Processual Archaeology and Art Studies

  • Mara Basile
Living reference work entry

Introduction and Definition

As a reaction to traditional normative approaches and as a product of a specific sociopolitical context – the heyday of modernity (Criado 2012) – processual archeology posited itself as the necessary change toward more rigorous and sophisticated analytical methods. This epistemological reorientation entailed drastic changes. The normative definition of culture, perhaps systematized by the processual archaeologists themselves (Lyman and O’Brien 2004), was substituted by a functional definition treating cultures (i) as vast information systems, made up of several functionally integrated subsystems, and (ii) as an extrasomatic means of adaptation to the environment. Therefore, culture involved practice and had adaptive functions to deal with the restrictions of their ecological contexts (see the entry on “Archaeology of Art: Theoretical Frameworks” in this encyclopedia).

In this new scenario, the focus of archaeological research was the cultural process and the...

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Further Readings

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de las Culturas (IDECU)Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA), Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)Buenos AiresArgentina

Section editors and affiliations

  • Inés Domingo Sanz
    • 1
  • Danae Fiore
    • 2
  1. 1.Departament de Prehistòria, Història Antiga i ArqueologiaICREA/Universitat de Barcelona/SERPBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2."CONICET - AIA - UBA Asociación de Investigaciones Antropológicas"Buenos AiresArgentina