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Theories of Archaeology Theories leading up Contemporary Archaeology.

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1 Theories of Archaeology Theories leading up Contemporary Archaeology

2 Theory? A theory is simply an idea! Low Level- the observations and interpretations that emerge from hands- on archaeological field work. Middle Level- links archaeological data with relevant aspects of human behavior High Level- seeks to answer the ‘WHY’ questions

3 Creationism What is Creationism? Creationism is the idea that a higher power, in many cases God, created man and placed them here on earth along with the animals and plants and everything that is present today. It argues that all life on earth was been created exactly as it is in the present, and any alterations would run counter to God’s plan. Fixity of species. Great Chain of Being Essentialism Grand Design.

4 Evolution What is Evolution? Evolution is the theory in which humans evolved, or changed over time, from a common ancestor.

5 Evolutionary Theories John Ray ( ), an ordained minister, was the first to identify species. In 1735 a Swedish botanist named Carolus Linneaus ( ) wrote a book called “systema Naturae” or System of Nature, where he classified all animals.

6 Key Contributors to the Theory of Evolution Cont’d Comte de Buffon ( ), in 1749, developed the theory of “degeneration” Erasmus Darwin ( ) (Charles grandfather) also began to express ideas of natural selection and evolutionary thought.

7 Key Contributors to the Theory of Evolution Cont’d Jean-Baptiste Lamarck ( ) was the first European to come up with an organic theory of evolution Thomas Malthus ( ), in 1798, argued that human populations double every 25 years, it increases exponentially while food production remains stable, thereby creating a struggle for existence

8 Key Contributors to the Theory of Evolution Cont’d James Hutton, a geologist, argued in his work Theory of Earth in 1784, that the earth was formed entirely by natural processes not by a divine flood of global proportions. His work was later refined by Charles Lyll in There view that the earth had been formed completely from natural processes that are still in operation today became known as Uniformitarianism.

9 Key Contributors to the Theory of Evolution Cont’d George Cuvier ( ), developed the theory of catastrophism in 1830 Russell Wallace developed the theory of evolution based on natural selection simultaneous to Darwin.

10 Darwin Charles Darwin began to formulate this theory of evolution while aboard the HMS Beagle. Darwin boarded the Beagle being a staunch believer in fixity of species. During a stopover in the Galapagos Islands, Darwin noted the flora and the fauna of S. America showed striking similarities to those in the Galapagos. Darwin collected 13 different varieties of finches, these finches shared similarities and clearly represented a closely affiliated group This lead Darwin to believe that the finches had all descended from a common, mainland ancestor, and had become modified in response to the varying environments of the islands.

11 Darwin’s Theory 1.Species produce offspring faster than the food supply increases 2.No two individuals of a species are exactly alike 3.Because there are so many individuals in a species there is a struggle for existence, favorable characteristics will survive 4.Those favorable characteristics are inherited and passed on 5.Over long periods of time those successful variations will produce new species

12 From Biological Theory to Social Theory Herbert Spencer ( ) argued that human progress is not an accident, that social institutions progress from a simple form to a complex form and that each culture passes through these same phases. This idea fine tuned by Spencer, Edward B Tylor ( ) and Lewis Henry Morgan ( ) was known as Unilinear Cultural Evolution. Unilinear Cultural Evolution “Stage” “savage” stage as hunters and gathers “barbaric” stage of farming “civilized” stage of modern western culture.


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