Critical approaches to fieldwork : contemporary and by Gavin Lucas

By Gavin Lucas

This paintings takes as its start line the position of fieldwork and the way this has replaced during the last one hundred fifty years. the writer argues opposed to innovative money owed of fieldwork and as an alternative areas it in its broader highbrow context to severely study the connection among theoretical paradigms and daily archaeological practice.
In offering a much-needed old and important overview of present perform in archaeology, this e-book opens up an issue of dialogue which impacts all archaeologists, no matter what their specific pursuits.

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Pyddoke’s whole book Stratification for the Archaeologist (1961) focuses very much on geomorphological processes. Today the debate is still alive about the geological conception of archaeological stratigraphy, especially between Harris and proponents of archaeostratigraphic classification (Gasche and Tunca 1983; Farrand 1984; Stein 1987; Harris 1991; also see Chapter 5). However, the point to note here is the effect such a bias has on giving over-emphasis to the concept of a layer in archaeological stratigraphy.

Petrie 1899: 297) The first, stratigraphic relationship, was for Petrie rarely of practical use but he does affirm its importance in the broadest periodisation and as a framework for the more refined sequences; moreover, it appears to be of quite a different order from the other four in that it uses direct characteristics of the contexts to sequence themselves rather than relying on comparisons of their objects. Of the other four, each has different aspects worthy of remark. The second method, essentially an evolutionary typology, is comparable to Pitt Rivers’ method and, under one guise, that of Montelius.

Even Pitt Rivers was not very good at this and missed most structures in the areas he stripped (Barrett et al. 1991: 13). Yet while an open area is essential for such recognition, Bersu’s method was not the most conducive to it, and certainly no more so than Wheeler’s. While it may be fair to say that Bersu gave more emphasis to the plan than Wheeler did, it is not necessarily the case that Wheeler gave greater significance to sections. This caricature was fuelled by the followers of Bersu – in their book Prehistoric Britain, the Hawkeses opposed horizontal and vertical approaches, associating them with modern-sociological and traditional-historical schools of archaeology respectively, albeit paying lip service to an ideal which combines both (Hawkes and Hawkes 1947: 167).

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