Annu. Rev. Anthropol. 2007.36:245-259. Downloaded from www.annualreviews.

org by Middle East Technical University on 11/28/11. For personal use only.

A Bicycle Made for Two? The Integration of Scientific Techniques into Archaeological Interpretation
A. Mark Pollard and Peter Bray
Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QY, United Kingdom; email:,

Annu. Rev. Anthropol. 2007. 36:245–59 First published online as a Review in Advance on June 18, 2007 The Annual Review of Anthropology is online at This article’s doi: 10.1146/annurev.anthro.36.081406.094354 Copyright c 2007 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved 0084-6570/07/1021-0245$20.00

Key Words
interdisciplinarity, pragmatism, cooperation, equality, materiality, novel methods, integration

Much of the literature on the integration of science and archaeology has tended to focus on mistakes, tensions, and problems. Many scholars have also been obsessed with definitions and delineating the boundaries between varieties of archaeologist. In this article we aim to move away from this by discussing the pragmatic ways that progress has been achieved in applying scientific solutions to interpreting the past. Progress has not been dependent on overcoming supposed fundamental differences between the humanities and sciences; instead it has been based around cooperation on the vast tracts of common ground. This article highlights key arenas that encourage this process of information flow and discussion: interdisciplinary field work, new scientific techniques, new archaeological questions, and education. What is increasingly important in archaeology is how we can encourage researchers to contribute to group solutions of problems and cross outdated disciplinary boundaries.


Progress in integration has encompassed a remarkable array of questions and techniques and has had its successes and failures. cooperation between mainstream archaeology and the natural and physical sciences has become increasingly routine and productive (Killick 2005). 2007. Some (e. Thankfully. Wylie 1989). that all knowledge can no longer be encompassed by a single skull. in modern archaeology. It seems. It is held together by a central distinguishing theme: the complete study of human society in the past through an interpretation of its material remains. Although this interaction has a history going back more than two centuries (Pollard et al. We use the metaphor of a bicycle made for two (although. Hawkes 1968) even saw the encroachment of science into archaeology as signifying the end of the civilized world—no doubt a manifestation of the rising fear of science in the early postbomb world. 2007. we can begin to say something more interesting about the state of archaeological science. 635. negotiated process. which is not actually between two estranged camps. 11) and explore the spectrum of processes and structures that people have created to achieve practical results. from the vantage point of the early twentyfirst century. Running through the history of archaeology is an emphasis on the importance of integrating a wide range of influences from all the social. Thomas 1991. a number of notable failures have also littered the path. highlight some of the pitfalls to be avoided in the future. Rev. For personal use only. it is likely to need to accommodate many more than two!). p. In this article we move beyond championing a rather vague notion of integration (e. the second half of the twentieth century was punctuated by papers criticizing the lack of understanding between “science” and “archaeology” (for examples of the by Middle East Technical University on 11/28/11. Yet archaeology is much more than a collection of borrowed tools from other disciplines. It is of its very nature multidisciplinary. reasonably enough. If we take the more realistic view that integration is a complex. proceed.. or an elegy for a more stable if somewhat socially stratified society (one in which science was the servant to the humanities). we cannot do so without exploring how this has been built on deep foundations. unthinkable and irresponsible to approach this task without an open mind and a full tool chest. How these interactions begin. see Clarke 1968. with a mutually intelligible language of communication. this demands a Annu. Olin 1982.annualreviews. If we assume. and equal inputs. and are encouraged or restricted is examined here. and point out some of the encouraging current developments. we aim to analyze the processes by which scientific techniques have been brought into the archaeological mainstream. definitive state but refined over iterative cycles of interaction between a number of partners. Trigger 1984. Preucel & Hodder 1996. The initial position we emphasize is that archaeology and science cannot be treated as two mutually independent blocs. Otherwise the 246 Pollard venture is doomed. then the key question is how can cooperation between individual specialists be made to achieve results. and physical sciences (key examples include Chamberlin 1897.g. these attitudes and outbursts are becoming increasingly rare. agreed objectives. In our view. and it is an interesting challenge to new students to ask them to go through the scientific alphabet— from architecture to zoology—and name one which has not had some impact on archaeology (Pollard 1995). Downloaded from www. p.. Perhaps the overall lesson is that we must act to ease the sharing of information rather than passively extolling the virtues of cooperation.g. Although we aim to review current aspects of archaeological science. · Bray . it has to be an equal partnership. p.36:245-259. The success we initially note has been achieved over many decades. natural. Rather than reopen the old debate about the scientific or otherwise nature of archaeology. but of course. Wilson 1973. As with all communication.INTRODUCTION In recent years. Anthropol. Dunnell 1993). Hawkes 1954. 5). archaeological knowledge is not created in a finished.

