Conflict Archaeology, Material Culture, and the Role of Validation Studies in Interpreting the Past

Author(s): Douglas Scott

Year: 2018

Summary

Conflict archaeology has grown as a sub-discipline in the last 30 years. It now has a rich theoretical basis grounded in Military Terrain analysis and the Anthropological theories of war and warfare. Most of our material culture finds are still interpreted using typologies created in the field of military material culture collecting or from those established by relic collectors.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, but given that we are dealing with relatively recent material culture our profession has not taken full advantage of replication or validation studies common in other sciences. This paper explores one type of validation study, controlled Colonial/Revolutionary War firearms live fire experiments. The highlighted experimental work with recovered spherical lead balls demonstrates some surprising results, but by-in-large validates historical predicted exterior ballistic bullet performance and bullet deformation at different velocities.

Cite this Record

Conflict Archaeology, Material Culture, and the Role of Validation Studies in Interpreting the Past. Douglas Scott. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441820)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 390