Method and Theory in American Archaeology

By Gordon R. Willey; Philip Phillips | Go to book overview
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In so far as the foregoing definitions and stated relationships can be formalized as a program for the integration of New World archaeological data on the descriptive level of organization, they may be summarized as follows:
1. The primary emphasis should continue to be placed on the formulation of basic units, component and phase, in local and regional sequences under stratigraphic control.
2. Phases should be studied intensively in their cultural and natural contexts.
3. Their external spatial and temporal dimensions should be kept within manageable limits of magnitude.
4. Their external relationships should be studied and expressed by means of the integrative units, horizon and tradition.
5. Large-scale integrating syntheses should be kept within the limits of the "area," as defined herein, and horizontal correlation of phases in such schemes should be effected so far as possible by means of independent extracultural data.
6. On the basis of these integrative studies, phases should be combined when possible to form the maximum units, culture and civilization.
7. Constant effort should be made to invest all units of whatever magnitude with the greatest possible intelligibility in both the cultural and the social aspects.


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Method and Theory in American Archaeology


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