About time and archaeology

Published: 2011-01-01 | DOI: 10.54799/TELV8202


This paper is devoted to the concept of time with special attention to its role in archaeology. It starts with a consideration of its manifold presence in expressions of everyday life and philosophical reflections on the nature of time. A sociologically inspired comparative perspective is being adopted in commenting on B. Adam’s Time and Social Theory (1990) and, more specifically, N. Elias’s Über die Zeit (1988) as well as various essays of R. Koselleck. This leads to a treatment of "Archaeology and Time" which begins with an analysis of time conceptions inspired by post-processual thinking. It is followed by an attempt to judge archaeology’s temporal potential on its genuine sources. As this contribution shows, the topic "time" in both its general as well as its archaeological implications is rather neglected in German-speaking archaeology. Considering its intricacy and its rather demanding theoretical nature, this is hardly surprising. Both aspects were treated in the general and the more archaeological last part. In this latter part, attention was directed to the difficulties which arise as soon as archaeology wants to transcend the temporal ordering of its sources and proceed to conceptions of time once held by prehistoric people.

How to Cite

Eggert, Manfred K. H. 2011. “About Time and Archaeology”. EAZ – Ethnographisch-Archaeologische Zeitschrift 52 (2):215-38. https://doi.org/10.54799/TELV8202.
EAZ Cover Issue 2/2011, 52. Volume
EAZ Cover Issue 2/2011, 52. Volume
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