- What is theory for?
- Who is theory for?: The social relevance of a critical approach to archaeology
- Theory in the Field
- Archaeological Theories and Archaeological Sciences
- Words and Things: Technology and Belief
- Theory in the Public Eye: Archaeology and the Moving Image in Britain
- Colonial and Post-colonial Archaeologies
- Evolutionary Archaeologies
- Marxist Archaeologies
- Emerging from Theoretical Anarchy in Anthropological Archaeology
- Structuralism and its Archaeological Legacy
- Postmodern Archaeologies
- Becoming Human
- Landscape and Environment
- Material Culture
- Signs and Symbols
- Bodies and persons
- On Practice
- Social Organization and Change
- Economy and exchange
- Archaeology, Theory, and War-Related Violence: Theoretical Perspectives on the Archaeology of Warfare and Warriorhood
- Empires and Imperialism
- Belief and Ritual
- Positivist and Post-Positivist Philosophy of Science
- Darwinism and its Influences
- Continental Philosophies
- Post-colonial theory
- Evolution, agency, and objects: Rediscovering classical pragmatism
- Feminist archaeologies and gender studies
Abstract and Keywords
<p>Archaeological theory and archaeological science have traditionally been characterized as concerned with different issues and unable to interact productively. In this chapter, we present a brief history of the relationship between these two subdisciplines, and some clarification of the differences between scientific archaeology and archaeological science. We then focus on examples of recent and current projects to argue that we should no longer differentiate between archaeologists on the one hand and archaeological scientists on the other, since many leading practitioners of archaeological sciences are both. We contend that science-based archaeology today plays an important role in the formulation of new theories, and in challenging long-standing assumptions in archaeology and numerous other fields (e.g. ecology). Archaeological science is central to contemporary archaeological theory and practice, and will become increasingly important in the foreseeable future.</p>
Marcos Martinón-Torres is Professor of Archaeological Science at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. He has an interest in the combination of archaeology, science and history to reconstruct ancient technologies. Some of his most prominent projects are concerned with Renaissance alchemy in Europe, Pre-Columbian metalwork in America, and the making of the Chinese Terracotta Army.
David Killick is Professor of Anthropology and Adjunct Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Arizona in Tucson. His major interests include the comparative history of technology worldwide, contacts between the Islamic world and sub-Saharan Africa 700-1600 CE, the history of mining and metallurgy, and the application of chemical, petrographic and isotopic techniques to tracing movements of inorganic materials and manufactured items in prehistory. He has done research in sub-Saharan Africa, the North American Southwest, Peru and New Caledonia.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.