Regional Approaches to Society and Complexity - Alex R. Knodell

Regional Approaches to Society and Complexity - Alex R. Knodell

10. Islands in the Comparative Stream: The Importance of Inter-Island Analogies to Archaeological Discourse

Regional Approaches to Society and Complexity - Alex R. Knodell

Scott Fitzpatrick [+-]
University of Oregon
Scott M. Fitzpatrick is Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Oregon. He is an archaeologist who specializes in the prehistory and historical ecology of island and coastal regions, particularly the Pacific and Caribbean. Much of his research focuses on colonization events, seafaring strategies, adaptations to smaller islands, exchange systems, chronometric techniques, and human impacts on ancient environments. He has published several books and more than 100 journal articles and book chapters, and is the founder and Co-Editor of the Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology, an Associate Editor for Archaeology in Oceania, and serves on the editorial boards for the Caribbean Journal of Science and Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

Description

The sub-field of island archaeology developed primarily as an outgrowth, with strong anthropological influence, of biogeographical principles that emerged more than 50 years ago. Island archaeology has since matured and been enriched with the addition of many other areas of study, including palaeoecology, history, and biology, all of which have provided much stronger methodological and theoretical foundations for examining how and when humans occupied and adapted to island environments prehistorically. In this chapter, I examine the scholarly tradition and relevance of island archaeology in modern archaeological discourse, arguing that a comparative framework both within and between island regions is not only critical but essential if we are truly to provide meaningful explanations for how modern human behavior evolved across time and space. While there have been past attempts to cross-cut disciplinary and geographical boundaries to achieve this goal, a comparative approach is, despite its intrinsic necessity, rare; all the more concerning, as avoiding comparison risks a degree of intellectual insularity and a blinkered understanding of human-environmental interactions.

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Citation

Fitzpatrick, Scott. 10. Islands in the Comparative Stream: The Importance of Inter-Island Analogies to Archaeological Discourse. Regional Approaches to Society and Complexity. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 207-224 Jan 2018. ISBN 9781781795279. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=30813. Date accessed: 14 Oct 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.30813. Jan 2018

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