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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Archaeological fieldwork is normally treated as a matter of applying techniques that are designed to recover particular data sets, which have been identified either on the basis of research priorities or by the concerns of cultural resource management. The data are treated as objectively secure, whilst their interpretation might be open to question. The role of theory is widely assigned to the process of interpretation, and therefore often treated as an optional aspect of the analysis that is excluded from the process of data recovery. We counter this characterization by treating theory as one of the essential tools required by the fieldworker to enable the critical evaluation of the procedures by which archaeological knowledge is constructed. Such a theorized perspective pre-eminently requires that the procedures of fieldwork help fieldworkers to develop an interpretive archaeology of people in an informed way at the moment of fieldwork.

Keywords: craft, epistemology, fieldwork, ontology, architectures of life

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