Evolutionary and Interpretive Archaeologies

Theoretical frameworks in archaeological interpretations

Evolutionary and Interpretive Archaeologies

Andrew Gardner and Ethan Cochrane organised an Institute Research Seminar series in 2007 which was entitled ‘Discussing Evolutionary and Interpretive Archaeologies’.

This series, based upon a dialogic format with two speakers presenting at each thematic seminar, has now been edited into a book, published recently (2011) by Left Coast Press.

Volume Summary

‘This collection of original articles compares various key archaeological topics—agency, violence, social groups, diffusion—from evolutionary and interpretive perspectives. These two strands represent the major current theoretical poles in the discipline. By comparing and contrasting the insights they provide into major archaeological themes, this volume demonstrates the importance of theoretical frameworks in archaeological interpretations. Chapter authors discuss relevant Darwinian or interpretive theory with short archaeological and anthropological case studies to illustrate the substantive conclusions produced.

The book will advance debate and contribute to a better understanding of the goals and research strategies that comprise these distinct research traditions’.

Related outputs

  • Cochrane, E.E. and Gardner, A. (eds.) 2011. Evolutionary and Interpretive Archaeologies: A Discussion. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.


  • UCL Institute of Archaeology

Project Leader:

Project Partners:

  • Ethan Cochrane (International Archaeological Research Institute Inc., Hawaii)


Further information:

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