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3.4: Activity 3 - Research of “Middle Range-” Additional Processual Approaches

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    74765
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    Jess Whalen, Mt. San Jacinto College

    The middle range theory is categorized as a processual approach. It offers additional options for investigating the past that fall somewhere between high-level theorizing about how cultures work and low-level documenting of cultural history. It was developed as a reaction to research that involved strictly scientific models constructed by academics or focused solely on scientific testing (which tends to be expensive). Examples of middle range research include experimental archaeology and ethnoarchaeology.

    Experimental archaeology Conducting experiments to replicate past conditions and events and using the results to interpret archaeological remains.
    Ethnoarchaeology A subfield of archaeology that involves observing contemporary people to better understand the archaeological record.
    Ethnographic analogy Interpreting the archaeological record based on similarities observed in ethnographically described cultures.

    Your instructor will provide you with an artifact to consider for this assignment. Select one of the preceding strategies to analyze the artifact.

    Answer the following questions.

    1. How would you study the artifact using your chosen strategy?
    2. What do you think you might find?
    3. Speculate about what the potential results could mean and what they could tell you about the object and the people who used it.