"This tool [typology] is designed for the reconstruction of culture history in time and space. This is the beginning and not the end of the archaeologist's responsibility." (Ford 1954a:52).

Jame Ford's decree of the purpose of typologies serves as a model for the following discussion. He believed that typologies are the products of classificatory processes - archaeologists create them in order to bound and define the variability of the empirical world. As such they are powerful tools, and their construction and use is defined by the theoretical framework that is employed to describe reality (Ford 1954a:43).