This article, a revised version of the 13th McDonald Lecture given on 21 November 2001, sets the recent and partial transformation in the content and practice of Classical archaeological against the background of Kuhn's well-known work, first published in 1962, on paradigm and revolution in the scientific disciplines. Perhaps the most important question in this context — how would we know when a change in paradigm had taken place? — is harder to answer for a humanities discipline than for a science. But the attempt is made, first to set out a traditional paradigm for the subject; then to give examples of new approaches which seem to satisfy many of Kuhn's criteria for the introduction of a new paradigm; and, more briefly, to show that other approaches, innovatory though they may be, by their nature cannot bring about such a change. Whether a true paradigm shift has been set in motion, the future alone will show.
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