By Lewis Binford
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Extra info for Processual Archaeology (essays)
207 8. Perhaps the popularity of Schiffer's position with Cultural Resource Management archaeologists arises from its use as a basis for writing off most of the archaeological record as "insignificant," since it does not approach the idea of little prepackaged Pompeiis. This approach renders it impossible even to begin to see something of the organization of past cultural systems. 9. See, for example, Schiffer 1975 and Sullivan and Schiffer 1978. , 1961, Analogy in Archaeological Interpretation.
See Rouse (1964:465) and Wauchope (1966:19) for strong statements supporting Ascher's position on this point. 2. In the minds of many, my claims that we could learn about conditions in the past which were not "directly" recoverable seemed to be a continuation of Taylor's position, and many authors have offered skeptical arguments in the form of "cautionary tales," largely drawn from ethnography, to demonstrate how limited archaeologists' data actually are! Richard Lee's (1966) "lesson" on how limited archaeological remains are when compared to the "richness" of the actual life that left them was amplified in the writings of Carl Heider, who demonstrated how "spurious" associations between things could be generated, and how the dynamics of an actual system would "tend to mislead the archaeologist" (Heider 1967:57).
He states (1947  :154;emphasis added) that: I am of opinion that if men had ready at hand a just history of nature and experience, and labored diligently thereon, and if they could bind themselves to two rules, the first to lay aside received opinions and notions, and the second, to refrain the mind for a time from the highest generalizations ... they would be able by the native and genuine force of the mind, without any other art, to fall into my form of interpretation. For interpretation is the true and natural work of the mind.