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Fostering the Future of Undergraduate Research

A visit with Ted Tarkow, Professor of Classical Studies & Associate Dean of Arts & Science

By LuAnne Roth
Published: - Topics: undergraduate research pre-professional education mentorship

Clarifying Prehistory


Matthew Schroeder, Anthropology

Michael J. O’Brien, Mentor

Americanist archaeology has seen several major paradigm shifts, with changes in methodology, focus, and purpose accompanying with each paradigm. However, there is a commonality among all of the different paradigms that hinders productive scientific study: what I refer to as the “essentialist/materialist paradox.” It is this paradox that has led to the current state of the discipline with hypotheses and conclusions built on speculative data and ideas. This study attempted to explain that paradox, demonstrate why it is problematic, and offer a way out in order to rebuild the discipline with organic evolution as the foundation.