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The Archaeological Process: An Introduction Paperback – 15 Mar 1999

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell (15 Mar. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631198857
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631198857
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 1.5 x 23.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 458,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


"The most important study of its kind to have appeared since Wheeler′s Archaeology from the Earth in 1954...Prof. Hodder has issued a clear and cogent challenge to which our profession should respond." Antiquity.

From the Back Cover

This provocative introduction examines the most important new school of archaeological thought and practice to have emerged over the last two decades and provides students with an assessment of the impact and importance of recent theoretical debates. Written by a leading figure in the field of theoretically–informed archaeology, the book provides an interpretation of the archaeological process, reassessing the origins and aims of archaeology, and setting forth an innovative agenda for the future.

In particular the author argues for a plural and diverse perspective and for a new "reflexive" methodology: one that opens archaeology up to critique and interaction between different communities. This approach has implications not only for the interpretation of evidence, but for the kind of evidence that is sought in excavating, and the manner of its recovering and recording. It has implications too for the role of archaeology and heritage within new global environments and in the context of new information technologies.

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The first chapter of this book is entitled "Crises in Global Archaeology" and the first heading is "One Archaeology or Many?." In these two lines you have the key themes of the book - the identity crisis of archaeology and how it should be tackled.

As you would expect from a book which looks at the current and future states of archaeology this book has such a difficult job on its hands that it has both strengths and weaknesses.

The title of the book gives the impression that it is a general introduction to archaeological process. It is actually a discussion of Hodder's ideas of postprocessualism as applied to archaeology, from project design to presentation via interpretation. It is very much one man's view of how archaeology should be defined and actioned. Hodder highlights differences between his viewpoint and those of others, which is one of the strengths of the book. Hodder's is one view of archaeological process, and one that is opposed by many others.

Hodder's writing is clear and uncluttered, and many complex ideas are communicated in a way that makes them easy to understand. Inevitably he uses jargon and Hodder is inconsistent with the quality of his definitions of this jargon. For example, he covers positivism and hermeneutics early on but you really ought, if you are reading unfamiliar with the concept, to get a good grasp of reflexivity before you start, because you cannot even read the preface without an understanding.

The first chapter introduces the opposing ideas put forward by the New Archaeology (or processualism) of the 60s and 70s and the postprocessualism that followed, which in turn split into numerous branches.
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Format: Paperback
Many excellent points, but their treatment is often sloppy, undiscriminative, populist or just trivial, leaving an uneasy sense that the writer is a suspect ally. Prof. Hodder could use a good editor!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x8e18e348) out of 5 stars 1 review
HASH(0x8e19b204) out of 5 stars Great textbook 23 April 2014
By Jo Burton - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
well written and a joy to read for the professional archeologist. Lots of new ideals and theories that pertain to my field
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