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Archaeology in the 21st century: six modest recommendations

  • William Andrew Mcdonald (a1)

My age-fellows and I, whose professional careers over the past 50 years or so have been devoted to college teaching in the USA and whose fieldwork was conducted mainly in Mediterranean countries, will scarcely see the opening of the next century. Perhaps the most useful contribution veterans like us can now make to the overall discipline – not just to our own ‘wing’ — is to outline certain problems that have particularly disturbed us during our active careers. Younger colleagues – the new decisionmakers – can then judge whether our criticisms are well founded and, if so, what can (or should) be done to alter present practices and attitudes If our concerns are reasonable and our recommendations for remedial action are constructive, we can at least hope that useful discussion will result – particularly in the disciplinary subdivision with which we have been most closely associated.

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Some years ago, Antiquity printed a set of ‘Retrospects‘. It is good, from time to time, to hear one of the seniors in our business tell where we have come from and where we may be going. Here is a prospect, based on knowledge from retrospect, of the view from one of the more adventurous among the older generation of North American classicists.

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