Test, Model, and Method Validation: The Role of Experimental Stone Artifact Replication in Hypothesis-driven Archaeology

Metin I. Eren, Stephen J. Lycett, Robert J. Patten, Briggs Buchanan, Justin Pargeter, Michael J. O'Brien

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    Abstract

    For many years, intuition and common sense often guided the transference of patterning ostensibly evident in experimental flintknapping results to interpretations of the archaeological record, with little emphasis placed on hypothesis testing, experimental variables, experimental design, or statistical analysis of data. Today, archaeologists routinely take steps to address these issues. We build on these modern efforts by reviewing several important uses of replication experiments: (1) as a means of testing a question, hypothesis, or assumption about certain parameters of stone-tool technology; (2) as a model, in which information from empirically documented situations is used to generate predictions; and (3) as a means of validating analytical methods. This review highlights the important strategic role that stone artifact replication experiments must continue to play in further developing a scientific approach to archaeology.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)103-136
    Number of pages34
    JournalEthnoarchaeology
    Volume8
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jul 2 2016

    Keywords

    • experiment
    • flintknapping
    • lithic technology
    • method validation
    • model
    • replication
    • stone tools
    • test

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Archaeology
    • Anthropology
    • Archaeology

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