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Theory and practice in Russian and Soviet archaeology: retrospect and prospect

  • Yaroslav V. Kuzmin (a1)

Despite the fact that several books and a plethora of articles have been published in recent decades on the archaeology of the USSR and Russia, Soviet-Russian archaeology is still largely ignored in the West (e.g. Fagan 2003, but see Trigger 2006: 230–32, 326–44). For non-Russian scholars, the first acquaintance with it can be nightmarish; for example, Anthony (2007: 164) describes the periodisation of the Aeneolithic Cucuteni-Tripolye culture of Ukraine and Moldova (parts of the USSR before 1991), and Romania:

There is a Borges-like dreaminess to the Cucuteni pottery sequence: one phase (Cucuteni C) is not a phase at all but rather a type of pottery probably made outside the Cucuteni-Tripolye culture; another phase (Cucuteni A1) was defined before it was found, and never was found.

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Bulkin V.A., Klejn L.S. & Lebedev G.A.. 1982. Attainments and problems of Soviet archaeology. World Archaeology 13: 272–95.
Fagan B. 2003. Archaeologists: explorers of the human past. New York: Oxford University Press.
Klejn L.S. 1977. A panorama of theoretical archaeology. Current Anthropology 18: 142.
Klejn L.S. 2012a. Incorporeal heroes: the origins of Homeric images. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars.
Klejn L.S. 2012b. Soviet archaeology: schools, trends, and history. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Kuzmin Y.V. 2015. The long and winding road: review of L.S. Klejn's Soviet archaeology : trends, schools, and history. Radiocarbon 57: vx.
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Milisauskas S. 2017. Review of A Russian perspective on theoretical archaeology: the life and work of Leo S. Klejn by Stephen Leach. Journal of Anthropological Research 73: 9294.
Renfrew C. & Bahn P.. 2016. Archaeology: theories, methods and practice (7th edition). London: Thames & Hudson.
Taylor T. 1994. Conversations with Leo Klejn. Current Anthropology 34: 723–35.
Trigger B.G. 2006. A history of archaeological thought (2nd edition). New York: Cambridge University Press.
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  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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