Some Thoughts on Ethnographic Analogies

Date and Time: 
Thursday, 5 May, 2011 - 16:15 to 16:30
HUNN, Eugene S. - Department of Anthropology, University of Washington

Archaeologists are sometimes critical of the use of “ethnographic analogy” for interpreting archaeological data. I believe that archaeological data can only be understood in terms of ethnographic analogies. The problem, then, is which ethnographic analogies are relevant to particular archaeological cases, and with what appropriate caveats. I believe ethnoecological ethnographies provide a solid basis for such interpretation, with due allowance for environmental, technological, and social parameters of local adaptations. I will illustrate this point with data from the Columbia Plateau of Northwestern America.