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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The use of ethnography in archaeological investigations (ethnoarchaeology)
Author:Okpoko, A. IkechukwuISNI
Periodical:West African Journal of Archaeology
Geographic term:Nigeria
Abstract:The present author, in his investigations at the Anambra valley, Nigeria, defines ethnoarchaeology as 'the study of aspects of the history (including oral traditions), material culture and linguistic data of present inhabitants of the valley in order to elicit information useful for: 1) the location of archaeological sites; 2) the interpretation of such sites, features and artifacts; and 3) the reconstruction of material and nonmaterial aspects of the ways of life of former inhabitants of this valley'. Ethnoarchaeology thus assumes that there is a relationship between the past and the present, and that items of material culture reflect other aspects of culture and have behavioural correlates. The author examines the main differences between ethnoarchaeology and ethnography, and between ethnoarchaeology and experimental archaeology; how ethnographic data can be used in studying aspects of the material culture of ancient populations; and how ethnographic data are useful for archaeological studies of technology (e.g. pottery and metalworking), subsistence (hunter-gathering and early food production), settlement patterns and burials in parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Bibliogr.