2005) and the C ¸ atalh¨ oyuk ¨ project (Hodder 2006). material specialisms. physics.g. the adoption of new analytical tools. or biology. and whether archaeology can be considered as a science in its own right (e. One good recent example of such an excavation is the Old Scatness Broch project. Dockrill • A Bicycle Made for Two? 247 Annu. then the business of promoting collaboration would simply be one limited by the quality of the research ideas generated because there would be no significant language barrier between the artificial divisions of knowledge that we have created over the centuries.36:245-259. of course.annualreviews. but also to bring to bear the wide range of scientific expertise available in Bradford. These themes are drawn from across the spectrum of archaeology: interdisciplinary field work. on the Shetland Islands to the north of Scotland. and experimental archaeology and reconstruction as tools for engaging the many visitors to the site within a single unified research design (Dockrill et al. but someone who can fluently move between disciplines—plays a key role. However. Where “science” or “scientist” is used in the following text we mean a specialist who has spent most of his or her training in the physical or natural sciences. 2007. Anthropol. the Stonehenge Riverside Project (Parker Pearson et al. we believe that the best practice for bringing together science and archaeology is also universal and hope that our observations can offer useful insights in other parts of the world where different systems and structures appertain. environmental reconstruction. the development of new archaeological questions. In fact. 2003). Therefore. This project is run as a partnership between the Shetland Amenity Trust and the University of Bradford and was designed specifically not only to investigate the long continuous sequence of occupation on this remarkable site. The key point is that the practice of having several specialists working in the field during the excavation as equal members of the team has had a profound influence on the integration of scientific techniques into archaeological interpretation. As it is. soil organic analysis. wider field survey. Childe 1943. appreciate that an increasing number of researchers have emerged over the years to whom these simple definitions do not apply. for example. Pollard 2004). in the United Kingdom. Downloaded from www. Similarly. just as the laws of physics and chemistry (mercifully) do not alter with geography. and to whom therefore such barriers are minimal. exploring the practical ways in which specialists from all fields (however they are named) can be brought together to understand archaeological questions better is still necessary. Of course this is just one example of how modern archaeological practice integrates these specialisms. Guttmann et al. a sign of the cooperation is that many of the techniques employed during these projects are no longer deemed scientific adjuncts but are accepted as equal and necessary parts of the archaeological process. As noted above. and education. If they were in the majority in archaeology. We do. absolute dating programs. For personal use only. 1995. “archaeologist” is used to mean someone who studies the past but is largely unfamiliar with the detail and language of chemistry. we have tried to avoid the well-worn debate over what counts as science. and many more could be by Middle East Technical University on 11/28/11. the introduction of new scientific techniques. The case studies used are those with which we are personally familiar and therefore are geographically situated within the British Isles and respect and understanding of the various languages involved. KEY CASE STUDIES Interdisciplinary Field Work Modern large-scale research excavation and survey projects are clear examples of science and archaeology merging to explore specific questions and geographical areas. Although it seems an www.annualreviews. It integrates geophysical prospection. We attempt to explore the several ways in which science has interacted with archaeology by choosing specific themes. .. Rev. the multilingual translator—not a renaissance person.

. p. The change toward true integration occurred when metallurgists. The initial development of radiocarbon was greeted with responses ranging from wild enthusiasm to complete rejection. New Scientific Areas The breaking of fresh scientific ground will often present radical new opportunities to archaeology and encourage long-lasting integration. The same archaeologist. it is rarely a straightforward process. . they had contributed very little to the actual understanding of extractive metallurgy in prehistory. Killick (2001. Its increasingly common occurrence on modern research excavations can be only of great benefit to all concerned. notably on the Timna project in Israel directed by Rothenberg (1990). Taylor & Aitken 1997). reviewing annually the state of American archaeology through the 1950s. 38). the response from the New World was even worse: According to Taylor (2000. .org by Middle East Technical University on 11/28/11. . “In fact. Radiocarbon now provides the vast majority of all scientific dates used in archaeology after ∼40 ka bp (Taylor et al. 2209) attributes some of the rapid development of geophysical prospection to the on-site interaction of scientists and field archaeologists. The identification of a useful physical phenomenon combined with a well-defined problem in the field rapidly brought together science and archaeology. it is still a relatively recent and crucial development.36:245-259.obvious practice to many researchers today. The importance of 248 Pollard the opportunity to share insight. Anthropol. 2). and ideas in person while on site cannot be overemphasized. . led to the joint education of both field archaeologists and laboratory scientists and the rapid advancement of the field of archaeometallurgy. with no conscious thought of the potential difficulties of combining physics with archaeology. Downloaded from www. one archaeologist (Frederick Johnson) described the arrival of radiocarbon dating as the equivalent of “dropping an atomic bomb” on archaeology. p. and many subsequent similar programs. method in the twentieth century with the discovery of the antiquity of the human species .annualreviews.Grahame Clark pointed to 14 C dating as making a world prehistory possible . p. is still not uncommon. most archaeologists did not give it a very favourable reception. The principle of proton-free precession in the Earth’s magnetic field (Packard and Varian 1954) led quickly to the development of field magnetometers including one constructed by Edward Hall and Martin Aitken at the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art at Oxford University. 485) notes that although metallurgical techniques had been sporadically (and sometimes excessively and uselessly) applied to archaeological samples for centuries. The old idea that archaeologists carry out the excavation. chemists. and mineralogists began to be invited to participate in field survey and excavation. is quoted as observing “frequent · Bray . To quote Taylor (1997. This was immediately pressed into service on a successful survey of a large-scale Roman pottery production site of Water Newton near Peterborough in March 1958 (Aitken 1958).” If anything. 66): Glyn Daniel equated the discovery of the 14 C Annu. and subsequently a range of postexcavation specialists are contracted to report on the various categories of finds. are sadly still with us. p. problems. from “chronology building” to “theory building. For personal use only.” Critical views included those of ´ who commented (1970. The resulting excavation reports. however. Similarly Linford (2006. p. Neustepny. . Undoubtedly the biggest single contribution of science to archaeology has been the provision of reliable chronologies that are independent of conventional calendrical or typological dating. This collaboration.Lewis Binford expressed the view that the development of 14 C-based chronologies was responsible for refocusing the attention of archaeologists . often with endless poorly digested specialist reports tucked into the back on microfiche or disk for ease of ignoring. . Rev. 1992. especially in Europe. 2007. .

