|The Macroarchaeological Paradigm Introduced With Case Studies From Western Eurasian Archaeology and Archaeogenetics
|Clemens Schmid（PhD candidate, Max Planck Institute）
|2022.11.18，14:30-15:30（45min + 15min Q&A）
|Three years ago Charles Perreault published the “The Quality of the Archaeological Record”, where he systematically deconstructs archaeology as a field frequently operating outside what it can verify “beyond reasonable doubt”. Archaeology put indeed much emphasis on originally sociological or ethnological microscale research questions, focussing on individual-level agency and social organisation. Perreault now argues, the archaeological record is not sufficient for that in sampling interval, resolution and dimensionality. The mismatch of research questions and data – the “underdetermination problem” – causes archaeologists to publish narratives that can neither be verified nor falsified.
In this seminar talk I will explain Perreault’s (indeed debatable) reasoning with some examples from the Copper Age burial site of Varna (Bulgaria) and then highlight what he introduces as an alternative scope for archaeology: The Macroarchaeological Paradigm. This describes a data-focussed search for long-term, large-scale patterns of human behaviour, emerging through extrinsic environmental drivers as well as intrinsic cultural evolutionary dynamics. It thus entails a focus on a small number of universal research questions surrounding measurable population parameters (e.g. rates of change or correlations within and among artefact categories or behavioural properties).
Macroarchaeology integrates well with archaeogenetics, so I will conclude with a peak into my ancient DNA PhD project, where we employ large-scale interpolation of genetic ancestry components to quantify human mobility through time and space.
「地景考古人類學」課堂演講。Members of the university community and interested friends are welcome to attend. No registration is needed.