Why a Coalition for Archaeological Synthesis?
Archaeologists in the United States have diligently discovered, documented, analyzed, and curated our collective past. However, this rich store of data has untapped potential beyond documenting long-term trajectories of numerous human societies. Archaeological data can be used to expand scientific understandings of human social dynamics, redressing injustices of the past, empowering descendant communities, and aiding in the formulation of solutions to contemporary problems.
Collaborative synthetic research, as practiced in ecology and many other sciences, has been a powerful driver for advancing interdisciplinary science. Creating a vehicle by which collaborative synthetic research becomes a routine and institutionalized practice in archaeology will benefit not just the discipline, but society at large. CfAS is such a vehicle.
Note: If you cannot access Fostering Synthesis in Archaeology to Advance Science and Benefit Society (Altschul et al. 2017), please contact Terry Klein at firstname.lastname@example.org for a copy of the article.