Expanding Archaeology

Edited by Axel E. Nielsen, James M. Skibo, William H. Walker

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Subjects: Archaeology

9780874807066 (paperback)

Expanding Archaeology is the first attempt to define behavioral archaeology comprehensively and to establish its place among competing theoretical frameworks. Among other objectives, this volume demonstrates that a behavioral approach—the study of material objects regardless of time or space to describe and explain human behavior—provides a means whereby religion, gender, and other seemingly unknowable elements of prehistory can be inferred through systematic, empirical analysis.

Expanding Archaeology begins with three retrospective analyses by J. Jefferson Reid, William Rathje, and Michael Schiffer, followed by seven case studies exploring various avenues offered by this approach. A third section contains five critiques that serve as a counterpoint to the behavioral approach. Although the editors do not suggest that behavioral archaeology should be the universal archaeology, they do suggest that this approach permits pre-historians to expand into new areas of investigation.