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Archaeological science and African archaeology

Archaeological science and African archaeology Editorial Archaeological science and African archaeology All of the seven research articles in this issue of the Journal of African Archaeology make intensive use of techniques adapted from the natural sciences or engineering. The range of techniques employed in these papers is remarkable, including optical and electron microscopy, geophysical remote sensing, chemical analysis and the measurement of ratios of both light and heavy stable isotopes. I am also struck by the fact that in none of these papers is the archaeological science presented as an appendix; in each case the scientific data is tightly integrated with archaeological, historical, art historical or ethnographic inquiry. Techniques developed in science and engineering have seen sporadic use in African archaeology since the 1910's, but it was not until the mid-1960's, when radiometric dating by radiocarbon and potassium-argon began to be widely available, that scientific techniques radically transformed the practice of archaeology in the continent. The articles printed here suggest that African archaeology is entering another period of radical methodological transformation. Though it may appear to the reader that this is a thematic issue on archaeological science, assembled by invitation of the editors, this is not the case: each of these papers was http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of African Archaeology Brill

Archaeological science and African archaeology

Journal of African Archaeology , Volume 4 (1): 1 – Oct 25, 2006

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2006 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1612-1651
eISSN
2191-5784
DOI
10.1163/21915784-90000008
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Editorial Archaeological science and African archaeology All of the seven research articles in this issue of the Journal of African Archaeology make intensive use of techniques adapted from the natural sciences or engineering. The range of techniques employed in these papers is remarkable, including optical and electron microscopy, geophysical remote sensing, chemical analysis and the measurement of ratios of both light and heavy stable isotopes. I am also struck by the fact that in none of these papers is the archaeological science presented as an appendix; in each case the scientific data is tightly integrated with archaeological, historical, art historical or ethnographic inquiry. Techniques developed in science and engineering have seen sporadic use in African archaeology since the 1910's, but it was not until the mid-1960's, when radiometric dating by radiocarbon and potassium-argon began to be widely available, that scientific techniques radically transformed the practice of archaeology in the continent. The articles printed here suggest that African archaeology is entering another period of radical methodological transformation. Though it may appear to the reader that this is a thematic issue on archaeological science, assembled by invitation of the editors, this is not the case: each of these papers was

Journal

Journal of African ArchaeologyBrill

Published: Oct 25, 2006

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