Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth B. Garland

Second Advisor

Dr. William Cremin

Third Advisor

Dr. William Garland

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Introduction and Problem

One of the basic and challenging tasks in archaeology is the interpretation of artifacts and the reconstruction of prehistoric cultures. Difficulties arise primarily because (1) not all past human behavior is manifest in the archaeological record, and (2) that which remains is only adequately represented. Our success at understanding prehistory is further limited by differential preservation, lack of representative samples, and loss of contextual data. Even with the use of sophisticated recovery techniques, vigorous analysis, and statistical manipulation it is seldom possible to arrive at neat reconstructions. Prehistory is, after all, the indirect study of human behavior and thus, by definition, limited in what it can reveal.

In spite of these drawbacks, one very effective tool used in archaeological interpretation has been ethnographic analogy. From the 18001 s until the present time, archaeologists have relied heavily upon the use of analogy (Orme 1973). Those utilizing it include such pioneers as Wilson (1851), Evans (1860), Christy and Lartet (1865), Steward (1942), and Clark (1951). More recently, there has been an increase in the number of researchers employing analogy. Among these, for example, are Binford (1968), Deetz (1968), Flannery and Coe (1968), Furst (1968), Gould (1968, 1971), Hill (1968), and Longacre ( 1968).