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History as a family tree, history as an entangled bank: constructing images and interpretations of prehistory in the South Pacific

  • John Terrell (a1)
Extract

Twenty years' debate in English and Americanist circles about the fundamental aims of archaeology, and the methods that are to achieve them, has mostly been conducted in a framework of named schools – ‘new’, ‘processual’, and now also ‘postprocessual’ and ‘contextual’ – and in terms of their philosophical good standing (or lack of it).

This paper addresses the fundamentals as they declare themselves in a different region, the Pacific, and sees that the heart of the matter lies more in the nature of history, the history of the Pacific itself, and the history of its study.

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