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Archaeological Theory and Scientific Practice (Topics in Contemporary Archaeology)by Andrew Jones
Synopses & Reviews
Contemporary archaeology is polarized between the technically competent excavators, who have sophisticated ways of recording, analyzing, classifying and describing their sites, and the social theorists, influenced by sceptical sociologies in science and cultural studies. This book defines the contours of each faction and argues that conflict between their aims and procedures is unnecessary. Andrew Jones instead emphasizes the process of interpretations, which is, in his view, the real concern of archaeologists.
Book News Annotation:
The question of whether archaeology is an art or a science has been a matter of debate for several decades, and continues to polarize the discussions of archaeological scientists and archaeological theorists. Jones (University of Southampton, UK) offers an analysis of archaeological practice as it has been influenced by recent developments in science studies. With the use of extensive case studies, he develops a new framework which allows interpretive and methodological components of archaeology to work together.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Considers the divide between 'scientific' and 'theoretical' archaeology, and suggests that they are not necessarily conflicting.
Considers divide between 'scientific' and 'theoretical' archaeologists, and suggests that they are not necessarily conflicting.
Contemporary archaeology is polarised between 'scientists' who analyse, classify and describe, and social theorists, influenced by sociologies of science and culture theory. By emphasising the process of interpretation, this book shows that there is no necessary conflict between the aims and procedures of the various factions.
Includes bibliographical references (p. ) and index.
About the Author
Andrew Jones is a Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge University. He has worked extensively on British prehistory (especially the Neolithic and Bronze Age). Among his many research interests are the history of representation in archaeology, the role of art and memory in archaeological research, and the archaeology of animals and food. He has contributed to a number of journals and edited volumes. This is his first book.
Table of Contents
1. The archaeology of 'two cultures'; 2. Science as culture: creating interpretative networks; 3. Archaeology observed; 4. Materials, science and material culture: practice and narrative; 5. Material culture and materials science: a biography of things; 6. A biography of ceramics in Neolithic Orkney; 7. Making people and things in the Neolithic: pots, food and history; 8. Before and after science.
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