Units of Analysis and Prehistoric Land Use on Outer Cape Cod

Author(s): Francis McManamon

Year: 1986


There are a number of problesm that must be resoloved in order to identify and delimit archaeological units of analysis that accurately correspond to past occupations. The general problem is to make operational definitions for concepts that are used and useful for intepretations about past human behavior or cultural systems. For the Cape Cod Archaeological Survey, an operational unit labeled "concentration" was used to subdivide archaeological site areas into smaller, more internally homogenous units. The subdivision was based largely on spatial variation in the physical characteristics of the archaeological deposits (e.g., densities of lithic artifacts, archaeological shellfish remains, and fire-cracked rock.) The human behavioral concept of "occupation" and the characteristics of "temporal continuity" and "spatial congruence" were explored using the concentration from the Cape Cod survey. These two characteristics can be useful, but individual occupations, in the cultural systemic sense, are unlikely to be detected accurately in much of the archaeological record of the Northeast.

Cite this Record

Units of Analysis and Prehistoric Land Use on Outer Cape Cod. Francis McManamon. Man in the Northeast (now Northeast Anthropology). 31: 151-171. 1986 ( tDAR id: 3401) ; doi:10.6067/XCV88050WK

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -70.115; min lat: 41.8 ; max long: -69.906; max lat: 42.037 ;

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