chapter  2
22 Pages

History and Theory in Reconstructing Southwestern Sociopolitical Organization

WithLinda S. Cordell

Longacre emphasizes the concern for facts, the tangible aspects of the archaeological record; the development of chronological techniques; trait lists; and writing of culture history informed by culture area theory; and a reluctance to make inferences about social organization. Archaeology could provide the historical continuity that challenged the cataclysms of the romantic school and allowed for the development of an anthropological science. Archaeological remains were important in their own right in the early evolutionist program. The remains provided a tangible record of the degree of mental development of various Native American societies. The archaeological remains also provided continuity from the past to the present. The continuity is essential to the development of anthropological science which depends on an orderly universe. Observations of archaeological traits are made and comparisons are drawn among sites and regions, suggesting a scenario of culture history which might then be compared with the scenarios developed by ethnologists, linguists, and osteologists.