Archaeology of today: Theoretical and methodological perspectives

Landscape archaeology: New approaches to field methodology and analysis

Session organizers:
Martin Gojda, Institute of Archaeology, Letenska 4, 11801 Prague. CZECH REPUBLIC. Email:gojda@arup.cas.cz , and Timothy Darvill, School of Conservation Sciences, Bournemouth University, Fern Barrow, Poole, Dorset. BH12 5BB. UNITED KINGDOM. Fax: +44(0)1202 595478. Email: tdarvill@bournemouth.ac.uk
Session abstract (English):
Landscape archaeology and settlement archaeology have been major features of archaeological endeavour in many parts of Europe for more than 25 years. During this time there have been a number of shifts in the conceptualization of landscapes as phenomenon for study, and also in the way that methodologies and field techniques are applied. Within landscape-history what has been called "total archaeology" became the guiding methodology, especially for the creation of period-specific summary maps and the regression of the modern countryside to some former state. With the application of post-processual thinking to landscape archaeology, and especially the introduction of post-modern perspectives relating to the social construction of reality, there has been a period of much theorizing but rather little practical application. How can new approaches to past and present landscapes be applied in the field, or do they only work at a theoretical level? What methodologies are appropriate? Have useful things been recorded in the past or do we need to re-set the agenda so far as routine survey and recording work are concerned?
    This session aims to examine the range of new approaches that are being taken to landscape archaeology in the light of changed thinking. Special attention will be given to projects that are tying to develop innovative approaches to landscape archaeology through fieldwork and physical investigations, or which are trying new ways of applying more traditional techniques. Thus topics such as large scale mapping, the use of aerial photography and satellite imagery, extensive surveys, experiential / observational mapping will be covered, as too character-zone analysis, the social use of space, and the relationships between social space and land-use practices. Attention will also be directed to the comparison between the pure mathematical evaluation of the spatial relationships in prehistory, pure philosophical approaches, and attempts to combine GIS with large-scale non-destructive methods.

Archaeology and buildings

Session organizer:
Gunilla Malm, Lund University,Kungsklippan 11, S-112 25 Stockholm. SWEDEN. Tel: +46 8654 4975. Email: gunilla.malm@swipnet.se
Session abstract (English):

The topic "Archaeology and Buildings" includes studies on buildings and built environments no matter of age, material or function of the objects. Standing buildings still in function, ruins and archaeologically excavated remains, royal palaces and nomadic tents, are parts of the broad spectrum of this topic. The topic also includes studies on sculptural decorations, paintings or any other decorations as well as artefacts and tools used for building or the function of the buildings. Building processes, building material, building technique and architectural forms are included in the topic and so are stratigraphical issues. Places where the building material comes from and/or are prepared for of course also are important matters of the topic. The objects are investigated, studied and analysed in the same way as any archaeologisal material - for instance as archaeological artefacts. Session papers and discussions may include problems and questions on theory, practical field work and cultural heritage managment. Discussions may concern "Archaeology and Buildings" in general terms or from different point of views.
    Questions on function and development of single objects may be discussed as well as problems on changes or circumstances of societies concerning political, social, economic and/or ideological matters in a historical perspective. Different methods used on analyses and studies on buildings may be discussed as well as other disciplines.
    There are some problems connected to the topic "Archaeology and Buildings". To mention one for discussion: documentation and studies always are done on archaeologically excavated buildings. On the contrary conservations of standing buildings still in function or ruins seldom includes documentations from an archaeological point of view. Among other things this is caused by the attitude to cultural heritage management. To archaeologists studying buildings or built environments it is a goal to include a building archaeological documentation as a granted part of a conservation process and to give this kind of archaeology the same significance as rescue archaeology. The problem is how to reach this goal.

Session abstract (Swedish):

Ämnet "Arkeologi och byggnader" omfattar studier av alla slag av byggnader och byggda miljöer oberoende av objektens ålder, material och funktion. Fungerande fortfarande stående byggnader, ruiner eller vid arkeologiska utgrävningar påträffade byggnadsrester, kungliga palats eller nomadtält, är en del av ämnets breda register. I ämnet ingår också studier av skulptural utsmyckning, målningar eller andra utsmyckningar tillika med artefakter eller redskap som används för uppbyggnad eller byggnaders funktion. Byggnadsprocesser, byggnadsmaterial, byggnadsteknik och arkitektoniska stildrag har sin givna plats i ämnet likväl som stratigrafiska förhållanden och samband med omkringliggande mark. Platser där byggnadsmaterial hämtas och/eller bearbetas är naturligtvis också viktiga inom detta ämne. Objekten dokumenteras, studeras och analyseras som vilket annat arkeologiskt källamterial som helst - exempelvis som arkeologiska artefakter.
    Anföranden och diskussioner vid sessionen kan beröra problem och frågor kring teori, praktiskt fältarbete och kulturmiljövård. Diskussionerna kan ta upp ämnet ur generell synvinkel eller anknyta till speciella frågor.
    Frågor kring funktion och utveckling av enskilda objekt kan beröras såväl som frågor rörande samhällsförändringar eller tillstånd av politiskt, socialt, ekonomiskt och/eller ideologiskt slag i ett historiskt perspektiv. Olika metodiska arbetssätt som används vid studier och analys av byggnader kan beröras likväl som discipliner utanför arkeologien.
    Det finns vissa problem knutna till ämnet "Arkeologi och byggnader". Ett ska nämnas här som underlag för diskussion: dokumentation och studier av byggnader eller byggnadsrester är en självklarhet om dessa påträffas vid arkeologiska utgrävningar. Vid restaurering av resta och fortfarande fungerande byggnader eller ruiner är dokumentation och studier ur arkeologisk synvinkel inte lika självklar. Detta har bland annat sin grund i attityden till kulturmiljövård. För arkeologer som arbetar med byggnader eller byggda miljöer är det därför en målsättning att försöka införa byggnadsarkeologisk dokumentation som en självklar del i en restaureringsprocess och att ge detta slag av arkeologi samma innebörd som exploateringsarkeologi. Problemet är hur detta mål ska uppnås.

