This volume assesses the real achievements of archaeology in increasing an understanding of the past. Without rejecting the insights either of traditional or more recent approaches, it considers the issues raised in current claims and controversies about what is appropriate theory for archaeology. The first section looks at the process of theory building and at the sources of the ideas employed. The following studies examine questions such as the interplay between expectation and evidence in ideas of human origins, social role and material practice in the formation of the archaeological record, and how the rise of states should be conceptualised; further papers cover issues of ethnoarchaeology, visual symbols, and conflicting claims to ownership of the past. The conclusion is that archaeologists need to be equally wary of naive positivism in the guise of scientific procedure, and of speculation about the unrecorded intentions of prehistoric actors.
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(246mm x 189mm x 8mm)
Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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