Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth B. Garland

Second Advisor

Dr. William Cremin

Third Advisor

Dr. Robert Maher

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access




In A History of American Archaeology Willey and Sabloff (1974) outline the development of archaeological method and theory in the Western Hemisphere. The authors defined 5 periods through which they traced advances in archaeology from the time Europe first discovered the New World. Each other these periods is characterized by certain attitudes and orientations toward archaeological data. Old ideas changed as new information, new tools of discovery, and new ways of interpretation and explanation transformed archaeology into what it is today.

Archaeologists are now in the Explanatory Period (Willey and Sabloff 1974:178). This period's theoretical orientation can be characterized by an anthropological archaeology and began when archaeologists realized that "Archaeology must accept a greater responsibility in the furtherance of the aims of anthropology" (Binford 1962:225). Archaeology now has the same goals that sociocultural anthropology has, the illumination and discovery of the processes that influence and shape social change and cultural evolution. This attitude toward the potential or archaeological data has fostered a "new archaeology" that has been seen as an intellectual revolution (Martin 1971).