Visualization and digital imaging in archaeology
Antony Eddison, University of Teeside. Email:AntonyJE@aol.com;
Session abstract (English):

The last ten years have shown some of the promises of the WWW, Multimedia and Immersive Imaging become a reality and it is clear that these emerging technologies have an important role in the future development of Archaeology both in practice, in the classroom and in the dissemination of information to a wider audience.
    For the first time in centuries we have discovered a domain that challenges the way we organize and interact with text, images and sound, allowing information to be presented and linked in a number of different ways, enabling users to assimilate it more easily, to explore new avenues of interest and to develop richer levels of interpretation and co-operation.
    This session will explore both the current and future uses of multimedia and digital imaging in Archaeology and discuss a number of the many domains and issues involved.

Session abstract (Italian):

Negli ultimi dieci anni alcune delle promesse del WWW si sono avverate, Multimedia Immersive Imaging sono divenuti realtà ed è ormai chiaro che queste tecnologie emergenti ricopriranno un ruolo sempre più importante nel futuro sviluppo dell'archeologia, nella pratica archeologica, come pure nella divulgazione presso un pubblico più vasto.
    Per la prima volta, dopo secoli, l'organizzazione e interazione di testi, immagini e suoni possono essere modificate, le informazioni possono essere presentate e collegate in modi differenti, che permettono un'assimilazione più rapida, l'esplorazione e lo sviluppo di più ampli livelli di interpretazione e cooperazione.
    Questa sessione intende esplorare gli utilizzi correnti e futuri del multimedia e del digital imaging in campo archeologico e discutere alcuni dei molti ambiti e temi coinvolti.

The archaeology of the present and the nature of the archaeological record
Dr Laurent Olivier, Musée des Antiquités nationales. 78103 Saint-Germain-en-Laye cedex. FRANCE. Email: l.olivier@culture.fr and Dr Victor Buchli, Department of Anthropology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT. UNITED KINGDOM. Email: vab11@cus.cam.ac.uk
Session abstract (English):

This session seeks to explore the significance of what it means to do the archaeology of the recent past.  The session will operate from the explicit assumption that, according to the French philosopher Henri Bergson,  the past - that is all the pasts that have ever existed - is nothing else than one of the many temporalities of the present, since all durations are simultaneously preserved in the present. For us, this will mean that:

1) the past is not something separated from the present.  Archaeological things were produced in the past , but are preserved in the present and come to us in our present

2) there is no frontier where the past ceases to be "archaeological" and becomes "the present". In other words, the remains of the present are fully archaeological and an "archaeology of the contemporary past" has fully its place amongst the other more "classical" fields of traditional archaeology

3) the "close past" isn't basically different from the "distant past" (since those differences are just  a matter of different scales of durations, all co-existing in the present).

    However, if the "distant past" is now a dead fossil, the "close past" is presently working in our lives: it provides an extraordinary case for the study of the production of archaeological material in the present, when we know nothing about this process in the "distant past", calling into question traditional interpretative frameworks.   Such a prespective  stresses another consequence of the archaeological act itself  which functions as a highly emotive social operation  with intriguing results when applied to sites of the very recent, contemporary  past of the twentieth century.  It has the effect of making the absent, the obscured, the forgotten, the abject and the painful - present - becoming  a social operation responsive to long standing calls within the discipline to develop a more socially engaged and aware archaeological practice. This session seeks to examine these issues using a number of case studies of the recent twentieth century to explore these issues suggesting  new possibilities whereby the practice of archaeology and its interpretive frameworks can be re-considered along with its unique contributions to the study of the recent past and of modernism in general.

Session abstract (French):

Cette session vise à explorer les implications méthodologiques et théoriques de l'archéologie du passé contemporain. Comme le souligne le philosophe Henri Bergson, le passé - ou ce que nous définissons comme les différentes périodes du passé - n'est rien d'autre en effet qu'une partie des innombrables temporalités du présent, dans le sens où toutes les échelles de durées sont préservées simultanément dans le présent. Pour nous archéologues, cela signifie que :

1) Le passé ne constitue pas à proprement parler une entité séparée du présent : les matériaux archéologiques ont bien été produits dans le passé, mais c'est dans notre présent qu'ils sont conservés et apparaissent à nous.

