is the ethnographic
study of peoples for archaeological
reasons, usually through the study of the material remains of a society (see David & Kramer 2001). Ethnoarchaeology aids archaeologists in reconstructing ancient lifeways by studying the material and non-material traditions of modern societies. Ethnoarchaeology also aids in the understanding of the way an object was made and the purpose of what it is being used for. Archaeologists can then infer that ancient societies used the same techniques as their modern counterparts given a similar set of environmental circumstances.
One good example of ethnoarchaeology is that of Brian Hayden
(1987), whose team examined the manufacture of Mesoamerican quern-stones
, providing valuable insights into the manufacture of prehistoric
quern-stones. Many other studies have focused on the manufacture and use of ceramics, architecture, food, fiber, and other types of material culture. In the best cases, these studies have involved long term ethnographic fieldwork (for example, Herbich 1987, Kramer 1997, Deal 1998, Dietler & Herbich 1998, Hinshaw 2000, Longacre & Skibo 2000, Kohn 2010). Read more...