Re: Anthro/Archaeology Depts combined

Bj€rn Andersson (
Tue, 14 Nov 1995 09:37:20 GMT

The reason that Binford claimed "archaeology as anthropology", came
from his acquaintance with his teacher in anthropology - Leslie White,
who also claimed that culture was "man's extra-somatic means of
adaptation" (1958). This functionalist idea worked also to critisise
Binfords's long lasting enemy and archaeology professor Griffith, who
had a theoretical stanpoint of description of the material record. The
functionalist standpoint served, as Binford said, to explicate and
explain cultural transformations instead of just describing them, and as
anthropology was an explaining discipline, that is, Science, archaeology
should develop that same strategy, and eventually end up as Science,
therefore - "Archaeology as Anthropology".

If somebody are interested in these matters, read Binford's book "An
Archaeological Perspective (1972). In between the chapters, Binford
write about the social climate and his own intellectual development,
nice reading indeed for us Binfordians.

Bjorn Andersson
Dept. Theory of science and research
Goteborg Sweden