2) Il n'y a pas de frontière au delà de laquelle le passé cesserait d'être «archéologique » pour devenir contemporain ; c'est-à-dire «non archéologique ». En d'autres termes, les vestiges du présent sont pleinement de nature archéologique et une « archéologie du passé contemporain » a entièrement sa place aux côtés des champs plus « classiques » de la discipline.

3) Le « passé proche » n'est pas fondamentalement différent des périodes plus « lointaines » du passé dans la mesure où ces différentes strates temporelles sont l'expression de différentes échelles de durée, qui toutes coexistent dans le présent.

    Cependant, si le « passé lointain » n'est plus désormais qu'un reste fossile qui n'agit plus dans nos vie, tel n'est pas le cas du « passé proche » : celui-ci fournit un champ extraordinaire pour l'étude de la constitution des matériaux archéologiques dans le présent - alors que nous n'en avons en général aucune idée pour le « passé lointain » - et pour éprouver nos schémas d'interprétation traditionnels.  En ce sens, l'insertion du présent dans le champ de l'archéologie met en relief le rôle éminemment social et émotionnel de l'acte archéologique, qui produit des résultats déconcertants lorsqu'on l'applique aux sites du passé extrêmement récent du XXème siècle : cette «mise en archéologie» du passé proche a pour résultat immédiat de faire surgir du présent l'absence, la dissolution, l'oubli, l'horreur ou la peine, et de transformer l'intervention archéologique en une action collective; répondant en cela enfin aux appels en faveur d'une démarche archéologique plus engagée socialement et plus consciente de ses effets sur la collectivité.  Notre session vise à examiner ces différents problèmes, en faisant appel à des études de cas appliquées à l'archéologie du XXème siècle, qui ouvrent de nouvelles perspectives mettant en cause la pratique traditionnelle de la discipline et ses systèmes d'interprétation des données du passé. Ces contributions devraient également alimenter de manière privilégiée une approche archéologique du passé récent comme du modernisme en général.
Forensic archaeology: The European perspective
Paul Cheetham, School of Conservation Sciences, Bournemouth University, Fern Barrow, Poole. Dorset. BH12 5BB. UNITED KINGDOM. Tel: +44(0)1202 595178. Fax: +44(0)1202 595525. Email: pcheetha@bournemouth.ac.uk
Session abstract (English):

Forensic Archaeology is the application of the principles and scientific methods of archaeology within forensic contexts.  It is presently the case that some European police forces are more frequently seeking the assistance of archaeologists in situations where buried human remains or other buried forensic evidence are involved.
    Too often in the past, the archaeologist has been called in to advice on criminal cases as a last resort.  Or at a stage when irrevocable damage has been done to the associated stratigraphic information and violated the integrity of the buried forensic evidence.   It has not been recognised by many law enforcement agencies that archaeology can offer experienced specialists backed up by a body of established scientific techniques and proven methodologies to assist in the effective location,  recovery, recording and conservation of buried evidence.
    Where links between archaeologists and law enforcement agencies have been developed, this potential has been realised, bringing both traditional excavation and new scientific techniques to bear. However, this potentially places the unprepared archaeologist in a position of great responsibility within a framework of crime scene protocol and legal responsibilities of which s/he is unfamiliar. This session aims to bring archaeologists with forensic experience together with others that may become involved in such work in the future. Forensic Archaeology should seen as a two-way interface that can be of benefit to both forensic sciences and archaeology. The outcome of the session will be a greater understanding of the role and practice of the forensic archaeologist in Europe and the opening up of avenues for increased co-operation and collaboration in training and research in this developing sub-discipline.
    Suggested contribution areas would include:

The meaning of monuments: Changing perspectives, changing attitudes
Dr Cornelius Holtorf, Department of Archaeology, University of Gothenburg, PO Box 200, 40530 Gothenborg, SWEDEN. Fax: +46 31 7735182. Email: cornelius.holtorf@archaeology.gu.se and Andris Sne, Archaeology Centre, State Inspectorate for Heritage Protection, Klostera iela 5/7, Riga LV-1050. LATVIA. Tel: +371 7326605. Fax.: +371 7228808
Session abstract (English):

The contemporary cultural landscape consists of large amounts of different elements and objects, among them archaeological monuments. Nowadays we recognize their cultural, historical and educational etc. values and these monuments have become part of our collective memory. But what meanings did archaeological monuments have for people in the past, in other cultural contexts? Archaeological monuments were used in different ways and manipulated to create images of a collective past and a common identity. The way people thought about and imagined monuments relfects their attitude to the past and the content of their collective memory of the distant past. In this session we would like to explore and discuss the significance and meanings of such monuments for people in later prehistoric and medieval times. Did these monuments play any role in ideologies? What significance and status did Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments have, for example, for Iron Age societies? Were they later reused in some way? Why did people experience monuments in particular ways and not in others. These are only some possible questions to be raised by papers in this session.

