Archaeological Culture

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Archaeological Culture


a term used to designate an assemblage of archaeological remains, dating from one period in time, which are distinguished by local peculiarities and are concentrated within a certain territory. An archaeological culture is generally named after some distinguishing feature—the shape of or designs on ceramics and ornaments (for example, the Funnel-beaker culture), burial rites (for example, the Catacomb culture), or after the locality where the most typical remains of a given culture were first discovered (for example, the Dneprodonets culture). Archaeological cultures often correspond to specific groups of an ancient people, including ethnic groups. It is sometimes possible to associate specific archaeological cultures with tribes known from written sources. However, the similarity among elements of a material culture does not always reflect an ethnic community or the community of origin. Similarities in the way of life and the material culture of different tribes may arise independently under similar social and geographical conditions. Individual cultural elements may also be borrowed as a result of the diffusion of ideas or the migration of people bearing this culture. The study of the origin, diffusion, and disappearance of archaeological cultures makes it possible to reconstruct the prehistory of tribes and peoples.


Levin, M. G., and N.N. Cheboksarov. “Khoziaistvenno-kul’turnye tipy i istoriko-etnograficheskie oblasti.” Sovetskaia etnografiia, 1955, no. 4.
Mongait, A. L. “Arkheologicheskie kul’tury i etnicheskie obshchnosti.” Narody Azii i’ Afriki, 1967, no. 1.
Formozov, A. A. Etnokul’turnye oblasti na territorii Evropeiskoi chasti SSSR ν kamennom veke. Moscow, 1959.
Eggers, H. J. Einführung in die Vorgeschichte. Munich, 1959.
De Laet, S. L’archéologie et ses problèmes. Berchem-Brussels, 1954.


References in periodicals archive ?
It is worth pointing out at this stage that our interest in the temporal ranges of different cultural groups is not intended to promote the notion of archaeological culture as a monolithic and unchanging entity: cultures as 'bricks'.
These sites differed in archaeological culture and in the type of settlement they represented.
The participants in a workshop organised at the International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East (ICAANE) in Madrid in 2006 got together to "explore archaeological 'culture' in the light of their data", and "to consider how their concept of archaeological culture is situated within archaeological theory" (p.
In the Soviet Union, not all scholars accepted the premise that an archaeological culture designates an ethnic group (Suliankaoguxue Shelun 1953: 8; Boriusov 1961).
Kalinina argues that the concept of archaeological culture 'does not work' so far as the study of technology is concerned, and that the latter should not be subordinated to it (p.
In particular, excavations in 2004/5 have revealed circular sherd settings and horizontal band handles of kangs typical of Bohai archaeological culture.
A crucial element of the latter is the interpretation of the Andronovo archaeological culture (family of cultures, or cultural intercommunity), whose sites lie within a huge territory behind the Urals.
The ditches, fields and tombs recorded or excavated around Malagana, for instance, provide indicators to propose a distinct archaeological culture in the bottomlands of the upper Cauca, which interacted vigorously with its Quimbaya, Tierradentro, San Agustin, La Tolita-Tumaco and Yotoco neighbours.
1998; 2004), within the large-scale archaeological culture known as the Bell Beaker (hereafter BB) phenomenon.
Consequently, the relative chronologies used for the southern Urals, which have stimulated persistent circular debates over the temporal priority of various archaeological culture developments, must now be substantiated through calibrated radiometric dating.
For this purpose, we will use advanced techniques recently introduced to the individual disciplines, such as the application of phylogenetic methods to linguistic classification, a focus on derivational morphology in the reconstruction of subsistence-related language, a matrix-based comparison of archaeological cultures and a model-based approach applied to genome-wide autosomal data.
Processualists, who reject historically-specific explanation (Dark 1995, 188), tried to explain archaeological cultures more holistically, as organic, functioning systems, which could be analysed in terms of social structure, organisation and adaptation (Fuller & Boivin 2002, 160).

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