- This event has passed.
Archaeological Inference and Alfred North Whitehead’s Fallacy of Misplaced Concreteness: The “Austronesian” migration as a case of reified realities
May 10, 2022 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Lecture by John A. Peterson, University of San Carlos, Cebu City, Philippines
Archaeological interpretations are generally inference from a limited set of instances and data. Sometimes, but rarely, a single significant discovery can change interpretations, but archaeologists seek meaning in patterns of data from sites and discoveries and from a broad range of multiple lines of evidence. Often the accumulation of data can challenge a dominant paradigm or interpretation that was based on deductive or comparative models. The period of construction of the Ifugao Rice Terraces, once thought to have been 2000 years ago in conformance with European wave models of migration, developmental sequences, and human agency, is now thought to have been an adaptive response to colonial intrusion as well as Early Modern Period Climate Change. Likewise, new and accumulating data challenges the linguistic model of “Austronesian” Migration out of Taiwan. The period of this “event,” the character of migration in the region, and the newly documented abundance of sites in Island Southeast Asia challenge the anachronistic and simplistic model proposed on the basis of a few sites in northern Luzon that now appear to have been part of a larger reticulate migration throughout the region rather than unilinear from Taiwan.