The archaeological is regularly perceived in negative terms as lacking and deficient. It is fragmented, static, and crude, a residue of past living societies. Accordingly, much of archaeologists’ efforts are directed toward the amendment of these flaws. The present paper, however, argues that these so-called deficiencies are in fact constitutive absences. Whatever the archaeological lacks, it lacks by definition. It thus follows that working to render the archaeological “complete” is in fact an effort to undo it, to convert it into something else. For the sake of discovering the past, archaeological practice is a sustained effort to rid itself of the very phenomenon that defines it, consequently setting in motion self-perpetuating circularity predicated on deficiency and compensation. The reason for this, it is suggested, is the otherness of the archaeological, being at one and the same time a cultural phenomenon and a fossil record, a social construct and a geological deposit. This condition is so baffling that it is approached by transforming it into something familiar. The paper argues that understanding the archaeological should be archaeology’s first priority. Insofar as it is also the study of the past, this should be predicated on the understanding of the archaeological present.
Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 7, 2016
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera