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date: 15 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Although the focus and underpinnings have adjusted through time, Americanist archaeology is founded on the notion that anthropology plays an important role in archaeology. Even now the nature of anthropological archaeology is transforming to incorporate modern developments and lessons from our predecessors. Anthropological archaeology remains vibrant, maintaining sensitivity to current trends and methodological, theoretical, and conceptual advances by updating and honing its direction, and gradually transforming itself through the ebbs and flows of current trends and renewed angles on long-established venerable issues. The discipline has passed through several phases that emphasized first an essentially historical focus, then staunch positivistic processualism, and then a refined socially relevant archaeology that incorporates process while contextualizing. Home-grown archaeological theory is among these more current approaches, which emphasizes method and theory developed by archaeologists to solve archaeological and anthropological problems. But fundamental to the approach, through all these adjustments, is the premise that archaeology is anthropological, taking its lead from anthropological understandings and theories of process, while at the same time incorporating what is relevant from history, geomorphology, psychology, and sociology. It is a compilation of approaches where generalizations have a role but are understood within the boundary conditions set by contextualized cases.

Keywords: intellectual boundaries, home-grown theory, credibility criteria, materiality of human existence, fragmented theoretical landscape, theoretical entry points, nested theories, theoretical hegemony, disciplinary psychosis

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