org • A Bicycle Made for Two? 249 . A few laboratories can produce high precision dates. [A]ll that was needed was a couple of ounces of charcoal . This.Annu.36:245-259.annualreviews. Childe 1957) for the origins of European civilization. often savagely derogatory” (Taylor 2000. The cycles go something like this: Radiocarbon dates do not match calendrical dates—which is wrong? The discovery that the rate of radiocarbon production in the atmosphere is not constant means that some form of calibration is needed. . etc. p. uncontrolled guessing.e. uncalibrated dates are wrong.” The subsequent realization that radiocarbon dates required “calibrating” was taken by a minority as evidence of the complete futility of such an approach.) needs to be included in the by Middle East Technical University on 11/28/11. In some cases this might be useful. The outcome is usually a series of dates with a narrower age range than would otherwise be the case. . is unlikely to resolve an archaeological event to much better than a century within the later Holocene.. with a quoted counting error (one standard deviation. rather than being independent of it..” For example. Some archaeologists were even indignant that radiocarbon dating might replace “old-fashioned. This short and partial history of radiocarbon illustrates a number of points in relation to the integration of scientific methods into archaeology. This method involves the use of multiple linked radiocarbon dates (e. therefore. unless of the highest possible precision. The wheel has therefore turned www.. Downloaded from www.g.annualreviews. demonstrated the independence of European prehistory and refuted the diffusionist hypothesis of “ex oriente lux” (e. such as that provided by stratigraphy (layer A must be older than layer B. but it placated many ´ 1970) and was of the critics (e.). contrary to the initial expectation. This allows prior knowledge. Once calibrated. These mathematical models require input from some other information source. the prehistorian could hope to date his finds. 2). Ergo. it is highly unlikely that one date will define an event in the Holocene to better than a century. howls of protests. 2007. This is not a weakness—it is an immense strength. .g. and science would do the rest. The result of this realization was the fourth radiocarbon revolution [counting the advent of accelerator mass spectrometry methods as the third (Taylor 1997)]. which relies explicitly on the associated archaeological evidence. Single dates when calibrated have too high an error factor to enable them to answer the more refined questions being asked of chronologies as a result of the answers already provided by radiocarbon. therefore. 1996). .g. to be combined with the radiocarbon dates during calibration to constrain the resulting dates. at a stroke. The initial responses of archaeologists to the new methodology spanned the whole spectrum. Hence methods of combining dates must be derived. from uncritical adulation to absolute refusal to accept anything. and it also allows rogue dates to be identified and eliminated on a transparent and systematic basis. By the late 1980s it had become clear that a single radiocarbon date. 68% confidence) of ±20 years. both accurately and reliably. but increasingly it is not. Rev. Neustepny hailed as “the second radiocarbon revolution. Renfrew (1976. but most dates have errors ±30–40 years.. a series of dates from an archaeological sequence related to each other by stratigraphy) and the subsequent application of Bayesian methods during calibration (Buck et al. . which correspond to an uncalibrated “real” error range of more than 120 years. archaeological evidence (stratigraphy. Thirty years later. i. For personal use only. typology. p. Meanwhile the science moved on in the way that all sciences do: iteratively. Anthropol. by a method that made no archaeological assumptions whatever . etc. this optimistic view has been turned on its head. 53) proclaimed. calibrated dates being substantially earlier than uncalibrated dates during the fifth millennium bp provided evidence of the impossibility of contact between the Megalith builders of Atlantic Europe and the “civilised” world of the Myceneans and the Eastern Mediterranean (Renfrew 1970).

