This study was well-established as a pioneer work on archaeological methodology, the theoretical basis of all archaeological analysis whatever the period or era. The first edition of the book presented and evaluated the radical changes in methodology which derived from developments in other disciplines, such as cybernetics, computer science and geography, during the 1950s and ‘60s. It argued that archaeology was a coherent discipline with its own methods and procedures and attempted to define the entities (attributes, artefacts, types, assemblages, cultures and culture groups) rigorously and consistently so that they could be applied to archaeological data. The later edition continued the same general theory, which is unparalleled in its scope and depth, adding notes to help understanding of the advances in method and theory to support the student and professional archaeologist.
Review of the original publication:
"One might venture that this is the most important archaeological work for twenty or thirty years, and it will undoubtedly influence several future generations of archaeologists." The Times Literary Supplement
Table of Contents
Foreword to the Revised Edition. Preface 1. Introduction and Polemic 2. Culture Systems – The Model 3. Cultural Morphology and Cultural Ecology – The Setting 4. Material Culture Systems – Attribute and Artefact 5. Artefact and Type 6. Assemblage and Culture 7. Culture and Culture Group 8. Culture Group and Technocomplex 9. Group Ethnology 10. Entities and Processes and Procedure 11. Discussion and Speculation