The Archaeologist at Work: A Source Book in Archaeological Method and Interpretation

The Archaeologist at Work: A Source Book in Archaeological Method and Interpretation

The Archaeologist at Work: A Source Book in Archaeological Method and Interpretation

The Archaeologist at Work: A Source Book in Archaeological Method and Interpretation

Excerpt

In the course of a decade of teaching anthropology the problem of choice and availability of reading selections for students has become progressively worse. This book of readings is in attempt to solve, in a practical way, this plaguing difficulty of too few books for too many students. Nearly all the original sources from which these selections have been abstracted are out of print or difficult for the average student to secure.

The selections in this volume are not ascribable solely to the capricious choice of the editor, but are, in part, the result of a joint (and pleasant) effort by the editor and a group of eight graduate students. This group met once a week for two semesters in the 1955-1956 academic year, and the members reported on their search for suitable materials, discussed the advisability of including excerpts which they had encountered, and reached decisions on these. As a guess, I would say that between three and four hundred selections were considered--part of what appears here is the residue of the screening process.

The thirteen chapters of the volume again represent an end product of classification into which the various selections could be fitted. The whole field of archaeological technique and method is not covered, as a casual reading of the chapter titles will show. No series of readings chosen by one person or even by a group can please everyone. We have tried to indicate in most cases why we believed the particular passages were worth including. The individuals chiefly responsible for organizing the different sections are: Martin A. Baumhoff (Chapter 5), James A. Bennyhoff (Chapter 1), Frank L. Bessac (Chapter 2), Sylvia M. Broadbent (Chapters 3 and 6), Albert B. Elsasser (Chapter 7), Gordon L. Grosseup (Chapter 12), Eugene A. Hammel (Chapter 4), Michael J. Harner (Chapters 10 and 11) and the editor (Chapters 8, 9, and 13). None of the persons listed above feels that he deserves any particular credit for his labors since the book was, literally, written by others.

In part we have attempted to select readings which are interesting and . . .

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