like a searchlight. one station might use X-rays to investigate the structure of proteins with a variety of specialized X-ray diffraction devices. New Instruments As an illustration of how the use of new analytical equipment is integrated with archaeological research. it also has disadvantages. Second. it emits an intense beam of electromagnetic 250 Pollard radiation in a narrow cone tangential to the electron beam. from gamma rays to infrared (Pollard et al. Thus. almost the extreme example of how new instrumentation needs to be integrated. the part of the electromagnetic spectrum needed for a particular experiment is selected. because the collection of data is so rapid. SR can be used for any of the analytical techniques that require electromagnetic radiation. At each station. Additionally because the beam can be collimated to a few microns. Because the machines need to be large (at Daresbury in the United Kingdom it is a circular tube of 96-m circumference) they are constructed as large national or multinational facilities. the machine is especially suitable for biomolecules. and what the results might mean. thus allowing direct measurement of the influence of such parameters on the sample structure. therefore. such as might be caused by microbial activity on archaeological bone. full circle. Anthropol. X-ray diffraction experiments carried out using a synchrotron source are usually described as SXRD and have the advantage that the X-ray beam is so intense that the sample need only be exposed to the beam for a few seconds (in contrast to the many hours required by conventional sources) so that the organization of fragile structures which might otherwise be damaged by X-rays can be determined. the synchrotron is a large piece of equipment that no archaeology lab is ever likely to own. Downloaded from www. and the station is provided with the specialist instruments. At each magnet. Rev. For example. 2007. Although the synchrotron has numerous advantages. 290). we consider the synchrotron. and therefore there is no simple instruction book about how to use it. and most countries have access arrangements through their Research Councils (or equivalent) to allow bona fide researchers free access for approved · Bray . spatial variation in crystallographic organization can be determined. what to use it for. SR is thus tapped off at each magnet and is fed into a large number of experimental stations (more than 30 at Daresbury). Furthermore. the sample can be observed in real-time while an external factor (such as temperature or relative humidity) is changed. After more than 50 years of iterative progress. we are now in a position to formulate better questions. to a process that uses all the available archaeological evidence to produce the highest possible chronological resolution. The beam is constrained within the storage ring by a number of bending magnets (16 at Daresbury). Thus. like the cycles before. It is. it can have multiple uses. because the electron beam is deflected (accelerated). from a dating technique lauded because of its independence of the archaeological evidence. For personal use only. principally in Europe and North America. the most obvious being the cost of the instrument and the consequent high cost of access. whereas another will use UV light for the spectroscopic investigation of atoms or by Middle East Technical University on 11/28/11. weave more lines of evidence into its arguments and aid the process of integration across archaeology. Thus synchrotron radiation (SR) is increasingly used as an energy source for a wide range of analytical techniques. A synchrotron is a single (but very large) instrument capable of producing extremely intense (several orders of magnitude more intense than conventional sources) and highly focused (a few tens of microns) beams of radiation covering the whole frequency range of the electromagnetic spectrum. 2007. p. A handful of such instruments exist. detectors.36:245-259. so access to it is of necessity limited. and computers needed to carry out that experiment. which cannot yet be answered with existing techniques. There are a number of reasons for this: First.annualreviews.Annu. The next interaction of research will.

therefore. 2001. . 180). Rev. Synchrotron applications in archaeology actually began as early as 1986 (Harbottle et al. not to explore what could not yet be done. 1986. as a result of diagenetic and microbial attack (Wess et al. 116). The first substantial use of SR for non-SXRF work was not until 1997. when X-ray microdiffraction was done on metals (Dillmann et al. An example might be in microanalysis with high spatial resolution. scanning applications . where synchrotron techniques are an option. Janssens et al. growth has been exponential and totaled ∼55 papers in 2006. Another might be in heat-sensitive samples such as proteins. The uses of SR in archaeology have been subsequently documented on a dedicated Web site at Daresbury (http://www. The takeup of SR was not as rapid as was predicted by Harbottle et al. 1989). 116). 1990). . dental calculus (Capasso et al. 1997). It was not until 2000 that applications were developed that truly used the synchrotron to make observations that were difficult if not impossible to make using conventional sources: for example. using primarily the high intensity and small focus to do what could in principle be done by other instruments—for instance. and all samples have to be ready to analyze at whatever time this might be. p. For personal use only. most applications were essentially using SR to do something that could be done just as effectively with a conventional source. because of the high intensity of the source. but for others. where the synchrotron can carry out very rapid analyses. which is a huge delay in the fast-moving world of analytical science.Annu. and element speciation on a micro scale. and bone ( Janssens et al. For the first 15 years. Anthropol. 1995. These applications are all replacements for what was at the time existing technology. 2000). 1996).36:245-259. ink and paper (Mommsen et al. 1995). the first use of a new instrument in archaeology was to replace what could already be done. Most of these early applications used SXRF microanalysis on a variety of materials. sensitive bulk analyses of materials such as ceramic and stone. SAXS (amall angle X-ray scattering) to study the alterations of shape and size of bone mineral crystals. This pioneering paper observed that SR was suitable for very fast. the next substantial paper on SR of archaeological materials was again SXRF on a number of Gaulish coins from Brittany (Brissaud et al.annualreviews. Hiller & Wess 2006). by Middle East Technical University on 11/28/11. 2007. including glass (Schofield et al. Perhaps inevitably. The number of published SR applications in archaeology did not rise above the level of one or two per year until 1996—ten years after the original observation that SR had something to offer. . where only the synchrotron can provide sufficient beam intensity on a small enough scale to carry out the analysis. .org • A Bicycle Made for Two? 251 . 1998). the intensity of the beamline often means that huge amounts of data can be collected in a short time. Since 1996. 1996). Many www. .srs. Although it may take several months to schedule a particular experiment into the required station. but also because it is imperative to have good quantitative measures of condition when using the chemistry of bone for isotopic reconstruction of human diet and mobility (Pollard et al. but not a necessity. p. before a sample has time to alter.annualreviews. spot (microprobe) analytical capability .—apart from a brief report on the comparative analysis of “old coins and potteries” (Brissaud et al. 2007. 2007. This work is significant not only because it helps elucidate the mechanisms of bone degradation and survival. 2001). experiments. wood (Kuczumow et al. synchrotron sources provide the only possibility of carrying out some types of analysis. and Egyptian cosmetics (Martinetto et al. This evidence shows that it took ∼15 years for scientists and archaeologists to identify applications of SR that genuinely use the tool’s potential to answer questions of real archaeological For some types of work. there is an obvious costbenefit analysis to be evaluated. air-path nondestructive analysis of inorganic artifacts could equally be done by PIXE (protoninduced X-ray emission: Pollard et al. Downloaded from www.

