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New Archaeology


Definition: The New Archaeology movement began in the late 1950s, when American researchers began to move the entire discipline away from the study of artifacts to the study of people's behavior.

Early practitioners include Gordon Willey and Philip Phillips, probably Walter Taylor too, but most of the credit for the movement goes to Lewis Binford's article "A consideration of archaeological research design" (American Antiquity 29:425-441) and one co-written with then-wife Sally Binford "Stone tools and human behavior" (Scientific American 320:70-83).


Binford, Lewis R. 1981 Behavioral archaeology and the "Pompeii Premise". Journal of Anthropological Research 37(3):195-208.

Binford, Lewis R. 1964 A consideration of archaeological research design. American Antiquity 29(4):425-441.

Schiffer, Michael B. 1985 Is there a "Pompeii premise" in archaeology? Journal of Anthropological Research 41:18-41.

This glossary entry is part of the Dictionary of Archaeology.

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