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date: 15 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article speculates on the future of archaeology, focusing on past declarations of intent and on some of the proposals and predictions made by David Clarke in 1973. It explains that Clarke argued that disciplines undergo a series of developmental states, from disciplinary innocence, to self-consciousness, to critical self-consciousness and that it was during the 1960s and 1970s that archaeology saw a shift from a state of ‘self-consciousness’ associated with increased technical sophistication and specialisation. It suggests that it is through practical engagement with the finer details of material culture and landscape that fresh theoretical insights can emerge and it is through ethically based debates surrounding sites, objects, and landscape that the epistemological issues of object-subject will be recast.

Keywords: archaeology, David Clarke, self-consciousness, technical sophistication, specialisation, material culture, object-subject issue

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