This level of participation clearly shows what can be achieved with the focus of an agreed objective. p.000 bp. along with affordability (Linford 2006. without the focus of a central question. identify. palaeomagnetism. Downloaded from www. (2005) reports flint artifacts from the Cromer ForestBed Formation at Pakefield. Rev. simply used archaeological material as examples of unusual samples for analysis.36:245-259. 2007. but. but this article’s focus is not to discuss such matters because funding issues are often country specific and time dependent. In fact. and archaeological illustration and recording. To recover. The relative lack of success until ∼2000 is a clear indication of the lack of communication between the two fields and shows that. the SR scientific community has courted the archaeological and cultural heritage field very heavily over the past 20 years partly. we can anticipate a fruitful period of the application of SR techniques in archaeology. contours were significant and did represent some form of archaeological reality. despite the best endeavors of both sides. Parfitt et al.000 years into seven sections. Hardware not only enabled the practice of complex geophysics in the field but also persuaded the consumer in the museum or university of the inherent value and utility of the method. For personal use only. United Kingdom. amino acid geochronology. funding also has catalytic properties. However. as a deliberate attempt to broaden the field of application of SR into the politically sexy area of cultural heritage. each of which had a short list of key questions. one suspects. little of value is achieved. A publication from this project clearly demonstrates the way that science and archaeology can and should mesh seamlessly in modern research. artifact analysis. 252 Pollard The Ancient Human Occupation of Britain Project 1 (AHOB 1) has recently shown the power of this simple proposition. By splitting the past 700. the ability to be broadly aware of the capabilities and limitations of other specialisms enables the communication that makes such complex work Annu. particularly in the early years. A clear example of this is the impact of affordable computing and visual display systems on archaeological geophysics. without the genuine dialogue provided by good science in partnership with meaningful questions. date. coleoptera. from a genuine conviction that SR has something to offer. The funding of interdisciplinary research projects presents a number of wellknown challenges to researchers and funding bodies alike. Now that this communication has begun. but also. geology. 2006. and perhaps somewhat subjective. New Archaeological Questions Integration cannot happen in the abstract. · Bray . A major limiting factor on the field’s development was the need for an “almost impossible” combination of powerful microprocessors and portability. plant macrofossils. Project management and editing must also be added to this list. simply to illustrate the power of the technique. Suffolk. Anthropol.annualreviews. mammalian fauna.of these applications. by Middle East Technical University on 11/28/11. assuredly. Stringer 2006). These artifacts are the earliest unequivocal evidence for human occupation north of the Alps and are dated to ∼700. The existence of such a question acts as one catalyst. and put this evidence into a wider archaeological context participation was required of experts in excavation. perhaps more significantly. sediment geochemistry. foraminifera. the Palaeolithic. The interesting question is how could this process have been sped up? It is not just a multi-million-pound piece of hardware that can radically alter the relationship of science and the past. This project has led to more than 150 scientific papers and gathered together ∼30 senior academics from seven institutions and obviously dozens more participants from around the world. 2210). The development of computer displays and illustration equipment and software was a powerful factor in convincing archaeologists that formerly hand-drawn. No single investigator could possibly understand completely all the literature cited in this one paper. the AHOB 1 project brought together an impressive range of archaeologists and scientists (Ashton et al.

