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Since the l960s, archaeology has become increasingly taught in universities and practiced on a growing scale by national and local heritage agencies throughout the world. This book addresses the criticisms of postmodernist writers about archaeology's social role, and asserts its intellectual importance and achievements in discovering real facts about the human past. It looks forward to the creation of a truly global consciousness of the origins of human societies and civilizations.
Introduction: The sources of archaeological theory Norman Yoffee, and Andrew Sherratt; Part I. The Social Context of Archaeological Theory: 1. Limits to a post-processual archaeology (or The dangers of a new scholasticism) Philip L. Kohl; 2. A proliferation of new archaeologists 'Beyond objectivism and relativism' Alison Wylie; 3. Ambition, deference, discrepancy, consumption; the intellectual background to a post-processual archaeology Christopher Chippendale; Part II. Archaeological Theory from the Paleolithic to the State: 4. Ancestors and agendas Clive Gamble; 5. After social evolution: a new archaeological agenda? Stephen Shennan; 6. Too many chiefs? (or, Safe texts for the 90s) Norman Yoffee; Part III. Case-Studies in Archaeological Theory and Practice; 7. When is a symbol archaeologically meaningful? Meaning, function and prehistoric visual arts Kelley Hays; 8. Re-fitting the 'cracked and broken facade': the case for empiricism in post-processual ethnoarchaeology Miriam Start; 9. Communication and the importance of disciplinary communities: who owns the past? Tim Murray; Part IV. Postscript and Epilogue: 10. The relativity of theory Andrew Sherratt; 11. Archaeology: the loss of nerve Richard Bradley.