Methodology of Comparison in Evolutionary Archaeology



Evolutionary archaeology needs methods for recognizing how selective retention of cultural variation shaped the archaeological record. One approach that has not yet been exploited fully is to derive adaptive hypotheses from evolutionary design arguments, then to test the hypotheses' predictions by comparing two or more segments of the archaeological record. In order to encourage further development of comparative methods, we discuss aspects of their application within evolutionary archaeology. We also present an example in which comparative observations are used to test a hypothesis about the evolution of local productive specialization and circulation of materials through space.