Session abstract (German):

Die Bedeutungen von Monumenten: Sichtweisen und Einstellungen im Wandel: Die gegenwärtige Kulturlandschaft besteht aus vielen verschiedenen Elementen und Objekten, darunter archäologische Monumente. Wir sind uns heute ihrer kulturellen, historischen, erzieherischen usw. Werte bewusst und die Monumente sind Teil unseres kulturellen Gedächtnisses geworden. Aber was für Bedeutungen hatten archäologische Monumente für die Menschen in der Vergangenheit, d.h. in anderen kulturellen Zusammenhängen? Sie wurden auf unterschiedliche Weise benutzt und u.a. manipuliert, um Bilder einer gemeinsamen Vergangenheit und damit eine gemeinsame Identität zu erzeugen. Die Weise, in der die Menschen über die Monumente dachten und die Bilder, die sie sich von ihnen machten, spiegeln ihre Einstellungen zur Vergangenheit wider sowie den Inhalt ihrer kollektiven Erinnerung an eine ferne Vergangenheit. In dieser Sektion möchten wir die Wichtigkeit und Bedeutungen solcher Monumente für die Menschen spät-vorgeschichtlicher und mittelalterlicher Zeiten erkunden und diskutieren. Spielten alte Monumente eine Rolle in Ideologien? Welche Wichtigkeit und welchen Status hatten neolithische und bronzezeitliche Monumente zum Beispiel in eisenzeitlichen Gesellschaften? Wurden sie später auf irgendeine Art wiederverwendet? Warum haben Menschen Monumente nur auf bestimmte Weisen erlebt und nicht auf andere? Dies sind nur einige mögliche Fragen, die Vorträge in dieser Sektion aufwerfen werden.

Muting archaeology
Dr Felipe Criado Boado, Departamento de Historia I, Facultade de Xeografia e Historia, Praza da Universidade, 1, 15703 Santiago de Compostela, SPAIN. Tel: +981 583300. Fax: +981 582144. Email: phcriado@usc.es.
Session abstract (English):

The practical aim of this session is very simple: to speak about Archaeology, archaeological record or archaeological heritage without words, to deal with the major topics of our discipline without using an oral format.
    It should be enphasized that to avoid using words does not mean that archaeological discourse was not a linguistical one. In some sense it could be pointed out that the purpose of the session is exploring to what extent the linguistic character of archaeological knowledge influences the systems of producing and communicating such knowledge, since it is possible that the very contradiction among mute expression and linguistic thought will evidence the underdeterminations of the later upon archaeological practice and narrative.
    In a more concrete sense, the session has got three intentions: theoretical, critical and pragmatical. Theoretical: since no meaning is independent of the means to express it, the session will propose a reflection on the ways of creating meaning in Archaeology. Critical: the session will review the character of archaeological narratives and explore alternative media to express archaeological knowledge. Pragmatical: the session will expirience ways of overcoming the problems of language in international meetings
    A last word: despite the organiser solid belief that message is more important than media, content than format and meaning than means, in this particular case attention will be focused on formal dimensions.

Recomendations to contributors: Given the format of the contributions expected to be presented to the session, it is considered that its lenght should not excede15 minutes. Powerpoint presentations are wellcome. However the organiser advice his intention to avoid that the whole of the contributions accepted for the session would consist on Powerpoint presentations. At the moment of conceiving their proposals, the contributors should take into account that the aim of overcoming oral texts is not fully satisfied through an intensive use of written or drawn text.
Finally, every individual wishing to present a contribution to this session should make sure that the abstract incorporates a detailed account of the chosen media of expression. These data will be used no only to select the contributions, but also to define in advance the resources and devices needed for the session.

Current problems of nomadism in Eurasian archaeology
Professor Leonid Yablonsky, Institute of Archaeology, Moscow DM. Ulianova St./19 117036 RUSSIA. Tel: +007 (095) 9458307 Email: leonid.yablonsky@mtu-net.ru
Session abstract (English):

During the second half of the second millennium B.C. the horse harness appeared in the steppes. This marked a transition from the semi- sedentary herding economy to the mobile  mode of life that would characterize the later steppe cultures. The earliest  communities populated Eurasian steppes at the beginning of the first millennium B.C. subsisted mainly on cattle-breeding. They perfected horseback riding and were thus able to move quickly through  the vast territories, that resulted in increasing interaction between quite distant areas. An advanced economy and  a growth of   the wealth production spread in a chain-like manner all over the steppes. These achievements also brought mutual spiritual enrichment to the participants of this process. Transition from the Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age was followed by great economic and cultural transformation, stimulated also by  the growing use of iron. In the steppe area this entailed a weapon perfection that  was associated with increasing dependence on  horse both in an economy and in a war. These were the key events indicating the formation  of the Scythian and Saka  cultures of Eurasia which are usually titled "Scythian and Siberian World". The purposes of this session is to discuss the general problems of the nomadic archaeology and history. Among them are:

