As the anthropology of things, Post-Processualist theory draws upon a vast array of anthropological theories, including Structuralism, Symbolic Anthropology, and tenets of Critical Marxism.Archaeology emerges in its P-P guise as a social anthropology of the past, not purely Western Science and not purely History, but a holistic study of humans in the past, including their institutions, their beliefs, and their culture in all its many facets.SOCIAL ORGANIZATION facilitated the extraction of resources through use of technology.IDEOLOGY simply justified what had to be done to accomodate production (Harris 1968, 1979; White 1959, 1969, 1975).People use things to encode and inculcate behavior, to express values and feelings, as well as to extract energy and meet nutritional requirements.
CULTURAL CHRONOLOGIES were simply the beginning, serving as useful classificatory frameworks, in which more compelling questions of adaptation and CULTURAL CHANGE could be MODELED and addressed (cf. The archaeological record was seen as archaeology's laboratory for studying HUMAN BEHAVIOR over the long expanse of time.This was the rise of the CULTURE-HISTORICAL SCHOOL of archaeology in the United States.Things were carefully excavated to standards of stratigraphic recording and reports emphasized the location and dating of things.Construction of local and regional chronologies was the goal, and distributions of objects in SPACE and TIME were held indicative of past societies and the movements of cultures and cultural ideas across the landscape (cf. Cultural TRAITS were defined that had demonstrated importance in defining the stringers of time and space, and these became the major rubrics for analysis and discussion of archaeological CULTURES.Emphasis was on description, CLASSIFICATION, and construction of narratives that explained the ARCHAEOLOGICAL RECORD in terms of alleged cultures that moved through space of time. Old traditional culture history was bashed, mashed, chewed, and abused by the NEW ARCHAEOLOGISTS.Patterns in artifacts are found, however, and this patterning preserves much of the original context of use and meaning that surrounded the creation and use of every object.