Archaeological Theory Today

Front Cover
Ian Hodder
Wiley, May 3, 2001 - Social Science - 328 pages
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This volume provides an authoritative account of the current status of archaeological theory, as presented by some of its major exponents and innovators over the last decade. It summarizes recent developments and looks to the future, exploring some of the cutting-edge ideas at the forefront of the discipline.


While few practitioners in theoretical archaeology would still argue for a unified disciplinary approach, few volumes have explored the full range of emerging perspectives. This volume, however, captures the diversity of contemporary archaeological theory. Some authors argue for an approach close to the natural sciences, others for an engagement with cultural debate about representation of the past. Some minimize the relevance of culture to societal change, while others see it as central; some focus on the contingent and the local, others on long-term evolution.


The volume also reflects archaeology's new openness to external influences, as well as the desire to contribute to wider debates. The contributors examine ways in which archaeological evidence contributes to theories of evolutionary psychology, as well as to the social sciences in general, where theories of social relationships, agency, landscape and identity are informed by the long-term perspective of archaeology.


Archaeological Theory Today will be essential reading for students and scholars in archaeology and in the social sciences more generally.

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About the author (2001)

Ian Hodder is Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology at Stanford University

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