About this topic
Summary Archaeology has long been a philosophically and methodologically reflective science. This, in addition to being situated between the physical, social and historical sciences, makes it ideal (and typically under-utilized) fodder for philosophical analysis and understanding. This entry attempts to include both the clearly philosophical, and work attempting new, integrative approaches to archaeological reconstruction. Major issues in the philosophy of archaeology are epistemological, methodological and ethical. Epistemically, the status of archaeological evidence, and its capacity to underwrite reconstructions of prehistoric social worlds, must confront the decay of traces over time and the limited applicability of repeated experimentation so favored of physical sciences. Methodologically, archaeologists worry a lot about how best to treat their evidence: the long debates between processualists, structuralists, post-modernists, etc... are a testament to this. Moreover, archaeology is by its very nature pluralistic: it draws together many forms of evidence, from a diverse range of fields (from physics to evolutionary theory to comparative religion), making it a hot-spot for integrative and disunified approaches to science. Finally, archaeologists are often in the business of utilizing the material remains of sometimes venerated - and sometimes politically explosive - past people. This requires an ethical understanding of the delicate relationships between the scientist and the (often politically underrepresented) groups who also lay claim to such remains.
Key works For rich philosophical and historical discussion focusing largely on the epistemological and methodological issues in archaeology, Alison Wylie's work is invaluable, particularly Wylie 2002 which collects several of her papers. Another important work covering the epistemological issues is Kosso 2001's 'Knowing the past' . The papers collected in the Oxford Handbook of Archaeological Theory provide a good overview of theoretical issues in the science.
Introductions Historically, epistemological discussion in anthropology has coalesced around the evidential status of so-called 'ethnographic analogy': the use of contemporary anthropological evidence to inform pre-historical reconstruction. Alison Wylie's "The reaction against analogy" Wylie 1985 both provides a history and a philosophical analysis. Currie 2016 connects these issues to reconstruction in biology. Another good introduction to epistemological issues (which connects archaeology to wider issues in historical reconstruction) is Jeffares 2008. For a nice introduction to ethical issues in archaeology, see Bahn 1984.
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  1. Archaeological Typology and Practical Reality: A Dialectical Approach to Artifact Classification and Sorting.W. V. Adams & E. W. Adams - 1991 - Cambridge University Press.
  2. Greater Khorasan: History, Geography, Archaeology and Material Culture.Chahryar Adle, Claude Cosandey, Henri-Paul Francfort & Eric Fouache - 2015 - De Gruyter.
  3. Elementos Para Una Construcci'on Te'orica En Arqueolog'ia.Fernando Lâopez Aguilar - 1990
  4. Processes for Ending Social Encounters: The Conceptual Archaeology of a Temporal Place1.Stuart Albert & Suzanne Kessler - 1976 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 6 (2):147-170.
  5. "Worlds Otherwise": Archaeology, Anthropology, and Ontological Difference.Ben Alberti, Severin Fowles, Martin Holbraad, Yvonne Marshall & Chris Whitmore - unknown
    The debate concerning ontology is heating up in the social sciences. How is this impacting anthropology and archaeology? What contributions can these disciplines make? Following a session at the 2010 Theoretical Archaeology Group conference at Brown University (“‘Worlds Otherwise’: Archaeology, Theory, and Ontological Difference,” convened by Ben Alberti and Yvonne Marshall), a group of archaeologists and anthropologists have continued to discuss the merits, possibilities, and problems of an ontologically oriented approach. The current paper is a portion of this larger conversation— (...)
  6. Hyle, Body, Life: Phenomenological Archaeology of the Sacred.A. Ales Bello - 1998 - Analecta Husserliana 57:63-74.
  7. Guest Editors’ Introduction Archaeology and Human-Animal Studies.Kristin Armstrong Oma & Lynda Birke - 2013 - Society and Animals 21 (2):113-119.
  8. Archaeology and History.C. J. Arnold - 1986 - In J. L. Bintliff & C. F. Gaffney (eds.), Archaeology at the Interface: Studies in Archaeology's Relationships with History, Geography, Biology, and Physical Science. B.A.R..
