Archaeology And Processual Anthropology

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As many concepts in Anthropology have, the concept of Culture has also changed through time. During the early 19th century a prevailing model for cultural evolution was much like the model for human evolution. The thought was cultures become increasingly more complex as they reached particular milestones (Morgan). As more information about past human societies became known, the theories and concepts surrounding culture changed. The concepts of culture and culture changed shifted from an evolutionary model, to taking into account each cultures unique set of circumstances, and finally to the wave of thought known as Processual archaeology. In the early years of Anthropology, one of the prevailing theories regarding culture involved what is …show more content…
This project employed new archaeological methods which would be able provide quantitative as well as qualitative data (Rathje 437-38). This information can also show possible changes a society goes through over time. Not everything in a society grows at a rapid rate, some aspects, such as certain forms of technology, advance slowly over time. By acquiring statistical data of a society more generalizations can be made. With the data collected, Archaeologists can then make hypotheses about the society. Furthermore, academics also wanted ensure any biases were made explicitly clear. This was to make sure any and all reports were as accurate as possible.
Not only was Processual Archaeology different in it’s methodology, but it also differed culture history, and unilineal evolution in a few key concepts. First, New Archaeology believed culture to be extrasomatic. This idea states that culture is a non biological adaption to external factors, either social or environmental (Binford 218). New Archaeology also stressed the importance of cultural evolution (Johnson 23). Johnson in his book Archaeological Theory an Introduction, describes cultural evolution as a society progressing from a simple society to one that is considered
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It has gone from a concept of all cultures are the same and will follow the same path toward civilization, to culture is a process and a system. While some concepts from Processual Archaeology are still used today, modifications have been made. There is recognition that it is not only the environment that can be an agent for change, but conflict as well. Technology has also forced new theories to be developed due to the intricate networks between groups across the globe. As new information is discovered and shared the theories, methods, and practice will also evolve to better explain the cultures and societies that created them. However, it is important to realize new methods and theories will almost always build of their previous counter parts just as future ones will build of the ones of the

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