Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Processual Archaeology

Approach to archaeology following the lead of Kent Flannery (1967) that emphasized culture process rather than culture history. The latter utilized the construction of historical narratives (e.g. those of Childe and Willey), whereas Flannery sought laws and mechanisms that made culture possible in a given region. Following Flannery, many American and some European archaeologists utilized quantitative methods and especially spatial analysis (see GIS) to deduce culture patterns; David Clarke and Lewis Binford represented British and American interests in this approach. A splintered reaction to this approach c. 1990 has been labelled post-processual archaeology. Aka new archaeology, scientific archaeology.

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