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By Clive Gamble

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Extra resources for Archaeology : the basics

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Now they are divided over how to develop the site as a tourist and educational attraction, as proposed by the saviours of the site, The National Trust, (‘Tourist centre “would destroy Saxon site”’, The Guardian, 11 October 1999). The lesson to take away is that archaeologists do not just dig things up. Our campaigns also create the symbols that people use to contest fundamental issues of concern in the modern world (Chapter 8). The archaeological cafeteria: is that really archaeology? ’ is much more complicated than you first thought.

This just confirms David Clarke’s view that ‘each archaeology is of its time but since many deplore the time they will certainly be unhappy with its archaeology’ (1979: 85). Processual archaeology: points against The major problem with processual archaeology lies in its avowal of a scientific approach that treats archaeology as akin to a repeatable experiment. In its early days it was strong on the discovery of laws of human behaviour. It soon became apparent that the laws that were emerging were, in Flannery’s phrase ‘Mickey Mouse’ laws (1973: 51).

To define an archaeologist just as someone who studies the past is now far too narrow. The profession, though small in numbers, has many constituencies and interests. The past is not remote but a part of daily life. The issues archaeologists raise about investigative procedures, identity and ownership can be bitterly contested. This can be both among fellow professionals and with the varied constituencies that may either be friendly or hostile to the systematic, often legislated investigation of the past.

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