and they have power and influence over our daily lives (Appadurai 1986. toward them being active agents within society.annualreviews. instead it is more a move to a balance where the inherent physical and chemical properties of materials and their geographical distribution also have an active impact on human culture. Innovative questions do not just occur within a managed set of funded researchers or around the side of a trench on a key site. For personal use only. 2210). 170): No object. there were clear distinctions between people and things. incidentally. has being or movement in human society except by the significance men can give it. and the resulting discussion in Archaeometry volume 47. Killick & Young 1997. Of course.annualreviews. and things have begun to be blurred in the work of Bourdieu (1977. Now. and life history of archaeological artifacts is often the specialism of the archaeological scientist. That the division between laboratory science and philosophy is becoming increasingly blurred owing to the posing of new questions is one of the most exciting developments in archaeology over the past few years and. no thing. p. successfully counters one of the major criticisms of science in archaeology: that our knowledge of ancient technology has developed in a social theory vacuum. structures. This maturation of taught scientific archaeology greatly aids integration with archaeological interpretation. Anthropol. Gell 1998). p. which were more “specifically human. people and objects are indivisibly linked and create each other. Programs highlighted by Killick and Young (1997) from the Universities of Bradford and Sheffield in the United Kingdom are now long established in teaching practical scientific applications to archaeological problems. Education The education of the next generation of archaeologists is a key arena in which science and archaeology can and should be brought together (Pollard 1995. Therefore. away from seeing objects as the inert solutions to human problems. Hawkes (1954. Rev. Gardner 2004. a series of theoretical shifts have occurred. p. and anthropology. to which archaeology has successfully begun to adapt (important reviews include DeMarrias et al. Former students of these courses have gone on to establish commercial archaeology units and teach in many academic settings. issue 1. and things interact have begun to affect the research designs of archaeological scientists. 1990) and Giddens (1979. Scientific archaeology education was often available only through dedicated “evangelists” in university science departments. Needham 2005). we are beginning to see fascinating collaborations between theorists and scientists to explore the place of objects and things in society (Cooney 2002. provenance. Dobres & Robb 2005).org by Middle East Technical University on 11/28/11. determining and exploring the properties. Old divisions between people. one of the most important future directions of archaeological science has been heavily influenced by literature originating within sociology. at least in the United Kingdom. Downloaded from www. Essentially a sustained shift has recently occurred. Formerly within archaeological thought. technology. and it was certainly only the humans that were active (Sahlins 1976. We argue that this illustrates the role played by one or more multilingual translators in research projects.36:245-259. In fact. most archaeological science is practiced and taught www. Similarly scholars now argue that objects are active agents within human societies. In this philosophy. 1984). This is not a move toward a material determinism. These areas have a long history of investigating objects and their relationships with human beings. 162) was comfortable splitting the technological sphere of life away from religion and social life. • A Bicycle Made for Two? 253 In this scheme. Hosler 1993). art analysis. Jones 2004. Radical reevaluations of how people.Annu.” However. . Miller 1994. 2007. for example Arnold Aspinall’s pioneering work in Bradford’s Department of Physics (Linford 2006. possible.

The first is the parachutist. at the highest intellectual level. If teaching is centered on clear mutual problems. Anthropol. s/he adopts the methodology by either collaborating with someone already in the field (which is frankly rare) or acquiring the relevant technology and applying it themselves. The main concern is to generate an “awareness of the broadscape” (Needham 2005. they are genuinely trying to be helpful. scientific applications within archaeology are a coherent subject with particular concerns and techniques. 2007. show some variation in the way that the integration of scientific methods into archaeology has happened. and wish to apply this technique to the exciting world of archaeology. the reader is likely to recognize both scenarios. which is how to create a flow of discussions and collaborations between specialists. archaeologists must aim to become intelligent consumers for a wide range of other disciplines. when one is arguing for resources in an institution or with a funding body.within archaeology departments. Education is central to allowing experts to actually realize that they can work together on archaeological problems. At the very least. 193). however. A leading thinker in the development of material science within archaeology. but it betrays a lack of consensus about what are the major current questions in archaeology. In this scenario. Although they are fictitious and overemphasized for effect. an archaeologist learns of an analytical technique developed in another branch of science which might have relevance for his or her research. the teaching of scientific themes to archaeologists of all flavors is in fact essential (Pollard 1995. Archaeology. As mentioned above. this may be fascinating to the few people who have ever studied this material. Downloaded from www.annualreviews. often from the very best of motives. The answer can sometimes reveal one of the fundamental flaws (and delights!) of archaeology— the myopic obsession with detail: the pottery of a small corner of an obscure place in the period xx20 to xx50. They can often be seen on the margins of conferences asking for some samples to analyze. rather than generating confusion or creating ineffectual jacks-of-all-trades. ix): One cannot hope to understand the nature of interaction between impinging areas without a firm knowledge of at least one of Annu. Killick & Young 1997). p. Arguably. them . Two parodies can be put forward to illustrate how archaeology and science should not interact. with the associated security and continuity this provides. p. art history. True. 254 Pollard but all have eventually become successful and fruitful. scientists attempt. . and they will ask their local archaeological guru what might be a good project to address. Often they are the purveyors of a single analytical technique. The second parody might be termed the blind leading the blind. drawn from very different areas of archaeology. Rev. but politically speaking. the mark of a mature academic discipline is that it is possible to specify collectively what are the most important questions to be resolved in the next five years. or heritage science. Here. the lack of coherence is perceived as a weakness. . to apply their expertise within archaeology. has not yet achieved this and shows little ambition to do so. Enthused. science and archaeology are not separate blocs of thought that need to be forced together. We argue that attitudes within archaeology have changed dramatically and Smith was being overly cautious about the dangers of this type of education. Often. Interdisciplinary activity is as dangerous for the undergraduate as it is essential for the professional in any field. warned of the dangers of attempting to integrate undergraduate teaching (Smith 1981. . This phrase sums up one of our main concerns.36:245-259. For personal use only. This somewhat anarchic approach to life is one of archaeology’s many attractions. Cyril Stanley by Middle East Technical University on 11/28/11. Although this is often a very fruitful · Bray . WHAT CAUSES DIFFICULTIES IN BRINGING US TOGETHER? The examples above. Instead.

