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Intellectual development of Archaeology

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Agenda Intellectual development of Archaeology A Prehistory of Archaeology Radical ideas Key ideas and concepts and individuals contributing to the trajectory of ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Intellectual development of Archaeology


1
Agenda
  • Intellectual development of Archaeology
  • A Prehistory of Archaeology
  • Radical ideas
  • Key ideas and concepts and individuals
    contributing to the trajectory of modern thought.

2
Prehistory of Archaeology
  • Paradigms that governed interpretations of
    ancient civilizations

3
  • Sixteenth century
  • Arch Bishop Usher declares earth created on
    October 23 in 4004 BC, based on biblical
    genealogy at 730 am.

4
Late Eighteenth-century Enlightenment
  • Antiquarians are collecting curios and creating
    Salons (repositories of interesting objects of
    art and artifacts.
  • Proto-archaeological digs are conducted in search
    of more ancient objects.
  • First scientific observation of previously
    unconsidered phenomena.
  • First systematic attempt to classify ancient
    materials.

5
  • Antiquarianism efforts at classification
  • Interest in antiquities expands following
    Napoleon's invasion of Egypt.
  • Rosetta stone discovered
  • Hieroglyphics deciphered (1822) Jean Jacques
    Champollion,

6
Important individuals contributing to early
archaeological theory and practice
  • James HuttonCharles Lyell develop concept of
    uniformitarianism.
  • Thomas Jeffersonapplication of Principle of
    Superposition, systematic excavation (early
    1800s) on his property in Virginia.

7
Radical ideas
  • Recognition of stratigraphy!
  • A changing Earth!
  • Recognition that there was a time when humans did
    not know of metals!
  • Extinction not a static environment!
  • Great age of Earth hypothesized!

8
  • George Cuvierstudies fossils of extinct animals,
    sets out rudimentary theory on evolution.
  • Thomas JeffersonPrinciple of Association
  • Jean Lamarckdetermines Earth much older than
    6000 years based on geology and fossils (early
    1800s). Suggests 100s of thousands of years.

9
  • Charles Lyellexpands on principle of
    uniformitarianism (1830s)
  • Charles DarwinAlfred Wallace establish principle
    of natural selection (1859) and conceive of
    evolution of species.

10
  • Christian ThomsenThree age system
  • Jens Worsaechronological validity to three age
    systemadds principle of association (1870s)

11
More people
  • Heinrich SchliemannFirst systematic excavation
    linking historic documents to prehistorystuns
    the world with discovery of Troy in 1876.
  • Accidentally Invents scientific archaeology.

12
  • Squire and Davissystematic recording of earthen
    mounds in Ohio and Mississippi Valleys. (1870s).
  • Provide valuable maps and illustrations for
    future analysis.

Davis
Squire
13
  • Gregor Mendellworks out genetic mechanism for
    inheritance of traits (1870s-80s).
  • If only Darwin had known.

14
  • Karl Marxlinks economic basis of societies to
    political systemsworks out a theory of society
    and capitalism.

15
  • Lewis Henry Morganpostulates history in
    stageslinks culture stages to technology. Early
    proponent of unilinear cultural evolution
    (1860s). This theory is now discredited.

16
Unilinear Cultureal development
  • Postulates that all cultures pass through
    specific phases from savagery to barbarism to
    civilization and the stages are bands / tribes/
    chiefdoms / states.
  • Goes further to link a specific list of traits
    (including technologies) to these stages which
    could be observed archaeologically to rank
    societies on a development curve.

17
Impact of theory
  • Unilinear Cultural Development theory influenced
    interpretation of ancient civilizations and
    cultures. It created a technologically informed
    hierarchy of cultures (compared to Victorian era
    European civilization, which was viewed as a
    model for the ultimate development of superior
    civilization).
  • This culture paradigm dominated into the early
    20th century and influenced Nazi propaganda and
    was combined with NeoDarwinism to foster the idea
    of a master race.

18
Using the trait list
  • UCD theory allowed anthropologists in the 19th
    century to conveniently classify cultures in a
    hierarchical scale (naturally with white European
    culture at the top). Moreover, lack of culture
    complexity came to be equated with evolutionary
    primitiveness.
  • Although obvious problems existed in the system
    these were generally explained away.

19
The paradigm shift
  • As culture research progressed during the early
    20th century many anthropologists questioned the
    trait list and addressed the glaring problems.
  • Multilinear Culture development theory emerged as
    a new framework for interpretation.

20
Multilinear Cultural Development
  • Postulates that the assumption of stages or
    linear development is a false premise and
    unproven by evidence.
  • Culture stage is not directly linked to
    technology, economy, or complexity of social
    development.
  • Any society can pass through stages or skip over
    so-called stages, even retrograde.

21
Stop
22
MCD
  • Postulates that resources and environment
    influence culture development and technological
    change.
  • Examples a stone age culture can be a complex
    state or a metals based culture may only rise to
    level of chiefdom, and so forth.

23
Significance of these theories
  • ICD theory fundamentally racist and Eurocentric.
    Was used to by colonial empires justify
    eradication of uncivilized races.
  • MCD forced reevaluation of the accomplishments of
    ancient cultures and of modern peoples living
    under prehistoric conditions.

24
Influence on/of archaeology
  • Early researchers sought to classify cultures on
    the linear continuum.
  • But inconsistencies and new data from archaeology
    contradicted the dominant paradigm and eventually
    forced a change in ideology in the scientific
    community.

25
  • As we shall see, concepts of civilization,
    humanity and evolutionary theory will become
    tightly interwoven. This is especially true when
    we examine the fate of Neanderthal.

26
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