Session: #382

Theme & Session Format

5. Assembling archaeological theory and the archaeological sciences
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

From the Field to the Computer. The Validity of Quantitative Methods Regarding the Quality of Archaeological Data
Measuring archaeological diversity has known a great theoretical and methodological development in the past decades. The inclusion of ever more sophisticated techniques, as well as thorough consideration of archaeological theory have provided current archaeologists with a useful toolset able to tackle different kinds of problematics and research questions. The analysis of radiocarbon datasets, the study of archaeological networks or the adaptation of different ecological techniques are just some of the methodological solutions that try to understand archaeology and bring solid explanations for past dynamics.

However, the archaeology’s Achilles’ heel has always been the quality of its data. How can we measure diversity without a clear understanding of archaeological units? How do we move on to synthetic research without a full reliance on our primary sources? What is the responsibility of field archaeologists producing information, and of theoretical archaeologists tailoring useful generalised methodologies?

In this session, we mean to build bridges between field archaeology and theoretical archaeology, from the acquaintance that one is useless without the other. We welcome all proposals trying to improve the recollection and understanding of primary data and how that can be translated into useful primary information. Also, we welcome any insight assessing the validity of the application of quantifying techniques (from ecological general solutions, to ad hoc developed methods) regarding the quality of the archaeological record.
Field Archaeology, Diversity, Radiocarbon, Stratigraphy, Synthetic Research
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Main organiser:
Alfredo Cortell-Nicolau (Spain) 1
Salvador Pardo-Gordó (Spain) 1
Thomas Perrin (France) 2
1. Departament de Prehistòria, Arqueologia i Història Antiga. Universitat de València
2. Université Toulouse. CNRS