Archaeological training must touch on a wide range of other disciplines because without this there is no common language. This is simple academic arrogance. The end result can be the publication of material that is scientifically unsound. although a subject of endless fascination to the general public. constraints or pitfalls of the original. or whatever specialist is concerned (and. This attitude is not the basis for an equal partnership. For personal use only. Archaeology. Downloaded from www. but mutual academic respect.. Rev. The issue of training is important because training unlocks the linguistic key to genuine collaboration and allows us to capitalize fully on new developments elsewhere in the sciences and humanities. in some cases. HOW MIGHT THESE BE AVOIDED? RIDING THE BICYCLE MADE FOR TWO Despite the familiarity of the models described above. Nor is it solely about excavation— this is the data-recovery phase of archaeological research (important though this is because the data include contextual evidence crucial to interpretation). This problem is compounded by either the unwillingness of scientific specialists to review applications in archaeology (“not my field. which is a sine qua non. One is a common goal (which in this case is an agreed question). This research consequently becomes isolated and. vice versa). the problem is that. . Clearly this was an aspect that had been lost sight of in the welter of technical detail. approach and is one means by which the much-encouraged interdisciplinary research can develop. largely by radiocarbon specialists. either deliberately or unwittingly.annualreviews. even within academia. A number of archaeological journals are keen.Annu. . p. The problem of development in isolation from the parent discipline is compounded by the limitations of current publishing mechanisms. at least some boundaries were crossed. The issue is the number of people available within archaeology to critically evaluate a new scientific application. in applying an exogenous technique. And this is the key: the iterative process of dialogue has been started. to publish scientific developments or applications.” “too • A Bicycle Made for Two? 255 . This might be an overambitious aim. and the third. the technical difficulties associated with obtaining high-quality radiocarbon dates for archaeological research were being discussed at length. It is not about things—these are merely sources of evidence. . 17) “concerned with the full range of past human experience. A common myth among scientists is that it is easier to teach a chemist or physicist enough archaeology to understand the issues than it is to teach an archaeologist to understand chemistry or physics. Most collaborations falter at the first step if the archaeologist cannot frame his or her question in the language familiar to the microbiologist. “Archaeology is difficult. quite rightly. secondly a shared language. It is.” and this of necessity makes it an infinitely complex and fascinating subject. mutual respect—not simply personal respect. The bicycle made for two will not go in a straight line under these circumstances. Anthropol. and a handful of specialist scientific journals are published within archaeology. . it may be pushed beyond the realistic capabilities of the method. one of critical mass. resulting in the propagation and perpetuation of unsound or low-quality scientific work in archaeology: the bandwagon effect. a patient but obviously irritated senior archaeologist stood up and said. is a widely misunderstood academic discipline. There are three fundamental keys to successfully riding the bicycle. Can a student www. and eventually a useful piece of research may emerge. of course. At a meeting on scientific dating in the British Museum some time ago. nonsensical. the archaeologist may be unfamiliar with the limitations. too!” Stunned silence descended. 2007. After some hours of intricate technical discussion. In short. but which has not been caught by the peer review system. as pointed out by Renfrew and Bahn (1996.36:245-259.annualreviews. however by Middle East Technical University on 11/28/11.”) or the lack of awareness of these people of the problems in analyzing and interpreting archaeological material.

