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Social Practice, Method, and Some Problems of Field Archaeology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Åsa Berggren
Affiliation:
Malmö Kulturmiljö [Malmö Heritage] Box 406, 201 24 Malmö, Sweden
Ian Hodder
Affiliation:
Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305

Abstract

This article argues that the development of excavation field methods in archaeology is closely tied to the social position of fieldworkers. We also note disaffection in field contract archaeology today resulting from a wide range of factors, including the separation of excavation from interpretation. We argue that this separation and the notion that archaeological excavation can be seen as unskilled undermine the scientific basis of archaeology. A reflexive archaeology is discussed that empowers field archaeology by (a) focusing interpretation at the trowel's edge, (b) bringing multiple perspectives close to the moment of excavation, and (c) documenting the documentation process.

Resumen

Resumen

Este artículo argumenta que el desarrollo de métodos de excavación en arqueología está estrechamente ligado a la posición social de los excavadores. Observamos también creciente desinterés en el campo de la arqueología de contrato resultante de una serie de factores, incluyendo la separación entre las fases de excavación y de interpretación en el proceso arqueoló gico. Proponemos que esta separación y la noción de la excavación arqueológica como poco especializada socavan las bases científicas de la arqueología. Se discute la necesidad de una arqueología reflexiva que fortalezca el trabajo de campo arqueológico (a) enfocando la interpretación en el acto mismo de la excavación (“al filo de la llana”); (b) proveyendo mú ltiples perspectivas al momenta de la excavación, y (c) documentando el mismo proceso de documentación.

Type
Forums
Copyright
Copyright © The Society for American Archaeology 2003

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