processual archaeology
an approach to arch. that combines the methods of processual and postprocessual researchers