Ethnoarchaeology Beyond Correlates

Author(s): Jerimy J Cunningham

Year: 2009


In this article, I overview ethnoarchaeology's historic relations to positivism and argue for an explicit redefinition of how we understand the sub-discipline's core objectives. The New Archaeology and, to a lesser extent, Behavioral Archaeology charged ethnoarchaeology with producing "middle range theories" made up of "behavioral-material correlations" that would facilitate archaeological testing. I propose instead that we reaffirm ethnoarchaeology's ties to analogical reasoning by viewing it as a source-side "tack" within archaeology's emerging post-positivist epistemology. As a tack, ethnoarchaeology finds its primary role in the production and assessment of the background knowledge that archaeology uses to interpret the past. I suggest that the use of ethnographic engagements to assess archaeology's interpretive principles makes the subfield complementary with various forms of alternative and indigenous scholarship.

Cite this Record

Ethnoarchaeology Beyond Correlates. Jerimy J Cunningham. Ethnoarchaeology. Journal of Archaeological, Ethnographic, and Experimental Studies. 1 (2): 115-136. 2009 ( tDAR id: 423189)

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Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): EXARC Experimental Archaeology Collection Manager

Record Identifiers

ExArc Id(s): 9979


Rights & Attribution: The information in this record was originally compiled by Dr. Roeland Paardekooper, EXARC Director.