AbstractThis is a defence of analogy to the prehistoric past. Archaeological analogy is reviewed and defined. The problems associated with archaeological analogy are introduced.
This thesis reviews two examples of analogy as used in Australian archaeology. Between these two cases, the main problems associated with archaeological analogy are demonstrated.
The critical assessment of source data is advocated as is refutation testing of any representation of the archaeological past derived from such data. Any analogy that survives critical assessment and refutation testing is more reliable than an untested case.
This thesis argues against assumed concordance of the archaeological record and source data. This thesis uses the Magela floodplain of Kakadu National Park as its study area. The environment of the contemporary floodplain, including climate, geomorphology, flora, fauna and hydrology, are reviewed; the evolution of the floodplain from a mangrove forest is also considered.
Source data applicable to the Magela floodplain are reviewed. These data are critically assessed and reorganised into a refutable format known as a critical analogy.
The critical analogy is contrasted with the archaeological record of the Magela floodplain. This contrast shows a disjunction between source data and the archaeological record. This difference shows that critical assessment and refutation testing are valuable as means of establishing a plausible and reliable analogy to the prehistoric past.
|Date of Award||1996|