What Archaeologists Want To Know

  • T. Douglas Price
  • James H. Burton


This chapter focuses on the research questions that lie at the heart of archaeology and archaeological chemistry. The questions we ask – what we want to know – determine where and how we look for answers. Archaeologists want to know about people in the past – what our ancestors were like, how they lived, what they ate, what sort of environment they inhabited, what kinds of things they did, their relationships with other people, religious beliefs and ceremonies, and more. These are really just who, what, where, when, and why questions about the past.


Human Society Archaeological Site Settlement Pattern Archaeological Record Political Organization 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Suggested Readings

  1. Gould, Richard A., and Michael Schiffer. 1981. Modern Material Culture: The Archaeology of Us. New York City: Academic PressGoogle Scholar
  2. Kelly, Robert, and David Hurst Thomas. 2009. Archaeology. Belmont CA: Wadsworth Publishing.Google Scholar
  3. Kipfer, Barbara Ann. 2007. The Archaeologist’s Fieldwork. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.Google Scholar
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  6. Price, T. Douglas. 2008. Principles of Archaeology. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
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  9. Sharer, Robert, and Wendy Ashmore. 2010. Archaeology: Discovering Our Past. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  10. Mark, Q. Sutton, Robert M. Yohe. 2007. Archaeology: The Science of the Human Past. London: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory for Archaeological ChemistryUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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