1)  Emergence and formation of the nomadic way of life.  When and  where do the first Eurasian nomads appear?
2)  What does the "Scythian  and Siberian World" mean:  cultural, economic and ethnic unity,  cultural horizon or just cultural world
3)  Material culture, funeral rite, art and ideology in nomadic societies.
4)  Nomadic movements and migrations: their role in the political situation of ancient Eurasia.
5)  Interaction between nomads and agriculturists.
6)  Nomads, cattle-breeders, stock-breeders: archaeological markers.
7)  Eurasian Steppe and neighboring areas as the ethnogenetic hearth.
Origins research at the turn of the millennium. Paradigm change and continuity. Part 2
Stephanie Koerner, Department of Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh, 3H01 Forbes Quadrangle, Pittsburgh PA 15213. USA. Tel: +(412) 681 6724. Email: skost1+@pitt.eduand Jennie Hawcroft, Research School of Archaeology, West Court, 2 Mappin Street, Sheffield, S1 4DT, UK.  Email: J.E.Hawcroft@sheffield.ac.uk
Session abstract (English):

Since ancient times, questions about the origins of human cognition, language, religion, agriculture, social inequality, and the state have figured centrally in the ways scholars have thought about human history.  During the 19th century, these questions became the foci of anthropology's various areas of 'origins' research.  Throughout the last two centuries, change inarchaeological methods and theory has always been accompanied by efforts to rethink and remodel the field's diverse areas of origins research.  The continuing significance of origins research to anthropology's disciplinary definition, conceptual foundations and goals is thrown into relief by what Colin Renfrew and Paul Bahn describe as a "world chronology" in their influential book entitled, Archaeology. Theories, Methods and Practice (1994). Intheir description of human history,

 "The human story begins in East Africa, with the emergence there of the earliest hominids of the genus Australopithecus around 4 or 5 million years ago.... By around 1.6 million years ago, the next stage in human evolution, Homo erectus had emerged in East Africa.... By the time Homo erectus became extinct (400,000-200,000 years ago), the species had colonized the rest of Africa, southern, eastern and western Asia, and central and western Europe. The Middle Paleolithic period--from about 200'000 to 40,000 years ago--saw the emergence of Homo sapiens.... [W]e have increasing evidence for fully modern people--our own species, Homo sapiens sapiens--in Africa by at least 100,000 years ago.... By 10,000 BC, most of the land areas of the world, except the deserts and Antarctica were populated....  Nearly all the societies so far mentioned may be regarded as hunter-gatherer societies, made up of relatively small groups of people, often termed hunter-gatherer bands.... [T]he transition from hunting and gathering to food production seems to have occurred independently in several areas...after ca. 10,000 years ago.... [T]he first farmers...may be described as segmentary societies...without any centralized organization.... [F]ollowing the development of farming, there is much diversity. In many cases, the farming economy underwent...intensification,...and became less egalitarian,...displaying [the] differences in personal status sometimes summarized...by the term ranked societies [or] chiefdoms. The urban revolution, the next major transformation,..is not simply a change in settlement type: it reflects profound social changes. Foremost among these is the development of state societies" (Renfrew and Bahn 1994:142-148).
        This is the second of a two part session, the first of which took place at the EAA-1998 meeting in Gotheborg. The session is intended to (a) explore patterns of paradigm change and continuity in the history of particular areas of origins research; as well as (b) various general implications of these patterns (ecological, socio-historical, ethical, pedagogical, philosophical, methodological, theoretical philosophical).  The papers and open discussion in the session may contribute to the growing historical and philosophical understanding of archaeological theory and methods; and appreciation of current projects to go beyond the constraints dualist paradigms impose on our understanding the diversity of the human past. Questions about the contributions of archaeology to major changes taking place in philosophies of history and science will also be discussed.


Descola, P. and Palssen, G. (eds.) 1996. Nature and Society. Anthropological Perspectives. London: Routledge.
Foley, R. A. (ed.) 1991. The Origins of Human Behavior. London: Unwin and Hyman.
Gibsen, K. R and Ingold, I. (eds.) 1993. Tools, Language and Cognition in Human Evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Ingold, T. (ed.) 1988. What is an Animal. London: Unwin and Hyman.
Karlsson, H. Rethinking Archaeology
Renfrew, C. and Bahn, P. 1994. Archaeology. Theory, Methods, Practice. London: Thames and Hudson.

Session abstract (Spanish):

Investigaciones sobre los origenes al Cambio del Milenio, Cambio y Continuidad Paradigmatica.

