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Controversies in Archaeology


Controversies in Archaeology Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Atlantis, ancient astronauts, and pyramid power. Archaeologists are perennially bombarded with questions about the “mysteries” of the past. They are also constantly addressing more realistic controversies: origins of the First Americans, the ownership of antiquities, and national claims to historical territories. Alice Beck Kehoe offers to introductory students a method of evaluating and assessing these claims about the past in this reader-friendly, concise text. She shows how to use the methods of science to challenge the legitimacy of pseudoscientific proclamations and develop reasonable interpretations on controversial issues. Not one to shy away from controversy herself, Kehoe takes some stands—on transpacific migration, shamanism, the Kensington Runestone—which will challenge instructor and students alike, and foster class discussion.

Book News Annotation:

Venerable American anthropologist Kehoe (emerita, Maruette U.) describes some widely known controversies about archaeology and archaeological finds, drawing from them an explanation of scientific method and examples of critical thinking. She intends neither to debunk nor to promote any theories, but rather to steer undergraduates and general readers along a path between academic dogma and outrageous enthusiasms. Her topics include popular archaeology, America's First Nations, religion, diffusion verses independent invention, earlier technologies, biological data, and competing theories of cultural development. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)


Alice Beck Kehoe offers introductory students a method of evaluating and assessing claims about the past in this reader-friendly, concise text, using examples from Native American origins to ancient astronauts.

About the Author

Alice Beck Kehoe is in the department of anthropology at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. She is one of the pioneers of feminist research in the field and one of the best-known scholars on issues related to Native Americans, two controversial topics within archaeology. Kehoe is author of numerous articles and over a dozen books on these two subjects and on various other controversial topics within the field of archaeology, including the Kensington Runestone and shamanism. She has also authored two introductory textbooks for anthropologists and archaeologists.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1: The Past is Today

Chapter 2: Scientific Method

Chapter 3: Popular Archaeology

Chapter 4: America's First Nation and Archaeology

Chapter 5: Finding Diversity

Chapter 6: Religion and Archaeology

Chapter 7: "Diffusion" versus Independent Invention

Chapter 8: What People Before Us Could Do: Earlier Technologies

Chapter 9: Neanderthals, Farmers, Warriors, and Cannibals: Bringing in Biological Data

Chapter 10: Competing Theories of Cultural Development




About the Author

Product Details

Kehoe, Alice Beck
Left Coast Press
Philosophy & Social Aspects
Unexplained Phenomena
Prehistoric peoples
Controversial Knowledge
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
9 x 6 in

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Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General Medicine
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Reference » Science Reference » Philosophy of Science

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Product details 256 pages Left Coast Press - English 9781598740622 Reviews:
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Alice Beck Kehoe offers introductory students a method of evaluating and assessing claims about the past in this reader-friendly, concise text, using examples from Native American origins to ancient astronauts.
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