Paintings & Photography

A retrospective review of Richard A. Gould (1980) Living archaeology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Three components provide the structure for Richard Gould’s book Living Archaeology. The first is the original research into the cultural ecology and behaviour of Aboriginal groups living in the Australian desert that Gould reports. This section also
of 18
All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.
Related Documents
  203 ERT UOAYDFKGHJLZIC V N  Ethnoarchaeology, Vol. 3, No. 2 (Fall 2011), pp. 203–220.Copyright © 2011 Let Coast Press, Inc. All rights reserved. A Retrospective Review of Richard A. Gould’s  Living Archaeology. 1980 (Re-issued 2009). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 288 pp. $42.00 (paper), ISBN-10: 0521299594.Reviewed by  Simon J. Holdaway and Harry Allen, Te University o Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, and components provide the structure or Richard Gould’s book  Living Archaeology. Te rst component presents his srcinal re-search into the cultural ecology and behaviour o Absrcinal groupsliving in the Australian desert. Tis section also includes inorma-tion on Gould’s excavations at Puntutjarpa rock shelter located in theWestern Desert and the James Range East shelter in the Central Des-ert. Te second component o the book presents Australian ethnohis-torical and archaeological research, which provides a continent-widecontext or Gould’s work. Finally, there are a number o connectingchapters and sections that advance Gould’s theoretical argumentsconcerning the nature o the archaeological record and how ethno-graphic observations by archaeologists assist its interpretation. In thisretrospective, we consider rst his motivations or undertaking eth-noarchaeological work, then his theoretical position, and nally hiscontribution to Australian archaeology. Ethnoarchaeology  Richard Gould and Richard Lee were contemporaries in the doctoralprogramme at UC Berkeley (Gould [1965] 1966, Lee 1965) and thereis every indication that Gould shared in the excitement generated by the Kalahari ethnoarchaeological project. A year later, Richard Gouldarrived at Warburton Mission in Western Australia to begin his ownethnoarchaeological study among the people o the Western Desert.Between 1967 and 1998, Richard Gould published some 37 articlesand ve books or monographs on his Australian research.  Living  Archaeology reproduces work covered in some o the earlier stud-ies up to and including 1977 and presents these within a connectingnarrative.   204 Classics Review Gould’s research occurred at a time when ethnoarchaeological study wasat a popular highpoint. In addition to Lee’s (1979) and Yellen’s (1977) work withKalahari !Kung, studies were being carried out by Rhys Jones and Betty Meehan(Meehan 1982, Meehan and Jones 1981) and Nicholas Peterson (1971,1976) inArnhem Land, Brian Hayden, also in the Western Desert (1979), Lewis Binordamong Alaskan Inuit (1977), P. Bion Grin in the Philippines (Grin and Es-tioko-Grin 1985), and J. Peter White in Highland New Guinea (1967, 1969).Gould was part o a wave o researchers who conducted research at a time whenthe uniormitarian assumptions that had underpinned earlier studies and archae-ological inerence in general based on the use o analogy were being questioned.Gould, or instance, criticises Wilmsen’s (1970) statement that “Archaeologistsmust assume that, other things being equal, those processes which structure theethnographic record have also structured the archaeological record”. His dis-missal o this principle, however, let the nature o the relationship between pastand present behaviour and the archaeological record unspecied, somethingthat Schier (1972:163) identied as “the central problem o archaeological in-erence”.  Living Archaeology is Richard Gould’s attempt to provide a comprehen-sive solution to this problem, one that avoids the use o analogy and thereby dealswith the ‘second generation’ critiques o ethnoarchaeology (1980:36).Gould’s solution to the problem posed by analogy was to argue by anomaly.However, anomaly as Gould presented it was not a straightorward concept; itrequired dissonance between ethnographic, archaeological or ecological obser- vations and currently accepted laws, generalisations or regularities (1980:161-2).Laws o this orm were important to Gould because they dened ethnoarchae-ology as a science, one that was capable o generating non-trivial explanatory rameworks (Watson 1976). Like Lee (1979) working in the Kalahari, Goulddenied that his ethnographic observations related only to the particulars o theWestern Desert situation; the regularities and anomalies he was exploring wereintended to have general applicability to archaeological studies o hunter gather-ers in particular and archaeological inerence in general.Richard Gould was writing at a time o considerable turmoil within the dis-cipline o archaeology. Lewis Binord, during the 1970s, grappled with similarproblems as Gould concerning site ormation. However, Binord’s solution to therelationship between the static archaeological record and dynamic o behaviourwas to develop middle-range theory or archaeology (Binord 1977). Schier    Classics Review 205 (1972, 1985) wrote about site ormation processes speciying the types o pro-cesses that aected particular orms o material culture. It was also during thisperiod that the classic studies o archaeological taphonomy were beginning to bepublished (e.g., Brain 1981, Hill 1979).Gould was well aware that many o the events that he observed ethnographi-cally would be hard to iner rom the archaeological record, but in championinganomaly as the solution to the relationship between the archaeological and eth-nographic records Gould adopted a dierent approach rom both Binord andSchier. Anomaly as Gould used it was an early orm o reutation (Cameron1993:48). As applied in  Living Archaeology, an anomaly was a variation rom theexpected, one that could not be explained in utilitarian terms since it contrastedwith the operation o general laws (1980:215). Te analogy Gould drew to il-lustrate anomaly was the discovery o Pluto by Pickering and Lowell based on adeviation in the orbit o Uranus (1980:139). Because an anomaly contrasted witha utilitarian explanation, it opened the door to explanations based on social orideational mechanisms (1980:215, 228). Below, we discuss one example o theanomaly related to raw materials or stone arteacts.Gould’s discussion o meat sharing published as part o the debate on anal-ogy with Watson