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Theory in the Field

Hamilton, S; Barrett, J; (2018) Theory in the Field. In: Gardner, A and Lake, M and Sommer, U, (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Archaeological Theory. Oxford Handbooks: Oxford, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

Archaeological fieldwork is normally treated as a matter of applying techniques that are designed to recover particular data sets, which have been identified either on the basis of research priorities or by the concerns of cultural resource management. The data are treated as objectively secure, whilst their interpretation might be open to question. The role of theory is widely assigned to the process of interpretation, and therefore often treated as an optional aspect of the analysis that is excluded from the process of data recovery. We counter this characterization by treating theory as one of the essential tools required by the fieldworker to enable the critical evaluation of the procedures by which archaeological knowledge is constructed. Such a theorized perspective pre-eminently requires that the procedures of fieldwork help fieldworkers to develop an interpretive archaeology of people in an informed way at the moment of fieldwork.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Theory in the Field
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199567942.013.003
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199567942.0...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: craft, epistemology, fieldwork, ontology, architectures of life
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10085200
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