The archaeological record consists of 'dead' finds, remnants of human culture. The archaeologist relies on them to understand how past societies were organised and how they functioned. This book, by the distinguished Czech scholar Evzen Meustupny, considers the archaeological method, the way in which archaeologists translate mute objects into descriptions of a living past. The method involves a series of steps; an analysis of the archaeological record; a synthesis of the finds to generate formal archaeological structure; and the use of models derived from descriptions of observed human activity to explain these structures. Without models, archaeologists would have no way of interpreting their finds. The author also considers the relevance of archaeology of such concepts as induction and deduction, empirical research and theory.
List of tables; Preface; 1. Notes on archaeology, its theory and method; 2. Prerequisites of the archaeological method; 3. Genesis of the archaeological record; 4. Archaeological analysis; 5. Archaeological synthesis; 6. Interpretation; Bibliography; Index.
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- ID: 9780521115889
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