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Abigail Miller

on 9 April 2013

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Transcript of Garbology

Trash Garbage discards that are wet Refuse inclusive term for wet & dry discards Rubbish refers to all refuse, including construction and demo debris Slops connecting mixture of bits of paper, metal, glass, plastic, dirt & grit stew of congregates at the bottom of every bag of garbage bag/ heap Sampling Methodology Terminology "Regular Sort" " Verbal Self Reports" personal behaviour elicited through interviews/ diaries garbage collected from random households for sorting and classification leachate Toxic chemical product of the bio-degradation process. Can include amounts of lead, cadmium and Arsenic. Fines Terminology discards that are "dry" binford Frequently used areas are better maintained than those infrequently used, or only used once. The long a site is occupied, the greater the number of specialized areas. The function of an artefact can be infered from its (or subsequent debris) spacial context, wether placed there intentionally or accidentally. photo credit Nasa / Goddard Space Flight Center / Reto Stöckli Garbology Definitions Major goals To build an explanatory theory that operates anywhere (universal), and along a continuum from general to specific.
To learn something about contemporary humans.
The development and perfection of inferential archaeological methods.
Application of archaeological theory and practice to investigate human behaviour in relation to objects
Shift from behavioural archaeology to focus on the garbage crisis (Rathje).
Not interested in the contents of any particular person's garbage - viewing context of broad patterns Institutions University of Arizona
Tuscon Garbage Project, 1973 Common Topics Environmentalism and Sustainability
Food Consumption
Disposal and Refuse Patterns
Subject of Biodegradability
Hazardous Waste Models Debates & Special Problems Is garbology really archaeology?

Question of Usefulness


Problems with Representation Bias

Identity Ethics Garbage Projects: University of Washington, Stanford University Popular Garbology Ethnoarchaeology Behavioural Archaeology &
Material Culture Studies Binford Developed 'site maintenance'
1) preventative maintenance
primary refuse
2)Post Hoc Maintenance
secondary refuse Toss Zone Theories & Laws 1. Creation of garbage is an unequivocal sign
of human presence 2. If garbage holds a key to the past, it must also
hold a key to the past 3. Garbage is not an assertion, but a
physical fact 4. The more repetitive your diet, the
less food you waste 5. First principle of hazardous waste 6. Parkinson's Law of Garbage Garbology the systematic, scientific study of modern refuse and trash Garbologists Founding Fathers William Rathje the study of interactions between
people and material objects links behaviour with the patterning in the
archaeological record Lewis Binford Michael Schiffer 7. Areas that are most often in use are
better maintained

8.The longer a specific location is
occupied, the more special purpose
activity areas will be needed 9. The function of items (or their debris) can then be inferred from their spacial arrangement, accidental or intentional Institute for Field Research University of Calgary Landfill Excavations Major Concepts 2. Mental realities are not
consistent with material realities 1. Garbage can give a truthful
account of people's lives and
Full transcript