Sunday, January 15, 2012

Book Review: Ideologies in Archaeology (Review by K. Kris Hirst)

Bernbeck R, and McGuire RH, editors. 2011. Ideologies in Archaeology. Tucson: University of Arizona Press. 311 p. in 14 chapters; 99 additional pages of bibliography, contributor biographies and an index. ISBN 978-0-8165-2673-4 (alkaline paper)

Ideologies in Archaeology is an incredibly important book, if you want to understand the inherent but understated inner struggle that is part and parcel of studying and writing about the past. The book is an edited collection of articles which describe aspects of a philosophy of archaeology that has been bubbling among some scholars for some time now: arguably since V.G. Childe's day of the 1920s and 30s, when Marxism, with its condemnation of how states control and manipulate the lives of ordinary people first became part of academic discourse.

Overall, Ideologies in Archaeology attacks the notion in two main branches.

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