Desde tiempos antiguos, preguntas sobre la cognicion humana, lenguaje, religion, agricultura, desigualdad social, y el estado han sido problemas basicos en las consideraciones de los estudiosos sobre la historia humana.  Durante el siglo XIX, estas preguntas se convirtieron en el nucleo de investigacion sobre los "origenes" para las diferentes areas de la antropologia. Los ultimos dos siglos han visto como estas preguntas basicas han ido cambiando mas alla de lo reconocible. Hoy en dia cada una de ellas consiste en uno o varios campos especializados de investigacion multidisciplinaria, cada uno con su propia combinacion de recursos de informacion, procedimientos analiticos y principios interpretativos. Pero la importancia de la investigacion sobre los origenes para las formas como la antropologia define los propositos y estructura de sus campos de investigacion no es la unica manifestacion de continuidad paradigmatica. A traves de la historia de la arqueologia, los debates mas controversiales han sido motivados por perspectivas opuestas sobre a) la naturaleza humana, b) las causas primarias del cambio sociocultural en la historia humana, y c) las condiciones del conocimiento sobre el pasado humano, articulados en relacion a la antitesis naturaleza-cultura.  Esta es la segunda de una sesion dividida en dos partes, la primera de las cuales se llevo a cabo en la reunion de la EAA-1998 en Gotheborg. La sesion esta destinada a a) explorar patrones de cambio paradigmatico y continuidad en la historia de areas particulares de investigacion sobre los origenes, ademas de b) varias implicaciones generales de estos patrones (ecologicas, socio-historicas, eticas, pedagogicas, filosoficas, metodologicas, etc.).  Los trabajos y discusiones planificadas para la sesion pueden contribuir a la creciente comprension historica y filosofica de la teoria y metodos arqueologicos, y puede contribuir a ofrecer alternativas a los limites impuestos por el dualismo imperante a la comprension de la diversidad del pasado humano. Tambien se discutiran preguntas sobre las contribuciones de la arqueologia a los cambios que estan ocurriendo en la filosofia de la historia y de la ciencia.


Descola, P. and Palssen, G. (eds.) 1996. Nature and Society. Anthropological Perspectives. London: Routledge.
Foley, R. A. (ed.) 1991. The Origins of Human Behavior. London: Unwin and Hyman.
Gibsen, K. R and Ingold, I. (eds.) 1993. Tools, Language and Cognition in Human Evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Ingold, T. (ed.) 1988. What is an Animal. London: Unwin and Hyman.
Renfrew, C. and Bahn, P. 1994. Archaeology. Theory, Methods, Practice. London: Thames and Hudson.

Session abstract (German):

Ursprungs-Forschung um die Jahrtausendwende: Paradigmenwechsel und Kontinuitaet. Teil 2.

Von alters her haben Fragen nach den Urspruengen menschlicher Kognition, Sprache, Religion, Landwirtschaft, sozialer Ungleichheit  und dem Staat eine zentrale Rolle in der Art und Weise gespielt, wie Wissenschaftler ueber dieGeschichte der Menschheit nachgedacht haben.  Waehrend des 19. Jahrhunderts rueckten diese Fragen in den Mittelpunkt verschiedener Bereiche anthropologischer 3Ursprungs2-Forschung. Zugleich haben sich in den vergangenen beiden Jahrhunderten viele Aspekte dieser Forschungsgebiete nahezu zur Unkenntlichkeit gewandelt. Heute besteht jedes dieser Forschngsgebiete aus einem oder mehreren einer Reihe von hochspezialisierten interdisziplinaeren Bereichen, die jeweils ueber eine ganz eigene Kombination von Informatioinsquellen, analytischen Vorgehensweisen und interpretativen Grundsaetzen verfuegen.  Der zentrale Stellenwert der Ursprungsforschung fuer die Art und Weise, wie die Anthropologie ihre Ziele definiert und ihre Forschungsfelder strukturiert, ist nicht die einzige Manifestation einer paradigmatischen Kontinuitaet. Vielmehr haben sich derartige Debatten von je her durch die Geschichte der Anthropologie gezogen. Diese Debatten sind durch entgegengesetzte Perspektiven auf (a) die menschliche Natur, (b) die primaeren Ursachen soziokultureller Veraenderung in der menschlichen Geschichte und © Bedingungen der Erforschung eben dieser Geschichte gekennzeichnet. Ein wesentliches Merkmal dieser Debatten ist, dass sie sich unter Bezug auf einen Natur-Kultur-Dualismus artikulieren.
    Dies ist der zweite Teil einer zweiteiligen Sitzung, deren erster Teil auf der EAA-1998-Konferenz in Goetheborg stattfand. Es ist vorgesehen, in dieser Sitzung sowohl Muster von Paradigmenwechseln und Kontinuitaeten in der Geschichte bestimmter Bereiche von Ursprungsforschung zu untersuchen, als auch verschiedene allgemeine Implikationen dieser Muster zu thematisieren (Hier ist zum Beispiel an Implikationen oekologischer, sozio-historischer, ethischer, paedagogischcer, und philosophischer Natur gedacht). Die Vortrage und Diskussionen, die fuer diese Session vorgesehen sind, sollen zu einem expandierenden historischen und philosophischen Verstaendnis archaeologischer Theorie und Methode beitragen. Die Session soll zudem durch die Einsicht gepraegt sein, dass es unserem Verstaendnis der Vielfaeltigkeit menschlicher Vergangenheit zugute kommen wird, uns mit den gegenwaertigen Versuchen zu beschaeftigen, ueber die Begrenzungen dualistischer Programme hinaus zu gehen. Schliesslich sollen Fragen nach dem Beitrag der Archaelogie zur Veraenderung  philosophischer und wissenschaftstheoretischer Debatten thematisiert werden.

