Archaeological Narratives and Other Ways of Telling

  • Pluciennik M
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Abstract

With a few exceptions, archaeologists have been far less concerned with the form of their texts or problems of authorship than have ethnographers. Typically, archaeologies are presented in the form of narratives understood as sequential stories. Approaches to narrative analysis drawn from literary theory, philosophy, and sociology and definitions of characters, events, and plots are examined, together with particular problems these may pose for the discipline of archaeology. It is suggested that neither literary analysis nor the tendency to write and evaluate archaeological and historical narratives in terms of explanatory value takes sufficient account of the often hybrid nature and aims of these texts and the contexts in which they were produced. This argument is illustrated with particular reference to stories of the Mesolithic‐Neolithic transition in Europe. It is argued that reconsidering archaeology's positioning across the 19th‐century science‐humanities divide suggests a broader approach to the id...

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Authors

  • Mark Pluciennik

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