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Interpretive Archaeology and Its Role

  • Ian Hodder (a1)

This paper seeks further to define the processes of the interpretation of meaning in archaeology and to explore the public role such interpretation might play. In contrast to postmodern and poststructuralist perspectives, a hermeneutic debate is described that takes account of a critical perspective. An interpretive postprocessual archaeology needs to incorporate three components: a guarded objectivity of the data, hermeneutic procedures for inferring internal meanings, and reflexivity. The call for an interpretive position is related closely to new, more active roles that the archaeological past is filling in a multicultural world.


Este artículo intenta definir los procesos de la interpretación de significación en arqueología y explorar el papel público que esta interpretación podría tener. En contraste con la perspectiva postmodernista y postestructuralista, el debate hermenéutico incluye una perspectiva crítica. Una arqueología interpretativa postprocessual necesita incorporar tres componentes: una estricta objectividad de los datos, procedimientos hermenéuticos para inferir significados internos, y reftexividad. El interés en una posición interpretativa está relacionado a papeles nuevos y más activos que el pasado arqueológico cumple en un mundo multicultural.

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American Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0002-7316
  • EISSN: 2325-5064
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