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Archaeology, science-based archaeology and the Mediterranean Bronze Age metals trade

"Archaeologists often seem either sceptical of science-based archaeology or baffled by its results. The underpinnings of science-based archaeology may conflict with social or behavioural factors unsuited to quantification and grouping procedures. Thus, the interaction between archaeologists and their science-based colleagues has been less profitable than it might have been. The main point I consider in this study, and exemplify by considering metals provenance studies in the Bronze Age Mediterranean, is the relevance and application of the stated aims of science-based archaeology to the contemporary discipline of archaeology. Whereas most practitioners today recognize that science-based archaeology has the potential to contribute positively to the resolution of problems stemming from our field''s inadequate and incomplete data resource, I contend that science and scientific analyses alone cannot adjudicate between cultural possibilities. Rather they provide analytical data which are likely to be open-ended, subject to multiple social interpretations, and in need of evaluation by collaborating archaeologists using social theory."

Author(s):  Knapp, A. Bernard
Format:  Article
Publisher:  Glasgow ePrints Service
Publication City:  Glasgow
Source:  European journal of archaeology 3(1):pp. 31-56