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Evolutionary and Interpretive Archaeologies
A Dialogue
Ethan Cochrane (Editor); Andrew Gardner (Editor)
361 pp. / 6.00 x 9.00 / Jun, 2011
Paperback (978-1-59874-427-9)
Hardback (978-1-59874-426-2)
eBook (978-1-61132-503-4)
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  - University College London Institute of
    Archaeology Publications

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  - Archaeology

This collection of original articles compares various key archaeological topics—agency, violence, social groups, diffusion—from evolutionary and interpretive perspectives. These two strands represent
"Archaeology in the English-speaking world has become mired in its own Methodenstreit. One camp takes a protagonist from the original early-20th-century battle that beset German social science, Max Weber, as an icon. This group takes the interpretation of material remains as evidence for human action and agency as its goal. The antagonists are the evolutionists. Some in this group apply Darwinian principles to changes in material culture directly, others look to evolutionary psychology for interpretation of material remains, and others focus on the co-evolution of humans and their culture for inspiration…This collection seeks to build bridges between scholars from each group through clearly written papers, active and civilized discussion, and subsequent revision and publication. It succeeds completely in the clarity and cogency of its presentations.. Summing Up: Essential."

- C. S. Peebles, CHOICE

the major current theoretical poles in the discipline. By comparing and contrasting the insights they provide into major archaeological themes, this volume demonstrates the importance of theoretical frameworks in archaeological interpretations. Chapter authors discuss relevant Darwinian or interpretive theory with short archaeological and anthropological case studies to illustrate the substantive conclusions produced. The book will advance debate and contribute to a better understanding of the goals and research strategies that comprise these distinct research traditions.

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