Events in the Archaeological Context and Archaeological Explanation [with Comments and Replies] Academic Article uri icon


  • Many archaeologists have expressed dissatisfaction with the degree of explanatory power provided by the "new archaeology." It is the author's contention that this failure of explanation is due to a continued emphasis on the modal character of archaeological data. The variation in a cultural system's activity structure has not been perceived as influencing the archaeological context. A heuristic device is suggested to help archaeologists conceptualize variation in activities within a cultural system. The detailed study of archaeological features is described as the best way of examining events in the archaeological context. Ethnoarchaeology is proposed as a means for interpreting these events.

published proceedings

  • Current Anthropology

author list (cited authors)

  • Brooks, R. L., Bettinger, R. L., Borrero, L. A., Bronitsky, G., Brown, K. L., Carlson, D. L., ... Pokotvlo, D. L

citation count

  • 16

complete list of authors

  • Brooks, Robert L||Bettinger, Robert L||Borrero, Luis Alberto||Bronitsky, Gordon||Brown, Kenneth L||Carlson, David L||Clegg, John||Ihm, Peter||Marchese, Ronald T||Pokotvlo, David L

publication date

  • February 1982