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Institute of Archaeology

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Archaeological Theory and History of Archaeology

As a key player in the development of archaeology as a profession the Institute has unique archival holdings and collections for its history while work on archaeological theory underpins all research.

Wheeler on fieldwork

Institute contributions to archaeological theory underpins research within our other themes. Institute staff explored general Darwinian approaches, and their relationship to interpretive archaeology. Work is also undertaken on art history and social theory as well as cultural memory and landscape.  Monumental architecture and elaborately crafted works of visual art are amongst the most compelling and important evidence available to the study of past societies. Their interpretation draws upon a wide range of perspectives within archaeology and related disciplines, from style analysis and iconography in art history, through archaeologies of contextual meaning, sociologies and anthropologies of art. Institute research on the history of archaeology is facilitated by our unique archival holdings and collections. Research includes studies of Petrie’s workforce and the wider context of his work as well as Central European archaeology. Institute staff contribute to cross-disciplinary research on the origins of humanity and the dynamics of civilizations.

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