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April 30, 2012

AN SIONNACH FIONN

For all you hardcore historian-types out there an interesting article from Discover Magazine on the “pots-not-people” paradigm that dominated archaeological studies from the 1970s onward but now seems to be changing as our knowledge of DNA characteristics in ancient population groups, etc. grows.

“With the recent publication of the paper on the archaeogenetics of Neolithic Sweden I feel like we’re nearing a precipice. That precipice overlooks lands of great richness, filled with hope. It’s nothing to fear. It is in short a total re-ordering of our conception of the recent human past, at minimum. The “pots not people”paradigm arose in archaeology over the past few generations due to both scholarly and ideological factors. The scholarly ones being that intellectuals of the 19th and early 20th century made assumptions of extremely tight correspondence between material and cultural characteristics, and demographic dynamics, which seem to have been false. Therefore, the rise of an Anglo-Saxon England and the marginalization of Celtic…

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