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Flashcards in Midterm: Important Vocab Deck (29):
1

Antiquarian

Originally, someone who studied antiquities (ancient objects) largely for the sake of objects themselves, not to understand the people or culture that produced them.

2

Culture History

The kind of archaeology practiced mainly in the early to mid-twentieth century that "explains" differences or changes over time in artifact frequencies by posting the diffusion of ideas between neighboring cultures or the migration of a people who had different mental templates for the artifact styles.

3

Archaeology

The study of the past through the systematic recovery and analysis of material artifacts.

4

Culture

An integrated system of beliefs, traditions, and customs that govern or influence a person's behavior. It is learned, shared by members of a group, and based on the ability to think in terms and symbols.

5

Science

The search for answers through a process that is objective, systematic, logical, predictive,self-critical, and public.

6

Theory

An explanation for observed, empirical phenomena. It seeks to explain the relationships between variables; it is an answer to a "why" question.

7

Hypothesis

A proposition proposed as an explanation of some phenomenon.

8

Low-level Theory

The observations and interpretations that emerge from hands-on archaeological field and lab-work.

9

Data

Relevant observations made on objects that then serve as a basis for study and discussion.

10

Middle-level Thoery

Hypothesis that links archaeological observations with the human behaviors or natural processes that produced them.

11

High-level Theory

Theory that seeks to answer large "why" questions.

12

Paradigm

The overarching framework, often unstated, for understanding a research problem. It is a researcher's "culture".

13

Processual

The paradigm that explains social, economic, and cultural change as primarily the result of adaptation to material conditions. External conditions (i.e, the environment) are assumed to take casual priority over ideational factors in explaining change.

14

Post-Processual Paradigm

A paradigm that focuses on humanistic approach and rejects scientific objectivity. It sees archaeology as inherently political and is more concerned with interpreting the past than with testing hypothesis. It sees change as arising largely from interactions between individuals operating within a symbolic and/or competitive system.

15

Deconstruction

Efforts to expose the assumptions behind the alleged objective and systematic search for knowledge. A primary tool of postmodernism,

16

Deductive Reasoning

Reasoning from theory to predict specific observational or experimental results.

17

Inductive Reasoning

Working from specific observations to more general hypotheses.

18

Natural Selection

The process through which some individuals survive and reproduce at higher rates than others because of their genetic heritage; leads to the perpetuation of certain genetic qualities at the expense of others.

19

Social Darwinism

The extension of the principles of Darwinism evolution to social phenomena; it implies that conflict between societies and between classes of the same society benefits humanity in the long run by removing "unfit" individuals and social forms. Assumes that unfettered economic competition and warfare were primary ways to determine which societies were "fittest".``

20

Epistemology

Study of knowledge; philosophy. How you know what you know, and how you justify your beliefs.

21

Processual-Plus

Many archaeologists today consider themselves to operate within the Processual framework, but include insights of the Post-Processual agenda. This includes: diversity, plurality, subjectivity, and the use of science/the scientific method.

22

Ideational Perspective

A research perspective that focuses on ideas, symbols, and mental structures as driving forces in shaping human behavior.

23

Adaptive Perspective

A research that emphasizes technology, ecology, demography, and economics as the key factors in defining human behavior.

24

Agency

The way in which societies' structures inhibit and empower agents, those agents' aims, ideals, and desires, and the material conditions of social life.

25

Evolutionary Eecology

The study of evolution that incorporates an understanding of the interactions between the species under consideration.

26

Feminist Archaeology

Uses a feminist perspective in interpreting past societies. Often focuses on gender, sexuality, race, and class.

27

Indigenous Archaeology

A form of archaeology where indigenous people are involved to the care o, excavation, and analysis of the cultural and bodily remains of peoples they consider their ancestors.

28

Human Behavioral Ecology

Applies the principles of evolutionary theory and optimization to the study of human behavior and cultural diversity. It examines the adaptive design of traits, behaviors, and life histories of humans in an ecological context.

29

Community Archaeology

Archaeology "by the people for the people".