Modelling and Australian prehistory

22nd May 2014

Bernard M.J. Huchet

Introduction*

Frequency of case studies concerned with the explanation of processes (published in Australian Archaeology 36:13).

Frequency of case studies concerned with the explanation of processes (published in Australian Archaeology 36:13).

This paper discusses the impact of scientific empiricism on Australian archaeology over the last thirty years. An assessment is made about the extent to which approaches to modelling conform to the methodologies espoused by the scientific empiricists. This is done by examining 105 case studies, published by Australian researchers between 1960 and 1989. The results show that there has been increasing concern with explicit modelling, as demanded by positivist descriptions of the scientific process. An increasing concern with the explanation of cultural processes, as discussed by the ‘New Archaeology’ is also evident. Other methods that are characteristic of scientific empiricism also become more prominent; these include: reliance on abstract entities, such as hypotheses, to guide research, reliance on deduction, the use of laws and the systematic testing of hypotheses.

*Note that an abstract was not included with this paper, and so the introductory paragraph has been included here instead of the abstract.

Huchet, B.M.J.
Modelling and Australian prehistory
June 1993
36
12–16
Article
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