Time as an archaeological dimension

Session organizer:
Jan Harding, Department of Archaeology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne,  NE1 7RU, UNITED KINGDOM.Email: j.d.harding@ncl.ac.uk
Session abstract (English):

In the last two decades it has been realized that time, as an archaeological dimension, does not simply provide a methodological and objective framework for interpretation. It has become apparent that there are contrasting views of temporality and that these are intrinsically linked to distinctive theoretical approaches to the archaeological record. There are those studies which adopt a timescale which extends beyond the lifetime of individuals and concentrate on long-term trends in the continuity and transformation of social institutions or structures. This contrasts with the historical particularism of other interpretations which emphasize the short-term engagement of individuals and groups with their immediate surroundings and social realities. It is the opposition between these two approaches which constitutes the rationale for this session. The contributors will offer some critical insight into the assumptions which are implicit to these distinctive definitions of temporality. It will be considered if an emphasis upon long-term structural history acts to externalize and de-centre time by employing a temporality which is essentially severed from social strategy and experience. Alternatively, there will be discussion on whether those interpretations which focus of particular junctures in history actually misrepresent temporality by failing to grasp social conditions or structures which developed or accumulated over the centuries. The session will also explore the possibility that such differing viewpoints should not in fact be seen as mutually exclusive and how these paradigmatic oppositions can be integrated together during interpretation. A key theme is the extent to which the latter can be achieved with a nested hierarchy of distinctive time-scales and how these levels of temporality should be structured in relation to each other.

Session abstract (French):

Le passage du Temps comme  Dimension Archéologique

Au cours des deux dernières décennies il a été réalisé que le temps, comme dimension archéologique, ne fournit pas simplement un cadre objectif et méthodologique pour l'interprétation. Il est devenu apparent qu'il existe des vues opposées concernant le concepte du temps et que celles-ci sont intrinsèquement liées aux approches de théorie distinctives en vers les données archéologiques. Il y a ces études qui adoptent une échelle du temps qui se prolonge au-delà la vie d'individus et se concentre sur des tendances long termes dans la continuité  et  transformation de structures ou institutions sociales. Cela contraste avec le particularisme historique d'autres interprétations qui accentue l'engagement à court terme d'individus et de groupes avec leurs abords immédiats et réalités sociales. C'est l'opposition entre ces deux approches qui constitue le raisonnement pour cette séance. Les participants offriront une certaine perspicacité critique envers les suppositions implicites à ces définitions distinctes ayant rapport au passage du temps. Il sera considéré si un accent sur l'histoire structurale à long terme agît à externaliser et à décentrer le temps en employant un concept du temps qui est  essentiellement divorcé de l'expérience et de la stratégie sociale. Alternativement, il y aura une discussion sur certaines interprétations qui se centrent autour d'évennements particuliers dans l'histoire, et si en fait celles-ci dénaturent le concept du passage du temps en échouant de saisir des structures ou conditions sociales qui se sont développées ou accumulées au cours des siècles. La séance explorera aussi la possibilité que telles différences d'optique ne devraient pas en fait être vus en tant que mutuellement exclusifs et comment ces oppositions paradigmatiques peuvent être intégrées pendant l'interprétation. Un thème clef est le degré auquel ce dernier peut être réalisé avec une hiérarchie nichée de chronologies distinctes et comment ces niveaux de concepts temporels devraient être structurés dans les relations entre eux.

The significance of colour in archaeological research: Colour, monuments and artefacts

Session organizer:
Dr Andrew Jones, Department of Archaeology, University College Dublin, IRELAND. Email: andrew.jones@ucd.ie and Gavin MacGregor, Department of Archaeology, University of Glasgow, Scotland. UNITED KINGDOM. Email:  gma@arts.gla.ac.uk
Session abstract (English):

Colour is a central aspect of our daily lives. The perception of colour is an integral part of our neurophysiological make-up since it is a significant component of the process of seeing and making sense of the world. Moreover, we employ colour on a regular basis as a means of classifying the world; this process of classification relates to the way in which colour is categorized cognitively and is drawn on symbolically and metaphorically. A further aspect of the relationship between colour and classification concerns the central role played by colour in many of our aesthetic judgements. Colour operates on many planes as a perceptual device, as symbol, as metaphor and as a component of our system of aesthetics.
    Colour is therefore an important aspect of the world inhabited by human beings. However, as archaeologists we tend to gloss over this aspect of human experience. The intention of this session is to explore the ways in which we can examine the human engagement with, and understanding of, colour in the past. However, on a wider level, the session wishes to examine the way in which, by focusing on colour, we are able to explore more fundamental issues such as the nature of symbolism, cognition and materiality and how these issues relate to the organization and structure of past societies and the inhabitation of past worlds. The contributors to the session will examine the relationship between colour and human societies from the Paleolithic to the Medieval period.
    Key issues will include:
1. Symbolic aspects of colour - how do we examine the role of colour as a signification system in the past? how much does colour relate to other more complex or more overarching systems of signification? how do we understand the metaphorical aspects of colour to operate within these systems of signification?
2. Aesthetic aspects of colour - how do we understand aesthetic systems to operate in the past? How do the aesthetics of colour relate to other aspects of the material world?
3. Cognitive aspects of colour - how do we investigate the neurophysiological aspects of colour in the past, and what do these tell us about the nature of past cognitive systems.

