Theoretical Archaeology and Historical Narrative

On "Civilisation" and "Barbaricum", Taking "Princely Seats" of the Late Hallstatt Period as Examples

Published: 2012-01-01 | DOI: 10.54799/YRCU2042


Discourses in the social archaeology of the Late Hallstatt Period in the area ›northwest of the Alps‹ are still determined by variations of a master narrative of a ›World of Celtic Princes‹. In this view of history, contacts with the Mediterranean are considered a fundamental element within closely linked processes of ethno-, socio- and poleogenesis. Therefore, in theory-based anthropological criticisms of this view the aspect of cultural interaction with Mediterranean societies is more or less neglected. A brief introduction on theory and theories concerning archaeology and on differentiations of cultural concepts will be given to provide an alternative point of view on the sharp debate about historical narrative and theoretical archaeology. The way in which the formation of social and ethnic units is linked to a specific archaeological record, has been rightly criticized. In this paper, this is demonstrated using four ›basic‹ texts of the 1980s as examples. They promote interpretations of Late Hallstatt princely seats that are discussed under the heading ›the constructed south‹. It is argued that they are not compatible with a social archaeology of cultural contacts.

How to Cite

Schweizer, Beat. 2012. “Theoretical Archaeology and Historical Narrative: On "Civilisation" and "Barbaricum", Taking ‘Princely Seats’ of the Late Hallstatt Period As Examples”. EAZ – Ethnographisch-Archaeologische Zeitschrift 53 (1/2):50-85.
EAZ Cover Issue 1/2/2012, 53. Volume
EAZ Cover Issue 1/2/2012, 53. Volume
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