chapter  11
Discussion and speculation
Pages 24

T h is chapter will be used to cover a selective appraisal of the prim ary dispositions underpinning analytical archaeology and fram ing its orientation. M ost of the contents, it is true, w ill have been covered in the preceding texts but the intention here is to draw together much that has only been obliquely discussed. M ost of these prim ary dis­ positions represent the diffusion into archaeology of m ajor develop­ ments in allied disciplines; a derivation, however, that does not neces­ sarily make them peripheral to the organization of archaeology as a discipline in its own term s and dimensions. Certainly, scientific aids no more make archaeology a ‘science’ than a wooden leg makes a man into a tree - isotope dating, chemical analysis, and proton magnetometers remain adjuncts. By contrast, the prim ary attitudes which now perm it tentative form ulations in generalizing archaeologi­ cal theory are central to the whole structure of the d iscip lin e-arisin g for the most part from cybernetics, inform ation theory, behavioural studies, and not least from m athematics - sym bolic logic, probability theory, set theory, game theory, inductive statistics, topology and num erical taxonom y (cf. Clarke, 1968, 19 72 , 19 7 3 ; Doran and Hodson

1975)- T h e prim ary contributions to analytical archaeology are for the

most part mathematical rather than scientific, sym bolic and abstract rather than tangible. T h is sim ply emphasizes the im portant function of mathematical apparatus as sym bolic m achinery for m odelling the central theory of organized disciplines in term s of structured deductive system s. A t the same time these external contributions are possible because the relationship between analysts and their data m ay be as much enlightened by sim ple changes in viewpoint as by direct augmentation of the quantity of data. Archaeologists have

concentrated far too m uch upon increasing the quantity of their data and far too little upon increasing the quality of their conceptual apparatus.