By C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky

The purpose of the seventeen essays during this quantity is either to explain fresh theoretical advances in archaeological study and to offer considerable interpretations of prehistoric info drawn from quite a few cultures and time frames, together with Mesoamerica, important Asia, India, and China.

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P. Murdock's (1959a) historicalethnological research, and the example set by British archaeologists working in Africa, many of whom have come to teach in American universities (McCall 1964). There is also a tradition of collaborative research in studying Polynesian prehistory, which began during the culture-historical period (Jennings 1979); while Joyce Marcus (1983a) has recently argued the advantages of such an approach for Mayan archaeology. The resistance relates mainly to the widely held view of processual archaeologists that their discipline is a science based on the study of material culture, which they interpret as a challenge to do as much as possible with archaeological data.

There is little interest by self-styled Marxist archaeologists in either America or Britain in the theoretical views of Soviet archaeologists, which are summarily dismissed as sterile, or in the writings of Gordon Childe, who was the only Western archaeologist of his generation who seriously assessed the work of his Soviet colleagues (Trigger 1984c, 1985). The most important "borrowing" from Marxism is the realization that conflicts that develop within societies concerning the ability of different social groups to control the production and allocation of goods and services is a major internal stimulus to change.

Sanders, Parsons and Santley (1979) saw the need to study the whole of the Valley of Mexico in order to understand what happened to its various sectors. Now archaeologists argue that the whole of Mesoamerica developed as an interaction sphere in which prestige goods were exchanged among regional elites. Hence they need to know the archaeological record for large areas before they can determine if regional populationfluctuationsrepresent actual increases or decreases in population or merely movements from one region to another as economic and political conditions changed (Blanton et al.

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