Extending the methodological potential for archaeological interpretations: A small site analysis.

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/185576
Title:
Extending the methodological potential for archaeological interpretations: A small site analysis.
Author:
Tani, Masakazu.
Issue Date:
1991
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Abstract:
The objective of this dissertation is to develop methods to draw relevant information from previously underexploited sources for behavioral inference in archaeology. The sources of information to be discussed are ceramics and formation processes. Ceramics have been the center of archaeological inquiry since the "Time-Space Revolution" during 1910's. Numerous studies have vigorously sought ceramics as a source of information for chronological, typological, and, more recently, locational inferences. In clear contrast, information encoded in ceramics about specific activities in the past has been surprisingly underexploited. This is because most extant ceramic analyses seldom have a perspective broad enough to recognize that those sherds are only fragments of once-functional tools. In this dissertation, extending the concept of tool kits, a method is proposed to treat a set of ceramics as tools to accomplish a certain task. Formation processes are another underexploited information source for behavioral inference. Initially, formation process theory was developed in reaction to studies by "new" archaeologists, who considered the archaeological record as a direct reflection of past human behavior. Owing to this historical reason, while this theory has demonstrated that formation processes must be an integral part of inferential processes, the role of information contained in formation processes tends to remain as negative, confounding factors. This dissertation proposes that information derived from formation processes can make more positive contributions to behavioral inference. Since formation processes, by way of the structure of refuse, encode qualitatively different aspects of past human behavior, an integration of such information with information about specific activities from once-functional artifacts would bring a fruitful result. An area of study that craves the exploitation of more information is small site analysis. Behavioral inference in small sites always suffers from the paucity of remains. Hampered by this limitation, conventional methods have failed to generate sufficient information for unequivocal behavioral inference at small sites. A specific analysis of Hohokam small sites is presented to demonstrate that the proposed methods are effective in exploiting relevant information from the same limited remains.
Type:
text; Dissertation-Reproduction (electronic)
Keywords:
Archaeology -- Methodology; Antiquities -- Analysis.
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Anthropology; Graduate College
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Schiffer, Michael B.

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.titleExtending the methodological potential for archaeological interpretations: A small site analysis.en_US
dc.creatorTani, Masakazu.en_US
dc.contributor.authorTani, Masakazu.en_US
dc.date.issued1991en_US
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en_US
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en_US
dc.description.abstractThe objective of this dissertation is to develop methods to draw relevant information from previously underexploited sources for behavioral inference in archaeology. The sources of information to be discussed are ceramics and formation processes. Ceramics have been the center of archaeological inquiry since the "Time-Space Revolution" during 1910's. Numerous studies have vigorously sought ceramics as a source of information for chronological, typological, and, more recently, locational inferences. In clear contrast, information encoded in ceramics about specific activities in the past has been surprisingly underexploited. This is because most extant ceramic analyses seldom have a perspective broad enough to recognize that those sherds are only fragments of once-functional tools. In this dissertation, extending the concept of tool kits, a method is proposed to treat a set of ceramics as tools to accomplish a certain task. Formation processes are another underexploited information source for behavioral inference. Initially, formation process theory was developed in reaction to studies by "new" archaeologists, who considered the archaeological record as a direct reflection of past human behavior. Owing to this historical reason, while this theory has demonstrated that formation processes must be an integral part of inferential processes, the role of information contained in formation processes tends to remain as negative, confounding factors. This dissertation proposes that information derived from formation processes can make more positive contributions to behavioral inference. Since formation processes, by way of the structure of refuse, encode qualitatively different aspects of past human behavior, an integration of such information with information about specific activities from once-functional artifacts would bring a fruitful result. An area of study that craves the exploitation of more information is small site analysis. Behavioral inference in small sites always suffers from the paucity of remains. Hampered by this limitation, conventional methods have failed to generate sufficient information for unequivocal behavioral inference at small sites. A specific analysis of Hohokam small sites is presented to demonstrate that the proposed methods are effective in exploiting relevant information from the same limited remains.en_US
dc.typetexten_US
dc.typeDissertation-Reproduction (electronic)en_US
dc.subjectArchaeology -- Methodologyen_US
dc.subjectAntiquities -- Analysis.en_US
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en_US
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineAnthropologyen_US
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen_US
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen_US
dc.contributor.advisorSchiffer, Michael B.en_US
dc.contributor.committeememberRathje, Williamen_US
dc.contributor.committeememberFish, Paul R.en_US
dc.identifier.proquest9200027en_US
dc.identifier.oclc702674655en_US
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