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Experimental Design and Experimental Inference in Stone Artifact Archaeology

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Lithic researchers rely heavily on experimentation to infer past behaviors and activities based on stone artifacts. This paper explores the analogical nature of archaeological inference and the relationship between experimental design and inference validity in stone artifact experimentation. We show that actualistic flintknapping lacks vital aspects of scientific experimentation, and thus has inherent inferential issues of analogical adequacy and confidence. It is argued that a greater emphasis on hypothesis construction and variable control is needed in order to establish sound referential linkages upon which constructive analogic inferences about the past can be built.

UOW Authors


  •   Lin, Sam
  •   Rezek, Zeljko (external author)
  •   Dibble, Harold L. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2018

Citation


  • Lin, S. C., Rezek, Z. & Dibble, H. L. (2018). Experimental Design and Experimental Inference in Stone Artifact Archaeology. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 25 (3), 663-688.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85028974247

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/4960

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 25

Start Page


  • 663

End Page


  • 688

Volume


  • 25

Issue


  • 3

Place Of Publication


  • United States

Abstract


  • Lithic researchers rely heavily on experimentation to infer past behaviors and activities based on stone artifacts. This paper explores the analogical nature of archaeological inference and the relationship between experimental design and inference validity in stone artifact experimentation. We show that actualistic flintknapping lacks vital aspects of scientific experimentation, and thus has inherent inferential issues of analogical adequacy and confidence. It is argued that a greater emphasis on hypothesis construction and variable control is needed in order to establish sound referential linkages upon which constructive analogic inferences about the past can be built.

UOW Authors


  •   Lin, Sam
  •   Rezek, Zeljko (external author)
  •   Dibble, Harold L. (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2018

Citation


  • Lin, S. C., Rezek, Z. & Dibble, H. L. (2018). Experimental Design and Experimental Inference in Stone Artifact Archaeology. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 25 (3), 663-688.

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85028974247

Ro Metadata Url


  • http://ro.uow.edu.au/smhpapers/4960

Has Global Citation Frequency


Number Of Pages


  • 25

Start Page


  • 663

End Page


  • 688

Volume


  • 25

Issue


  • 3

Place Of Publication


  • United States