  9. Ways of Looking at Prehistoric Rock Art.P. G. Bahn - 2002 - Diogenes 49 (193):88-93.
  10. Do Not Disturb? Archaeology and the Rights of the Dead.Paul Bahn - 1984 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 1 (2):213-225.
  11. Archaeology After Structuralism: Post-Structuralism and the Practice of Archaeology.Ian Bapty & Tim Yates (eds.) - 1990 - Routledge.
    Introduction: Archaeology and Post-Structuralism Ian Bapty and Tim Yates i If it recedes one day, leaving behind its works and signs on the shores of our ...
  12. Review. Landscape Archaeology as Long-Term History: Northern Keos in the Cycladic Islands. JF Cherry, JL Davis, E Mantzourani.R. Barber - 1997 - The Classical Review 47 (1):152-154.
  13. Agency, the Duality of Structure, and the Problem of the Archaeological Record.John C. Barrett - 2001 - In Ian Hodder (ed.), Archaeological Theory Today. Blackwell. pp. 141--64.
  14. Jussi Parikka, Insect Media: An Archaeology of Animals and Technology.Caroline Bassett - 2012 - Radical Philosophy 173:52.
  15. Keeping Up With the Jones's: Addressing Aspects of Archaeological Representation.Rhonda R. Bathurst - 2000 - Nexus 14 (1):1.
  16. Black Feminist Archaeology.Whitney Battle-Baptiste - 2011 - Routledge.
    Black feminist thought has developed in various parts of the academy for over three decades, but has made only minor inroads into archaeological theory and practice. Whitney Battle-Baptiste outlines the basic tenets of Black feminist thought and research for archaeologists and shows how it can be used to improve contemporary historical archaeology. She demonstrates this using Andrew Jackson's Hermitage, the W. E. B. Du Bois Homesite in Massachusetts, and the Lucy Foster house in Andover, which represented the first archaeological excavation (...)
  17. "In This Here Place": Interpreting Enslaved Homeplaces.Whitney Battle-Baptiste - 2007 - In Akinwumi Ogundiran & Toyin Falola (eds.), Archaeology of Atlantic Africa and the African Diaspora. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. pp. 233-248.
  18. Science in Archaeology an Agenda for the Future.J. Bayley, G. J. Wainwright & English Heritage - 1998
  19. 12 Aboriginal Ecotourism and Archaeology in Coastal IVSH/F Australia: Yarrawarra Place Stones Project.Wendy Beck, Dee Murphy, Cheryl Perkins & Margaret Somerville - 2005 - In Claire Smith & Hans Martin Wobst (eds.), Indigenous Archaeologies: Decolonizing Theory and Practice. Routledge.
  20. Book Review: Can There Be a Philosophy of Archaeology? By William Harvey Krieger. [REVIEW]J. A. Bell - forthcoming - Philosophy of the Social Sciences.
  21. Book Review: Krieger, WH (2006). Can There Be a Philosophy of Archaeology? Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. [REVIEW]James A. Bell - 2008 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (4):560-564.
  22. Archaeological Autopsy: Objectifying Time and Cultural Governance.Tony Bennett - 2002 - Cultural Values 6 (1-2):29-47.
  23. Complex Systems and Archaeology.R. Alexander Bentley & Herbert D. G. Maschner - 2003
  24. Gender and Material Culture. The Archaeology of Religious Women. [REVIEW]Constance Berman - 1995 - The Medieval Review 8.
  25. Theorien in der Archäologie.Reinhard Bernbeck - 1997
  26. Melancholy As Form: Towards An Archaeology Of Modernism.J. Bernstein - 2003 - In John J. Joughin & Simon Malpas (eds.), The New Aestheticism. Manchester University Press. pp. 167--190.
  27. Medieval Archaeology. [REVIEW]Kathleen Biddick - 1991 - Speculum 66 (4):939-942.
  28. The Archaeology of Medieval England. Helen Clarke. [REVIEW]Kathleen Biddick - 1986 - Speculum 61 (2):395-396.
  29. Theoretical and Methodological Problems.Amilcare Bietti, International Union of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences & International Congress of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences - 1996
  30. Antiquity on Display: Regimes of the Authentic in Berlin's Pergamon Museum.Can Bilsel - 2012 - Oxford University Press.
