CRITIQUE-OF-AR.NET/NOTES/03.htm – Version 1, August 2017.

Critique of Archaeological Reason
3. Notes

3. Categorization

3.1 Grammar and categorization
3.2 Definition and definitions
3.3 Synchrony and diachrony
3.4 Structural aspects
      3.4.1 Closed and open systems: "-emic" and "(e)-tic"
      3.4.2 Binary oppositions
      3.4.3 Distributional arrays
      3.4.4 Paradigms
3.5 Procedures
      3.5.1 Trees and nodes
      3.5.2 Attribute analysis
3.6 Minimal constituents, morphemes, morphs, allomorphs
3.7 Technique and method

3.1 Grammar and categorization

a.For categorization and indexing in Library Studies, see e.g. Lancaster 2003 and Miksa 1995 – [Laerke Recht, July 2013]
b.See Read 2007: The book begins with a simple premise that considers the crucial need for organization of any artifacts yielded from the process of the data collection. Beyond the simple narratives and technicalities that usually characterize the process of the data collection in the field, Read seeks to attribute to the process of artifacts classification a particular role which if treated coherently may potentially highlight several matters, including the modes of the production, cultural background, individual choices of the artisan, and patterns of exchange and so on. Indeed, methodology receives a great deal of attention. Read intertwines rather effectively the contributions and impediments of earlier works on classification. Specifically, the book succeeds in highlighting and analyzing two particular matters: 1) it gives exclusive importance to the attributes of the data and somehow implies an inductive methodological approach which if anything has to consider systematically any physical properties; and 2) it remedies considerably the conceptual thinking, with critical comments on classification agendas like that of the 'type-variety' noticing that the artifacts properties = culture cannot serve as an enclosed framework that defines a group of artifacts. Rather, by taking a closer focus on specific attributes of artifacts Read centers the classification process into a conceptual scheme into which the parameters that must receive particular attention are the decisions of the artisan. Obviously, culture as a unit, changes over time, restrictions on functional and aesthetic elements, exterior influences must be considered indispensable while classifying and evaluating the attributes of a particular repertoire. – [Esmeralda Agolli, March 2014]
c.Without any doubt, Dunnell offers a coherent and operational approach which in theory seems to fit to any research agenda. However the criticism following his approach regarded the very fact that the archaeological record cannot easily be categorized into groups or classes and even less into belonging cultural group. Indeed, Dunnell does offer a neat scheme of concepts and classification, but it is also true that the enclosed system of groups and classes that he defines in practice do not necessarily bring predictive and objective conclusions as he claims. – [Esmeralda Agolli, March 2014]
d.The notion of a "top-down ontology" (Berners-Lee et al. 2008, p. 100) puts in a different light the concern that classification may be an arbitrary ("authoritarian") overlay on reality.
e.For problems in the method of typology and seriation, especially in relation to determining time sequences, see Olivier 1999. – [Laerke Recht, October 2015]
f.On the use of types to create seriation and for the use of dating, see O'Brien and Lyman 2002. – [Laerke Recht, October 2015]
g.Some of the standard works on the topic within archaeology include Adams & Adams 1987, Adams & Adams 2007, Krieger 1944, Spaulding 1953, Bernbeck 1997 (Ch. 10), Schiffer & Skibo 1997. – [Laerke Recht, July 2016]
h.On typology, see Cowgill 1982. – [Laerke Recht, July 2016]
i.Classification a field in its own right: Eggert 2001, Ch. X. – [July 2016]
j.Taxonomy: Gardin 1980, Ch. 3. – [July 2016]
k.Cf. O'Brien & Lyman 2002b on archaeological units. – [Laerke Recht, August 2016]
l.Theoretical dimension, Read 1982; Rouse 1960; Vierra 1982. – [Laerke Recht, August 2016]
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3.3 Synchrony and diachrony

a.For different ways of perceiving time inherent in archaeological methods, see McGlade 1999, Cremo 1999, Agrawal et al. 1999. – [Laerke Recht, October 2015]
b.On the concept of 'event', see Lucas 2008. – [Laerke Recht, October 2015]
c.Note the following statement by Panofsky 1955 Meaning, p. 7: "If we knew by some concatenation of circumstances that a certain Negro sculpture had been executed in 1510, it would be meaningless to say that it was "contemporaneous" with Michelangelo's Sistine ceiling." In contrast with this, I would say that indeed the two are contemporaneous, but not synchronic.
d.Cf. Lucas 2015. – [Laerke Recht, July 2016]
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3.4.1 Closed and open systems: "-emic" and "(e)-tic"
a.With regard to the inappropriateness of the term -etic, it is interesting to note that the term itself was introduced by a linguist, Kenneth W. Pike, who certainly would have had a sensitivity for such matters, see Headland et al. 1990.
b.For discussions on -emic/-etic and open/closed systems, see Ammerman 1992 and Cassirer 2000. – [Laerke Recht, July 2016]
c.Buccellati 2006 "emic". – [July 2016]
d.Emic system: Hayden 1984. – [Laerke Recht, July 2016]
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3.5.2 Attribute analysis
a.On attributes: Brown 1982; Hodson 1982; Cowgill 1982; Spaulding 1982. – [Laerke Recht, July 2016]
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