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Archaeology and the reproducibility crisis

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seal impression/Eilat Mazar, Ouria Tadmor
From archaeologist Joe Roe:

Archaeology, like geology or astronomy, is an observational science, not an experimental one.

The stuff of archaeology―landscapes, sites, assemblages―are unique and finite records of the past. That doesn’t mean we can’t be scientific, just not in the neat, hypothetico-deductive mold so fervently extolled by bright-eyed physics students. It’s hard to come up with testable predictions for the field when you have no idea what you’re going to find there. Controlled experiments are a non-starter because, as excellently put by Roger Peng, the stuff we study is “generally reluctant to be controlled by human beings”. Archaeology, like geology or astronomy, is an observational science, not an experimental one. More.

See also: Nature on the reproducibility crisis

and

Archaeology: Hezekiah’s seal impression found in Jerusalem

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