By Clive Gamble
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Extra resources for Archaeology : the basics
The explanation of change was either in-situ cultural development, where continuity could be traced among the potsherds, or a form of group diffusion from elsewhere if new pottery types with no antecedents appeared in the region. Once available, culture history married up prehistory with the coin- or text-dated classical and historic periods. Conceptually, the majority of archaeologists in all three periods have always agreed over issues of method and explanation. Culture history has also revealed broad patterns which have stood the test of time.
The hypotheticodeductive programme of the processualists is just one form of narrative structure: the ethnic explanations of culture historians another (Alexandri 1995). Any narrative is structured in time and both simplifies and imposes its own order on reality (Gosden 1994: 54). The study of writing about the past therefore looks to the sources of authority that are being marshalled to make an argument about change and patterning. 36 HOW MANY ARCHAEOLOGIES ARE THERE? Box 8 continued Social theory: Archaeology is not alone in the move to critical selfawareness.
These include: Matthew Johnson (1999a) and Christopher Gosden (1999) on archaeological and anthropological theory; Robert Wenke (1990), David Hurst Thomas (1998) and Kevin Greene (1995) on aims, methods, theories and techniques; Colin Renfrew and P. Bahn (1991) on just about every topic; and finally the doyen of archaeological writers Brian Fagan (1991, 1992). 19 Chapter 2 How many archaeologies are there? The past would be very boring if we all agreed about it. And archaeology would not last very long if we also thought we could work out a final answer to questions such as how we became human.
Archaeology : the basics by Clive Gamble