文化历史方法基于Kulturkreis运动，这是19世纪晚期在德国和奥地利发展起来的一种观念。 Kulturkreis有时被拼写为Kulturkreise并被音译为“文化圈”，但在英语中意味着某种“文化情结”。这种思想流派主要由德国历史学家和民族志学家Fritz Graebner和Bernhard Ankermann创作。特别是，Graebner作为一名学生是中世纪历史学家，作为一名民族志学者，他认为应该有可能建立历史序列，就像那些没有书面资料的地区的中世纪主义者那样。为了能够为几乎没有书面记录的人建立地区的文化历史，学者们部分地根据美国人类学家路易斯·亨利·摩根和爱德华·泰勒以及德国社会哲学家卡尔·马克思的观点，探讨了单一社会进化的概念。 。这个想法（很久以前被揭穿）就是文化沿着一系列或多或少固定的步骤发展：野蛮，野蛮和文明。如果你适当地研究了一个特定的区域，理论就是这样，你可以追踪该地区的人们是如何通过这三个阶段发展的（或不是），从而将古代和现代社会分类为他们在文明化过程中的位置。三个主要过程被视为社会进化的驱动因素：发明，将新想法转化为创新;传播，将这些发明从文化传播到文化的过程;和迁移，人们从一个地区到另一个地区的实际流动。想法（如农业或冶金）可能是在一个地区发明的，并通过扩散（可能是沿着贸易网络）或通过迁移进入邻近地区。
The cultural and historical approach is based on the Kulturkreis movement, an idea developed in Germany and Austria in the late 19th century. Kulturkreis is sometimes spelled Kulturkreise and transliterated as a “cultural circle”, but in English means a “cultural complex”. This school of thought was mainly created by German historians and ethnographers Fritz Graebner and Bernhard Ankermann. In particular, as a student, Graebner is a medieval historian. As an ethnographer, he believes that it is possible to establish a historical sequence, just like the medievalists in areas without written materials. In order to be able to establish regional cultural history for people with few written records, scholars have explored the evolution of a single society based in part on the views of American anthropologists Louis Henry Morgan and Edward Taylor and the German social philosopher Karl Marx. concept. . This idea (which was exposed a long time ago) is that culture develops along a series of more or less fixed steps: barbarism, barbarism and civilization. If you study a particular area properly, the theory is like this. You can track how people in the area develop (or not) through these three stages, thus classifying ancient and modern societies as they are in the process of civilization. s position. The three main processes are seen as drivers of social evolution: inventions, the translation of new ideas into innovation; dissemination, the process of spreading these inventions from culture to culture; and migration, the actual flow of people from one region to another. Ideas (such as agriculture or metallurgy) may be invented in a region and enter the neighborhood by diffusion (possibly along the trade network) or by migration.