In this book we have attempted to provide something of a critical history of the conceptual context of Americanist archaeology since the end of the nineteenth century and prior to the florescence of the new, or processual, archaeology of the 1960s and 1970s. That period, especially beginning in the midteens, was dominated by a particular view of archaeology that came to be known as culture history. Some of the benchmark papers from that period have been collected and reprinted elsewhere (Lyman et al. 1997), and they document the development of the first real paradigm in Americanist archaeology. Culture-historical research began inauspiciously but grew into something that occupied nearly the whole of the field until the 1960s, when it “officially” fell from favor. Yet culture history and various of the methods and concepts it spawned persisted in various guises and forms in later paradigms (e.g., Aberle 1970:216–217; Stanislawski 1973:118, 120), and parts of it—albeit in modified form—are seeing some resurrection as we near the end of the century (e.g., Teltser 1995; Tschauner 1994).


Archaeological Record Culture History Chronological Sequence Cultural Unit Artifact Type 


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© Plenum Press, New York 1997

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