Unformatted text preview: culture = technology? type = technological determinism classification Venn Diagram; Tylor and Morgan past cognitive categories and/or discreetness of behavior di t fb h i natural v. artificial classes unaltered vs. synthetic pyrotechnology t h l classification = Carl von Linn & Linnaean taxonomy cutmarks on bone v. painted pots statistical approaches; ethnoarchaeology; ethnoarchaeology; material science; post-processual post- verification of... of primary & secondary classifications (e.g., biological species) typology = taxonomic v. paradigmatic "artifact" vs. "geofacts" vs "geofacts" approaches to technology Oscar Montelius & archaeological typology technological & form; functional; stylistic two or more states attribute = technology as process lifelife-history model common types of physical 2 remains technology technology integral to the human adaptation, if not strictly definitive f it d fi iti of it... Hawkes' pyramid k id technological determinism... practical application of science industrial arts interfacing/ adapting to environ
3 Thorstein Veblen (1857-1929), American sociologist & A i i l it economist
4 forms of tech determinism L.A. White Ev Anth C.J. Thomsen V.G. Childe Three Age System Ag/Civ Revolutions Karl Marx Production
5 origins of classification classification the = Carl von Linn (Carolus Linneaus) Linneaus) act of distributing things into discrete categories (types) defined by common set of attributes
things = anything (e.g., types of lawn mowers) categorization = truth???. Swedish naturalist classification of biological world in hierarchical fashion according to degrees of similarity d f i il it modern Linnaean taxonomy ordering of elements into a system of classes allo ing us to st d the relationships bet een them allowing s study between 7 subspecies, species, g p , p , genera, , families...order, class, kingdom Systema Naturae 1758 8 branches define degrees of similarity primary classification = classification based on one or more directly observable attribute secondary classification = classification based on one or more attribute that is inferred or hypothesized, but not directly observable e.g., biological species = two big inferential issues
9 10 origins of archaeological classification Oscar M O Montelius (1843-1921) li (1843 transformed Carl von Linn's taxonomic system into a typological approach that all archaeologists today use, in one use form or another typology = the systematic organization of artifacts into yp gy y g "types" on the basis of shared attributes both represent chiefdoms
classification based on size Oscar Montelius 11 12 attribute = a minimal characteristic of an physical remain such that it cannot be further subdivided type = technological = a class or category of data defined by a consistent and l f d d fi d b i d unique clustering of attributes (i.e., they are shared)
consistent = usually or always present unique = mutually exclusive characteristics of the raw materials and the methods used to manufacture/maintain an artifact characteristics of the three-dimensional shape of the artifact threecharacteristics that pertain to the ways in which an artifact was used (i.e., its role in systemic context) characteristics that are unique to a particular person, a group of people or period of time form = functional = 1-10 1 10 11-20 11 20 attributes that define "red" type do not p yp overlap with those that define "blue" type; all attributes are potentially diagnostic of the types attributes that define "red" type overlap with those that define "blue" type; y only those attributes that are non-overlapping are useful for distinguishing types
14 stylistic = 8 13 8-13 primary or secondary?
13 attributes and units natural v. artificial classification attributes can b qualitative ( ib be li i (categorical, nominal) i l i l) natural classification = e.g., bowl-jar-plate, red-green-blue bowl-jarred-greene.g., small-medium-large, centimeters, grams, grams per small-mediumliter, visible light wavelength attributes can be quantitative (ordinal, ratio scale) tt ib t b tit ti ( di l ti l ) The view that the natural world is ordered in systematic and observable ways and that the classification system of the scientist is an accurate and precise representation of this natural order one just has to find the right attributes attributes have to come in two or more states to be useful for classification (or must be statistically ( y distinguishable if quantitative) artificial classification = Although there is order in the natural world, it is too complex for us to accurately and precisely represent in a classification system. Classification is an arbitrary imposition of order that may not have any necessary relationship to reality its all arbitrary (most extreme view)!
16 15 natural v. artificial & cognitive categories should archaeological classification seek to replicate the th cognitive categories of past peoples iti t i f t l complex and unknowable? an unnecessarily narrow view of archaeological classification?
few archaeologists try only to create a "map of the p prehistoric mind" by developing classification systems. y p g y in many instances "cognitive categories" are irrelevant 17 18 cutmarks and hammerstone marks on bones (2.3 mya) classification of damage types helps to organize our view of variability in behavior did the hominids have "cognitive categories" for different cutmarks? other attributes may lead to typologies that corresponds to past "cognitive categories" to what extent does making such an assumption affect the explanation of the past? 19 20 natural v. artificial classification Prof verification of classification systems B's view:
are often (but not always) discrete behaviors verification = the action of establishing or testing the ifi i h i f bli hi i h truth or correctness of a fact, theory, statement, etc., by means of special investigation or comparison of data statistical approaches i.e., specific behaviors occur at particular times and particular places, which are distinguished from other behaviors that occur at other times and places. classification leads to statistically significant patterning the hair color vs age vs gender as a good predictor of... of vs. vs. more discrete individual behaviors are the better they will submit to a natural classification classification. 21 22 verification of classification systems ethnoarchaeological approaches ethnoarchaeological approaches h h l i l h general statements
e.g., people tend to be opportunistic about tools used for mundane tasks, but invest considerable effort in producing special artifacts, particularly those destined for ritual or symbolic use general statements are broadly relevant ( g y (i.e., can p , potentially y be applied in any time-space situation) time ethnoarchaeology = the study of human behavior in living societies to see how different forms of material culture function in systemic context AND how those elements exit systemic context (the full life history...) specific statements ifi
e.g., snake-head bowls are used in male rite-of-passage snakerite-ofceremonies specific statements are usually only useful when there is continuity between archaeological culture and modern society, society or at least to cultures with a similar subsistence level and roughly the same ecological background 23 24 verification of classification systems general approaches to classification material science approaches i l i h i l ifi i (Linnean system) (Li ) taxonomic classification (Li Linnean using measures adopted from engineering (and economics) to show how different types have distinctly different functional properties partitioning of artifacts into ever smaller groups based on a hierarchy of attributes e.g., strength testing and thermal resistance of ceramics, economic utility of different stone t l f tilit f diff t t tool forms, structural penetrability of a t t l t bilit f military fort intimately linked to experimental archaeology appropriate when you have a priori reason for inferring the relative importance of different attributes postpost-processual approaches gaining an "intuitive" appreciation for the meaning of a type of artifact e.g., meaning of material culture gleaned through reenactments of i f t i l lt l d th h t t f rituals
25 26 paradigmatic classification
classifications that weight all attributes equally l ifi i h i h ll ib ll good when you do not have an independent basis for assessing the "importance" of different attributes i th "i t " f diff t tt ib t 27 28 ...
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- Spring '07
- Biological classification, Carl Linnaeus, Carl von Linné, classification systems, Linnaean taxonomy