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Evolutionary Archaeology

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Copyright: 1996
Trim: 7 x 10
Pages: 346 pp.
Illustrations: 20 figures, 2 tables

PAPER
978-0-87480-514-7
$25.00
Short

Evolutionary Archaeology

Theory and Application

Edited by Michael J. O’Brien

Foundations of Archaeological Inquiry

James M. Skibo, series editor

Anthropology / Archaeology

The application of Darwinian theory to archaeological phenomena has always been a difficult concept. In its most modern form, this approach has only gained currency since the 1980s. Perhaps the greatest hurdle to incorporating scientific evolutionism into archaeology is the necessary development of more than a rudimentary understanding of Darwinian evolution itself. Failure to recognize the conflict of anthropological terms such as "adaptation" and "fitness" with standard biological usage is fatal to any attempt to apply scientific evolutionism to the material record. Even more problematic are the outdated notions that human culture has allowed us to escape the effects of selection, that culture evolves, and that it does so in a progressive manner.

This volume assembles what might be considered the benchmark articles in evolutionary archaeology — articles that show how to apply scientific evolutionism to the study of variation in the archaeological record. It delineates an approach to the past in which artifacts are viewed as parts of human phenotypes and thus are subject to selection in the same manner as any somatic feature.

Evolutionary Archaeology: Theory and Application is aimed at archaeologists who want to understand the basics of evolutionary archaeology and who wish to do so from the beginning.


Michael J. O’Brien is professor of anthropology and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Missouri, Columbia.


Contributors:

David P. Braun, The Nature Conservancy
Robert C. Dunnell, University of Washington
Thomas D. Holland, Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii
George T. Jones, Hamilton College
Robert D. Leonard, University of New Mexico
Hector Neff, University of Missouri
Michael J. O’Brien, University of Missouri
David Rindos, Australian Foundation for Archaeological Sciences
H. Clyde Wilson, University of Missouri


Table of Contents:

Foreword
Preface and Acknowledgments
Evolutionary Archaeology: An Introduction

PART I: The Foundations of Evolutionary Archaeology
1. Natural Selection, Scale, and Cultural Evolution: Some Preliminary Considerations ~ Robert C. Dunnell
2. Evolutionary Theory and Archaeology ~ Robert C. Dunnell
3. Science, Social Science, and Common Sense: The Agonizing Diliemma of Modern Archaeology ~ Robert C. Dunnell
4. Aspects of the Application of Evolutionary Theory in Archaeology ~ Robert C. Dunnell
5. Archaeology and Evolutionary ~ Robert C. Dunnell

PART II: Methodological Issues in Evolutionary Archaeology
6. Style and Function: A Fundamental Dichotomy ~ Robert C. Dunnell
7. Archaeological Potential of Anthropological and Scientific Models of Function ~ Robert C. Dunnell
8. Elements of an Inclusive Evolutionary Model for Archaeology ~ Robert D. Leonard and George T. Jones
9. Undirected Variation and the Darwinian Explanation of Cultural Change ~ Michael J. O'Brien and Thomas D. Holland

Part III: Applying an Evolutionary Perspective
11. Symbiosis, Instability, and the Origins and Spread of Agriculture ~ David Rindos
12. A Paradigmatic Shift in the Search for the Origin of Agriculture ~ Michael J. O'Brien and H. Clyde Wilson
13. Ceramics and Evolution ~ Hector Neff
14. Coevolution of Sedentism, Pottery Technology, and Horticulture in the Central Midwest, 200 B.C.–A.D. 600 ~ David P. Braun

References
Index
Contributors

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