The Evolution of Complex Society in Late Prehistoric Europe: Toward a Paradigm

  • D. Blair Gibson
  • Michael N. Geselowitz


Bruce Trigger (1984) has pointed out that, despite obvious disagreements and paradigmatic battles within their field, American archaeologists since the advent of the “New Archaeology” hold several basic assumptions in common. The first of these is that archaeology, with the great time depth of its data base, is uniquely qualified among the social sciences to study change (ibid:276). It has been obvious since early in the history of modern archaeological science that change, rather than constancy has been the rule in the history of humankind. Even if one seeks to emphasize underlying patterns of similarity through time, it is the apparent change for which we must ultimately account. Thus, the study of social change, or evolution (to use the word in its general sense), must be one of the most important pursuits of archaeology, even though, as argued persuasively by Trigger, it need not be the only one (ibid:281ff.).


Archaeological Record Primitive State Craft Production American Antiquity Humanist Tradition 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Blair Gibson
    • 1
  • Michael N. Geselowitz
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of CaliforniaLos Angeles, Los AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Peabody MuseumHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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