Archaeological culture

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

When archeologists always find certain types of artefacts together, and they can associate them with a specific region and time period, they speak about an archeological culture. They also say that the society has this material culture. This is an empirical observation, a good guess, though. It is based on how archeologicsts think, ethnic groups were distributed at the time. Often, there are long discusions about such findings.

Advocates of culture-historical archaeology say that sets of material culture can be used to trace ancient groups of people that were either self-identifying societies or ethnic groups. Archaeological culture is a way to order archaeological data. It is focused on artifacts as an expression of culture rather than people.[1] The classic definition of this idea comes from Gordon Childe:[2]

We find certain types of remains – pots, implements, ornaments, burial rites and house forms – constantly recurring together. Such a complex of associated traits we shall call a "cultural group" or just a "culture". We assume that such a complex is the material expression of what today we would call "a people".

— Childe 1929, pp. v–vi

References[change | change source]

  1. McNairn (1980). p. 48.
  2. Johnson 2019, p. 19.

Sources[change | change source]

  • Childe, V. Gordon (1929). The Danube in Prehistory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Johnson, Matthew (2019). Archaeological Theory: An Introduction. Third Edition. Wiley-Blackwell. p. 400. ISBN 9781118475027.
  • Marwick, Ben (15 October 2019). "Galisonian logic devices and data availability: revitalising Upper Palaeolithic cultural taxonomies". Antiquity. 93 (371): 1365–1367. doi:10.15184/aqy.2019.131. S2CID 211672039.
  • McNairn, Barbara (1980). The Method and Theory of V. Gordon Childe. Edinburgh University Press. p. 48. ISBN 0852243898.
  • Polomé, Edgar Charles (1982). Language, Society and Paleoculture. Stanford University Press. ISBN 9780804711494.
  • Reynolds, Natasha; Riede, Felix (15 October 2019). "House of cards: cultural taxonomy and the study of the European Upper Palaeolithic". Antiquity. 93 (371): 1350–1358. doi:10.15184/aqy.2019.49.
  • Scerri, Eleanor M.L. (15 October 2019). "Cultural taxonomy for the European Upper Palaeolithic: a wide-ranging problem". Antiquity. 93 (371): 1362–1364. doi:10.15184/aqy.2019.135. S2CID 211661048.
  • Shea, John J. (15 October 2019). "European Upper Palaeolithic cultural taxa: better off without them?". Antiquity. 93 (371): 1359–1361. doi:10.15184/aqy.2019.117. S2CID 211663912.
  • Shennan, S. J. (1978). Hodder, I. (ed.). Archaeological 'cultures: an empirical investigation. London: Duckworth. Retrieved 30 May 2021.
  • Trigger, Bruce G. (2006). A history of archaeological thought (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-60049-1.