it is possible. 1958. Of course. I: The Water Newton survey. 21:421–24 Bourdieu P. Synchrotron radiation microprobe analysis of human dental calculi from an archaeological site: new possible perspective on paleonutrition studies. Lewis SG. This training allows debate to occur at a meaningful level. is yes. agreement on objectives will hopefully arise and excellent papers will become classics. Integration cannot be defined just by the quantity of joint papers: It comprises discussion. Nature 152:23–24 256 Pollard · Bray . J. 1989. Synchrotron radiation induced X-ray fluorescence at LURE. Tuniz C.Annu. B49:305–8 Buck CE. Not. Downloaded from www. UK: Cambridge Univ. Di Tota G. Frontier JP. 2005. Int. UK: Wiley Capasso DJT. It is the process of actually doing archaeology that most realistically achieves the integration of formerly separated experts. LITERATURE CITED Aitken MJ. Rev. conferences. Archaeometry 1:24–26 Appadurai A. Magnetic prospecting. whether over coffee. It used to be argued. in a muddy trench. Chem. Wang JX. 2007. 1897. The Social Life of Things. R Nice. Chichester. 1943. obviously. 1928–2006. 131:399–413 Brissaud I. Dardenne C. The trick is to become competent at the elements of both geology and chemistry that are relevant to the interdisciplinary field. UK: Cambridge Univ.annualreviews. A tribute to John J Wymer. 1995. Anthropol. Press Bourdieu P. Res. Nuclear Instrum. The Bayesian Approach to Interpreting Archaeological Data. Methods Phys. J. Cambridge. Press Ashton N. Capasso L. Introduction: The Palaeolithic occupation of Europe. 1986. For personal use only. Quat. J. Jones KW. Nucl. and one of the prime requirements of a student who chooses to follow this path is a keen sense of self-criticism and the ability to recognize the limits of one’s own knowledge. 1990. Pollard AM. Chevallier P. meetings. 1977. Litton CD. J. of archaeology with little if any formal training in the sciences really become a competent analytical scientist? In our by Middle East Technical University on 11/28/11. or around a new expensive analytical machine. in a university seminar. Outline of a Theory of Practice. The method of multiple working hypotheses. it is the debate that captures the past. 1990. Chevallier P. but it is the bringing together of people. UK: Polity Press Bray PJ. that nobody could seriously learn enough geology and chemistry to become a geochemist. Archaeology as a science. Sci. Archaeometry 47:175–78 Brissaud I. et al. in the same sense as one who has had years of formal training through the conventional route. transl. Osteoarchaeol. Cambridge. From this. 5:837–48 Childe VG. As we have argued elsewhere (Bray & Pollard 2005). ed. that is crucial. a little learning can be a dangerous thing. transl. Communication over a carefully defined question is the key. 5:282–88 Chamberlin TC. 2006. The Logic of Practice. and yet this is now a totally accepted area of specialism. Cambridge. The underpinnings and consequences of the materiality approach— a comment on Jones 2004. overwhelmingly.36:245-259. Geol. the answer. for example. Deschamps N. But. synchrotron radiation X-ray fluorescence and neutron activation analysis. Analysis of Gaulish coins by proton induced X-ray emission. Cavanagh WG. by hard work and targeted learning. Stringer C. The same must be true of the archaeological sciences. some can. DISCLOSURE STATEMENT The authors are not aware of any biases that might be perceived as affecting the objectivity of this review. R Nice. Radioanal. 1996. and negotiation.

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annualreviews. Nelson p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p 191 Geometric Morphometrics Dennis E.36:245-259. Anthropol. Rev.Annual Review of Anthropology Contents Annu. Mark Pollard and Peter Bray p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p 245 Biological Anthropology Evolutionary Medicine Wenda R. Volume 36. Trevathan p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p 139 Genomic Comparisons of Humans and Chimpanzees Ajit Varki and David by Middle East Technical University on 11/28/11. 2007. Slice p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p 261 Genetic Basis of Physical Fitness Hugh Montgomery and Latif Safari p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p 391 Linguistics and Communicative Practices Sociophonetics Jennifer Hay and Katie Drager p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p 89 vii . 2007 Prefatory Chapter Overview: Sixty Years in Anthropology Fredrik Barth p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p 1 Archaeology The Archaeology of Religious Ritual Lars Fogelin p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p 55 Çatalhöyük in the Context of the Middle Eastern Neolithic Ian Hodder p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p 105 The Archaeology of Sudan and Nubia David N. For personal use only. Downloaded from www. Edwards p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p 211 A Bicycle Made for Two? The Integration of Scientific Techniques into Archaeological Interpretation A.

Paul Durrenberger p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p 73 Embattled Ranchers. Sheridan p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p 121 Anthropology and Militarism Hugh Gusterson p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p 155 The Ecologically Noble Savage Debate Raymond Hames p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p 177 The Genetic Reinscription of Race Nadia Abu El-Haj p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p 283 Community Forestry in Theory and Practice: Where Are We Now? Susan Charnley and Melissa R.shtml viii Contents .org by Middle East Technical University on 11/28/11. 2007. Downloaded from www. Gender and Technology Francesca Bray p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p 37 The Anthropology of Organized Labor in the United States E. For personal use only. Rev.36:245-259. and Urban Sprawl: The Political Ecology of the New American West Thomas E. Volumes 28–36 p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p 407 Cumulative Index of Chapter Titles.Comparative Studies in Conversation Analysis Jack Sidnell p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p 229 Semiotic Anthropology Elizabeth Mertz p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p 337 Sociocultural Anthropology Queer Studies in the House of Anthropology Tom Boellstorff p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p 17 Annu. Poe p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p 301 Legacies of Derrida: Anthropology Rosalind C. Volumes 28–36 p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p 410 Errata An online log of corrections to Annual Review of Anthropology articles may be found at http://anthro.annualreviews. Endangered Species. Morris p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p p 355 Indexes Cumulative Index of Contributing Authors.annualreviews.

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