• Gustavo G. PolitisEmail author
Living reference work entry


Ethnoarchaeology is a subdiscipline of anthropology placed in what Binford called actualistic studies (see also the entry on “Taphonomy: Definition”). Ethnoarchaeology is differentiated from other actualistic studies in that it includes the systematic observation of living societies and from other types of ethnography through its explicit focus on the intention to identify the archaeological – material – implications of human behavior. During the last 40 years, archaeologists have carried out fieldwork in traditional societies to help answer certain questions regarding the interpretation of the archaeological record and to develop and refine analogies. This research strategy has been labeled as ethnoarchaeology, and it transformed in one of the main sources of analogies. Analogy can be broadly defined as the transferal of information from one object or phenomenon to another based on certain relations of compatibility between them. Although the use of analogical reasoning...

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Further Reading

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  3. Politis, G. 2007. Nukak. Ethnoarchaeology of an Amazonian people (University College London Institute of Archaeology Publications). Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.INCUAPA-Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, CONICET UNICENOlavarríaArgentina

Section editors and affiliations

  • Jordan Ralph
    • 1
  • Troy Lovata
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Honors CollegeThe University of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA