Interpretive Archaeology: A Reader by Julian Thomas

By Julian Thomas

New varieties of archaeology are rising which place the self-discipline firmly in the social and cultural sciences. those ways were defined as "post processual" or "interpretive" archaeology, and draw on quite a number traditions of enquiry within the humanities, from Marxism and important thought to hermeneutics, feminism, queer idea, phenomenology and post-colonial pondering. This quantity gathers jointly a sequence of the canonical statements that have outlined an interpretive archaeology. lots of those were unavailable for a few whereas, and others are drawn from inaccessible courses. furthermore, a couple of key articles are integrated that are drawn from different disciplines, yet which were influential and extensively brought up inside archaeology. the gathering is placed into context by means of an article advent and thematic notes for every part.

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The field of discourse Discourse is a means of communication, it draws upon and reproduces particular structures of knowledge, thus also reproducing relations of dominance between individuals and collectivities (Bourdieu 1979a). In all discourse power is sustained as 'reproduced relations of autonomy and dependence' (Giddens 1981: 50). Such relations involve authoritative demands being recognised through some degree of compliance. Thus control is established over humans and material resources. The authority of the code is signified by the symbols through which the participants know, and acknowledge the validity of, the conditions under which they act.

If neither the physical recording connection nor the recording connection of signification seem exactly right for an appropriate conception of archaeological evidence, if neither seems to capture the actual connection between archaeological evidence and what it is evidence of, then perhaps the whole concept of recording is not appropriate for the evidence. (Patrik 1985: 57) With this comment Patrik opens the way to a rethinking of the archaeological evidence. She demonstrates that to speak of an archaeological record carries metaphysical implications which determine the way inferences are drawn from that evidence.

D) The transformations which take place in the available cultural resources as the field is reproduced. These transformations themselves reproduce authority and domination in discourse whilst transforming the material conditions of future discourse (the latter may be seen as an unintended consequence of action). Authority only exists in as far as it elicits a response, and it is not possible to propose a means by which cultural resources may have been constituted as authoritative without considering the response evoked which completed the cycle of discourse.

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