The return of what?

Authored by: Bjørnar Olsen

Reclaiming Archaeology

Print publication date:  May  2013
Online publication date:  August  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415673921
eBook ISBN: 9780203068632
Adobe ISBN: 9781135083533

10.4324/9780203068632.ch22

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Abstract

For the last 170 years or so the study of things has been close to a categorical imperative to archaeologists. No object was too small, too inconspicuous, fragmented or soiled to become a matter of archaeological concern. At times this was a very solitary and not very honourable assignment. The intellectual climate of the twentieth century barely nourished sincere academic engagement with objects and spurred internal disciplinary doubts about its social and cultural relevance. Nevertheless, the vast majority of archaeologists stubbornly carried out what they were best at: recovering and studying old things.

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