Archaeological Theory

The interpretation of the archaeological record is a challenging enterprise that requires the use of a wide range of theoretical frameworks. In order to understand human action in the past from fragmentary remains in the present, archaeologists draw upon insights from many disciplines in the natural and social sciences. At the same time, archaeologists can offer a distinctive perspective on theoretical problems in other disciplines by drawing on the great time-depth and cultural diversity that they study. Key topics include human interaction with material culture, social change and evolution, landscape and use of space, religion and ritual, and art.

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