chapter  5
Artefact and type
Pages 40

U sing the broad foundations outlined in the preceding chapters it is now possible to clam ber a little higher up the fram ework of our hierarchical model of archaeological entities (fig. 49). Archaeological attributes exist in clusters as components of artefacts. T h e archaeolo­ gist and prehistorian usually subdivide the vast array of artefacts into ‘artefact-types’ or ‘fam ilies’ on an intuitive basis that subtly blends an unconscious assessment of sim ilarities in sets of attributes with a swift guess at a common usage pattern for the artefacts as a group. It is this unspecified blending of em pirical observation with intuitive experience which has given rise to so much debate about the real or im aginary nature of the ‘type ’ concept. Clearly, we must pause to analyse the basis of the ‘type ’ concept in terms of our existing definitions and in the ultimate hope of producing a viable definition for this fundam ental entity.