The first major paradigm of Americanist archaeology1 was one generally known as culture history (e.g., Binford 1965, 1968a; Caldwell 1959; Dunnell 1978; Flannery 1967; see Kidder 1932:2 for an early use of this term). It was within the context of this paradigm, between about 1910 and 1960, that many of the central tenets of Americanist archaeology were first developed and applied. Most Americanist archaeologists would agree that much of that we think we know about human prehistory has significant ties to the culture history paradigm. At the very least, none could successfully dispute the fact that most textbooks produced by American-trained archaeologists—whether those books concern how to do archaeology (e.g., Sharer and Ashmore 1993; Thomas 1989) or the results of doing archaeological research (e.g., Fagan 1991; Jennings 1989)—have at their core various organizational and interpretive elements that were developed by culture historians.


Archaeological Record Culture History Stone Tool Edge Angle Ideational Unit 
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© Plenum Press, New York 1997

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