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Style or Isochrestic Variation? A Reply to Sackett

  • Polly Wiessner (a1)

Isochrestic behavior as Sackett describes it is recognized to be one of the important sources of variation in material culture. The behavioral bases for isochrestic variation and for what I describe as stylistic variation are contrasted and some of their implications for variation in material culture are discussed. Kalahari San projectile points are then reexamined within the framework of isochrestic and stylistic behavior using both historical and contextual data. It is concluded that variation in San projectile points better fits the expectations of stylistic than isochrestic behavior, at least with our current understanding of isochrestic behavior.

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Ian Hodder 1979 Economic and Social Stress in Material Culture Patterning. American Antiquity 44: 446454.

Ian Hodder 1982b (editor) Symbolic and Contextual Archaeology. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Stephen Plog 1980 Stylistic Variation in Prehistoric Ceramics: Design Analysis in the American Southwest. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

James R. Sackett 1982 Approaches to Style in Lithic Archaeology. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 1: 59112.

Polly Wiessner 1983 Style and Social Information in Kalahari San Projectile Points. American Antiquity 48: 253276.

Polly Wiessner 1984 Reconsidering the Behavioral Basis of Style. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology,, 3(3): 190234.

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American Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0002-7316
  • EISSN: 2325-5064
  • URL: /core/journals/american-antiquity
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