1932

Abstract

In archaeology, along with a large sector of other social sciences, comparative approaches to long-term political change over the last two centuries have been underpinned by two big ideas, classification and evolution, which often have been manifest as cultural history and progress. Despite comparative archaeology's agenda to explain change, the conceptual core of these frames was grounded in the building of stepped sequences of transformation with expectations drawn from synchronic empirical snapshots in time. Nevertheless, especially over the last 70 years, archaeology has seen the generation and analysis of unprecedented volumes of data collected along multiple dimensions and a range of spatial scales. Compilation and comparison of these data reveal significant diversity along various dimensions, which have begun to create dissonance with key tenets, assumptions, and even the aims of extant, long-held approaches. Expanded conceptual framing with a shift toward a focus on explaining variation and change is necessary.

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2023-10-23
2024-04-23
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