What is archaeological cultural dating
Culture-historical reconstructions were declared to be pseudo explanatory frameworks and definition of traits though useful for placing past societies in the basic framework of time and space could not be the declared end-products of archaeological research.
CULTURAL CHRONOLOGIES were simply the beginning, serving as useful classificatory frameworks, in which more compelling questions of adaptation and CULTURAL CHANGE could be MODELED and addressed (cf. The archaeological record was seen as archaeology's laboratory for studying HUMAN BEHAVIOR over the long expanse of time.
The first archaeologists were avocational explorers, diggers, and speculators. Others were driven by the desire to make money off of exotic treasures. Archaeologists were active fieldworkers, certainly better than theorizing anthropologists permanently glued to armchairs in upper class Victorian sitting rooms, but they were destructive collectors who intended to amass neat objects for display in museums.
Proponents asserted that archaeology was uniquely suited to establish patterns in how humans chose to adapt to their physical environments, and that archaeologists would contribute to knowledge of human behavior by identifying UNIVERSALS that would address behavior in terms of past-present-future.
Elaborate strategies were designed for classification of things.
Complete descriptions were the goal, and archaeology became more and more systematic, as well as more and more scientific in view and approach.
People use things to encode and inculcate behavior, to express values and feelings, as well as to extract energy and meet nutritional requirements.
Archaeologists expect to be able to find out a great deal about past societies through careful systematic analyses of the objects those societies created. Many objects are perishable, and they simply are not preserved in archaeological sites.