American archaeology and physical anthropology in historical perspective

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Abstract

The historical relationships between archaeology and physical anthropology are discussed, beginning with Morton and extending to the present. The emergence of Boasian anthropology had a fundamental effect on the way skeletal data could be interpreted in archaeological and anthropological contexts. Hooton's influence was responsible for shifting attention from the occasional individual skeleton to large samples, as exemplified by research on collections by Kidder at Pecos. Nevertheless, this and later studies suffered from a typological approach which was replaced in the 1940s by populational concepts of variability and evolutionary change. As archaeologists have come to recognize human behavior as a function of the interdependence of the physical and the cultural in particular instances of environmental adaptation, they require the explication of the physical dimension which the physical anthrologist alone can provide.

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