The History of Archaeology as the History of Science. On forms and functions of historical self-assurance in Prehistoric Archaeology.

Published: 2011-01-01 | DOI: 10.54799/JGHG3497

Abstract

Approaches towards a history of (Prehistoric) Archaeology are at least in Germany nearly as old as the discipline itself. Early works were written with the intent to give legitimacy to the new discipline by creating a historical identity. Attempts at writing a disciplinary history after 1945 continued to argue in the same way and still had their focus on mainly ideas, methods and institutions. It was not before the 1970s that more critical approaches towards a social history of archaeology developed. They included a special focus on the role of archaeologists in society and politics, particularly with regard to totalitarian regimes. Apart from few references to the work of Thomas S. Kuhn, ideas developed within contemporary sociology of science or history of science played only a secondary role in discussions on archaeology’s past for a long time, despite the great potential of such approaches. Today the practical turn within a history of science opens up even more interesting perspectives. The intent of my paper is to critically evaluate existing approaches towards a history of prehistoric archaeology and at the same time present some ideas for a future historiography of archaeology.

How to Cite

Veit, Ulrich. 2011. “ On Forms and Functions of Historical Self-Assurance in Prehistoric Archaeology”. EAZ – Ethnographisch-Archaeologische Zeitschrift 52 (1):34-58. https://doi.org/10.54799/JGHG3497.
EAZ Cover Issue 1/2011, 52. Volume
EAZ Cover Issue 1/2011, 52. Volume
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