In recent years the gap between archaeological theory and practice has been closing, but although there have been calls for ‘reflexivity’, there has been little critical examination of its meanings. Proposed reflexive methodologies still perpetuate many traditional hierarchies of power, and fail to consider the creative nature of excavation and post-excavation. Much archaeological work in Britain, Europe and North America also takes place within the commercial sphere, and post-processual ideas cannot advance archaeological practice unless they can be implemented in contract archaeology. This paper examines theoretical considerations of reflexivity, representation, subjectivity and sensual engagement to highlight their relevance to everyday archaeological practice, and their political potential to undermine existing hierarchies of power within commercial archaeology.
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