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Keywords:

  • ethnoarchaeology;
  • epistemology;
  • analogy;
  • dogs;
  • canines

Archaeologists have become aware that the ways they have used ethnographic analogy provide only limited ability to make inferences about the past. This apparent tyranny of the ethnographic record has caused a crisis for many archaeologists, as well as ethnoarchaeologists. Susan Kent remained a strong defender of analogic reason and encouraged ethnoarchaeologists to use analogy to create a better inferential structure for interpreting archaeological residues. We explore the philosophical basis of analogy in scientific reasoning and demonstrate how recent studies of canine activity on site structure can be used for inferring the presence of canines at prehistoric sites and the roles they played in prehistoric societies.