By Paul Bahn, Colin Renfrew

From of the best-known archaeological writers within the exchange, this amazing source offers a radical survey of the main principles in archaeology, and the way they impression on archaeological pondering and method.

Clearly written, and straightforward to keep on with, Archaeology: the most important ideas collates entries written in particular by means of box experts, and every access bargains a definition of the time period, its origins and improvement, and all the major figures all for the area.

The entries include:
* considering landscape
* archaeology of cult and religion
* cultural evolution
* ideas of time
* city societies
* the antiquity of humankind
* archaeology of gender
* feminist archaeology
* experimental archaeology
* multiregional evolution.

With publications to additional interpreting, vast cross-referencing, and accessibly written for even newbie scholars, this publication is a wonderful advisor for a person learning, educating, or with any curiosity during this interesting topic.

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Additional resources for Archaeology: The Key Concepts (Routledge Key Guides)

Example text

H. [1877] 1964. Ancient Society. : Belknap Press. 1865. Researches into the Early History of Mankind and the Development of Civilization. Murray. Velikovsky, I. 1950. Worlds in Collision. London: Macmillan. FEDER THE CHAÎNE OPÉRATOIRE Exotic as this French notion may sound, the chaîne opératoire is really a straightforward and stimulating concept for both archaeological and anthropological research. In its basic definition, the chaîne opératoire (literally ‘operational chain’ or ‘sequence’) refers to the range of processes by which naturally occurring raw materials are selected, shaped and transformed into usable cultural products.

Decoration or ‘stylistic variations’), but also more fundamental aspects regarding technical efficacy and reliability. In the slash-and-burn agriculture practised in Papua New Guinea, for example, some groups first burn the felled vegetation in their forest plot, then put a fence around it, then plant it with seeds; others first burn, then plant, then fence; others still begin by fencing, then burn, then plant. Burning before planting is imperative in this gardening chaîne opératoire, a strategic task which cannot be deferred and which has an impact on the scheduling and unfolding of subsequent operations.

And the quantitative study of such finds can give useful economic insights. It is often more difficult to decide whether the artefacts in question travelled as a result of exchange, and if so what the other components of the exchange transaction may have been. These remain difficult questions, addressed by a number of analytical techniques. The early study of trade and exchange in archaeology was based mainly upon the recognition of specific features inherent in the constituent material of artefacts which allowed their assignment to a particular area or place of manufacture.

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