    In this volume, Bilsel argues that the museum has produced a modern decor, an iconic image, which has replaced the lost antique originals, rather than creating an explicitly hypothetical representation of Antiquity.
  31. Archaeology as Anthropology.L. Binford - 1962 - In M. Leone (ed.), Contemporary Archaeology. Southern Illinois University. pp. 93-101.
  32. Working at Archaeology.Lewis Roberts Binford - 1983 - Academic Press.
  33. The Annales School and Archaeology.J. L. Bintliff - 1991
  34. Extracting Meaning From the Past.J. L. Bintliff - 1988
  35. Archaeology at the Interface.J. L. Bintliff - 1986 - In J. L. Bintliff & C. F. Gaffney (eds.), Archaeology at the Interface: Studies in Archaeology's Relationships with History, Geography, Biology, and Physical Science. B.A.R..
  36. Archaeology at the Interface: Studies in Archaeology's Relationships with History, Geography, Biology, and Physical Science.J. L. Bintliff & C. F. Gaffney (eds.) - 1986 - B.A.R..
  37. Archaeology and the Philosophy of Wittgenstein.John L. Bintliff - forthcoming - Philosophy.
  38. Appropriating the Past: Philosophical Perspectives on the Practice of Archaeology.J. Boardman - 2015 - Common Knowledge 21 (1):108-108.
  39. To Wake the Dead: A Renaissance Merchant and the Birth of Archaeology.John Boardman - 2011 - Common Knowledge 17 (1):191-192.
  40. Archaeology as Political Action.John Boardman - 2010 - Common Knowledge 16 (1):150-150.
  41. The Nation and Its Ruins: Antiquity, Archaeology, and National Imagination in Greece.John Boardman - 2009 - Common Knowledge 15 (3):503-504.
  42. Photography and Archaeology.Frederick N. Bohrer - 2011 - Reaktion Books.
  43. Twenty-Five Years of Medieval Archaeology. [REVIEW]Sheila Bonde - 1987 - Speculum 62 (1):201-Sheila Bonde.
  44. Norton Priory: The Archaeology of a Medieval Religious House. [REVIEW]Sheila Bonde & Clark Maines - 1992 - Speculum 67 (4):972-973.
  45. The Archaeology of Monasticism: A Survey of Recent Work in France, 1970–1987.Sheila Bonde & Clark Maines - 1988 - Speculum 63 (4):794-825.
    Recognition of medieval archaeology as a distinct field, worthy of study in its own right, began in France in the 1950s when Michel de Boüard established the Centre de Recherches Archéologiques Médiévales at the Université de Caen. Development of the field accelerated in the 1960s with the establishment of the Laboratoire d'Archéologie Médiévale under the direction of Gabrielle Démians d'Archimbaud at the Université de Provence-Aix and with the creation of formal academic programs at Caen, Aix, and several other universities. It (...)
  46. Archaeology and History.Helga Botermann - 1979 - Philosophy and History 12 (2):213-215.
  47. Scientists and Their Cultural Heritage: Knowledge, Politics and Ambivalent Relationships.Soraya Boudia & Sébastien Soubiran - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (4):643-651.
    For many years, scientific heritage has received attention from multiple actors from different spheres of activity—archives, museums, scientific institutions. Beyond the heterogeneity revealed when examining the place of scientific heritage in different places, an authentic patrimonial configuration emerges and takes the form of a nebula of claims and of accomplishments that result, in some cases, in institutional and political recognition at the national level, in various country all around the world. At the international level, the creation of the international committee (...)
  48. The Past in Prehistoric Societies.Richard Bradley - 2002
  49. Harold Kincaid, John Dupré, and Alison Wylie, Eds., Value-Free Science? Ideals and Illusions. [REVIEW]Evelyn Brister - 2008 - Ethics 118 (4):735-738.
  50. Archaeology and Paleoanthropology. What is a Human? : Archaeological Perspectives on the Origins of Humanness.Alison S. Brooks - 2010 - In Malcolm A. Jeeves (ed.), Rethinking Human Nature: A Multidisciplinary Approach. William B. Eerdmans Pub. Company.
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