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date: 10 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the respective histories of both ethnoarchaeology and archaeologies of the contemporary past. On the surface the two subdisciplines appear to have much in common-they are both involved in studies of societies of the present and of the recent past. However, the methodologies that each employ in this goal, as a result of specific historical choices that practitioners of each subdiscipline made, are very different. Practitioners of archaeologies of the contemporary past generally use an archaeological methodology that was developed out of American ethnoarchaeology in the 1980s, while post-processual ethnoarchaeology in Britain undertook a major overhaul of these ideas. It is argued that archaeologies of the contemporary past could gain as much from an understanding of more recent developments in ethnoarchaeology with regard to methodology and ethics of representation, as they have from processual ethnoarchaeology.

Keywords: historical overview, ethnoarchaeology, material culture, multivocality, reductionism

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