Hermeneutics, phenomenology and contemporary social theory in archaeology
Session organizer:
Dr Julian Thomas, Department of Archaeology, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton. S017 IBJ. UNITED KINGDOM. Tel: +44(0)1703 593178  Fax: +44 (0) 1703 593032.  Email: jst@soton.ac.uk
Session abstract:

During the early 1980s, criticisms of processual archaeology emerged from Marxist, structuralist, and structurationist perspectives.   For the most part, these approaches sought to replace (or at least augment) the single-minded focus on ecological, technological and demographic factors in archaeological explanation with a concern for the internal social dynamics of past communities, and an interest in the symbolic ordering of culture.   More recently, archaeologists have embraced what Rabinow and Sullivan (1987) would define as the ‘interpretive social sciences’, hermeneutics and phenomenology.   Broadly speaking, the former represents a tradition of textual exegesis which seeks to understand the significance of cultural phenomena by exploring their contexts of generation and reception, while the latter is a philosophical position which investigates the conditions under which a lived experience of the world is possible.   Historically, these two forms of inquiry have been deeply interconnected.   In the archaeological context their influence has sometimes resulted in the abandonment of the project of explanation in favour of interpretation, and the suggestion has been made that so-called ‘post-processual archaeology’ would be better described as ‘interpretive archaeology’ (Shanks and Hodder 1995, 5).
    This session is intended as a means of taking stock of archaeology’s ‘interpretive turn’.   Has this been a positive development or, as Susan Sontag (1967) argues, is interpretation a pathological modernist attempt to burrow beneath the surface of things in search of illusive deep meanings?   The session will consider whether a distinctive interpretive position exists within archaeology, or whether ideas drawn from hermeneutics should more appropriately enrich more eclectic research programmes.   Similarly, it will question whether phenomenology in archaeology has a significance which goes beyond the study of monuments and landscapes.   Finally, consideration will be given to the political significance of interpretation.   Does, for instance, Gadamer’s emphasis on tradition mean that these perspectives are inherently conservative, or does their critical attitude toward modernity and the Enlightenment mean that they can fruitfully be combined with the insights of critical theory?


Rabinow, P. and Sullivan, W.M. 1987 The interpretive turn:  a second look.   In:  P. Rabinow and W.M. Sullivan (eds.) Interpretive Social Science:  A Second Look, 1-30.   Berkeley:  University of California Press.
Shanks, M. and Hodder, I. 1995 Processual, post-processual and interpretive archaeologies.   In:  I. Hodder, M. Shanks, A. Alexandri, V. Buchli, J. Carman, J. Last and G. Lucas (eds.) Interpreting Archaeology:  Finding Meaning in the Past, 3-29.   London:  Routledge.
Sontag, S. 1967 Against Interpretation.   London:  Eyre and Spottiswode.

Archaeological sensibilities The relationship between objects The archaeological investigation of woodland of eastern Europe: The results and the perspectives Ethnoarchaeology and its transfers The history of archaeology
Session organizer:
Dr Ana C N Martins, Prç João Martinho de Freitas no 10 R/c B, 2 750 Cascais, PORTUGAL.  Tel: +(1) 482 19 97  Fax: +(1) 483 87 95  Email: anamartins@mail.teleweb.pt
 Session abstract (English):

Through the History of Archaeology (including not only the history of archaeological thought in itself, but also contemporary archaeological theories), and through analysis of the political, economic, social and cultural (including religious) context, it is possible to understand the many ways that archaeologists have formulated their theoretical and practical questions. Also, it is possible to reveal something of the criteria for selecting archaeological data, and even the answers obtained, through the way the professionals interpret them, in light of the last two centuries of human history of philosophical and scientific development.
    Through an historical approach, it is possible to comprehend the emergent regional diversity in archaeological data interpretation, the chronological evolution of that same interpretation, the somewhat distinctive manners of interpreting the archaeological evidence depending on the specialized branch within archaeology itself, the way physical and biological sciences influenced those same interpretations, the way archaeology influenced public opinion, and the way the same public influenced the development of archaeology, as a discipline, in trying to control politically those same interpretations, from the last century through to current times.
    The History of Archaeology is the history of ways of looking at the past; the history of developing research methods and of factual discoveries.  In short, the History of Archaeology is extremely important to understand, in a more conscientious manner, current archaeological theories, methods and practices, in analyzing the development of archaeology, as a discipline, and its real contribution to other social sciences.

Urban archaeology, urban studies, or town-planning studies? Archaeologists and the cultural landscape Ancient biomolecules: Archaeology in a test tube Archaeoastronomy The archaeology of nationalism
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           This page has been compiled and is maintained by Jeff Chartrand jchartra@bournemouth.ac.uk, and Eileen Wilkes ewilkes@bournemouth.ac.ukSchool of Conservation Sciences consci@bournemouth.ac.uk, Bournemouth University. Last Updated 25 August 1999