provides insight into the dierences between his position andthat o Binord. Gould claimed,Whatever variability in Nunnmiut meat use and aunal residues occursis seen by Binord as arising rom human adaptive behavior in relation todierences in situational and circumstantial actors under which animalproducts were procured, transported, stored, consumed, and ultimately discarded, rather than being due to mental templates or any other kind o normative cultural category shared by these Eskimos. (Gould and Watson1982: 366)Gould then went on to describe how Western Desert Absrcines were observedto divide kangaroo into the same nine portions no matter what the setting inwhich the kill was made. For Gould, this indicated the operation o normativecultural principles that could be determined in addition to the adaptive systemthat interested Binord. Seen in historical perspective, Gould was grappling withissues that were to become the basis or the post-processual critique that beganshortly ater  Living Archaeology was published.   206 Classics Review Social and Ideational Explanations In writing  Living Archaeology, Gould at times adopted a colloquial terminology such as his use o the term ‘righteous rocks’ to describe the movement o adzesrom distant sources into the Warburton Ranges, where he excavated the siteo Puntujarpa. Righteous was used in a religious or moral sense, when exoticstone materials were interpreted as indicating long distance social networks inthe Western Desert in which the rocks took their value, not in utilitarian terms,but through their association with mythological cult centres (1980:154-5).At the site o Puntujarpa, Gould reported how a small proportion o thefaked adzes ound were manuactured rom cherts and chrysoprase (a orm o chalcedony) exotic to the region. Experiments undertaken to manuacture anduse adzes (Bronstein in Gould 1977; Gould and Saggers 1985) demonstratedthat the cutting edge o exotic cherts was much less ecient than that o theadzes manuactured rom the locally abundant white chert. Gould used this asan example o an anomaly, since the use o an inecient material rom a distantsource was inexplicable based on utilitarian criteria alone. Te explanation heproposed was that the less than optimal chert was obtained via the operation o extended social networks that were themselves adaptations or dealing with therisk o resource ailure in an arid environment. As was well documented in theethnographic literature, Absrcinal people were able to call upon an extendedkin network allowing access to land and resources distributed over very largeregions. Tis system might be used during times o localised drought permittinggroups to move to new, more productive areas. According to Gould, the exotic,inecient stone arteacts were ‘righteous’ because their presence symbolised theextended social relationships, which gave their owners access to distant stonesources controlled by others. Tey were thereore better explained by ideologicaland symbolic aspects o behaviour than by practical ones (1980:158), hence the justication or use o the religious connotations o the term ‘righteous’. Cultural Ecology and Stone Artefacts ‘Righteous rocks’ illustrates how Gould interpreted both the ethnographic ob-servations he made and the results o his archaeological analyses using culturalecology and the concept o risk. In his view, technological, economic and so-cial behaviour might be interpreted as “responding to and interacting with otherecological variables” in an environment where resource variability was high due    Classics Review 207 to cycles o drought and food (1980:87). As illustrated by his discussion o ex-change relationships with distant peoples, one o the key adaptations that Ab-srcinal people used to mitigate the risk this variability imposed was mobility.Tree aspects o Absrcinal technology suggested adaptations to mobility.First, Absrcinal people possessed tools suitable or a variety o purposes, onesthat were light in weight and thereore easy to carry. Gould suggested that thewooden spear thrower with its gum hated stone adze tip was a good examplesince it could be used or a multiplicity o tasks including using the hated stoneto work hardwoods into useul tools such as spears. Second, there were sometools that were not easy to transport but might be let behind to be used repeat-edly when the same locations was revisited. Grinding slabs and stones typically used or processing grass seed were good examples since these arteacts mightweigh upward o 5kg. Finally, there was a category that Gould described as in-stant tools, an example being a naturally sharp piece o rock used to butcher akangaroo. Tese arteacts were manuactured and discarded at the place wherethey were used and on many occasions ar rom habitations sites.In some parts o Australia stone is abundant, ound in the orm o cobbles instony deserts (stone pavements) reerred to as gibbers. Specic outcrops o stoneare common in some places but much more restricted in others. Gould reerredto the outcrops o stone as “localised” sources and the widespread stone sourcesas “non-localised”. Where available, Aboriginal people made considerable use o non-localised sources, more so than stone quarried rom outcrops. Gould’s ob-servation was that Absrcinal people would carry stone no urther than 32kmand that in general obtaining stone in this way was a laborious process resultingin the transport o fakes and small cores. He also described abundant evidenceor faking at localised sources, where cores were oten large in size and many “waste” fakes were produced or each usable piece.Materials rom dierent sources were used to manuacture dierent typeso arteacts such as adzes; wide, relatively thick fakes retouched at their distalend (reerred to as tula–Holdaway and Stern 2004:253). Tese were usually maderom localised stone sources, although Gould commented that non-localised ma-terial might be used on occasion when more suitable material was not at hand.As discussed above, Gould also observed how some adzes were manuacturedrom white chert, a material ound rom distant localised sources, apparently beyond the 32km portability limit and used even when the edge holding quality o the raw material was variable.
Similar documents
View more...
Related Search
We Need Your Support
Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our free products and services. We are nonprofit website to share and download documents. To the running of this website, we need your help to support us.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

No, Thanks