By Clive Gamble
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Additional info for Archaeology : the basics
Once the archaeological imagination got out of the bottle marked science, it could never be the same again. Diversity of theoretical interests combined with many different dialogues are, like it or not, now the canon (Preucel and Hodder 1996: 15). Archaeology has, since the advent of interpretive approaches, been overtly politicised, the World Archaeology Congress being a prime example. Many other groups than archaeologists now have an interest in the past. Issues such as the return of museum collections to their original owners will not go away.
The surrounding region was systematically studied through The Kingdom of East Anglia survey. The pattern of land use and settlement was reconstructed to answer the question why such wealth should have been found in what today is regarded as a rural backwater? And in order to meet the accountability criteria, Carver set out to explain and interest the public in the work. After all, the public had benefited from Mrs Prettys generosity and it was in their name that the site had been placed under State protection through existing Ancient Monument legislation.
So, the archaeological imagination is now developing on several fronts. This can be seen in the different approaches that define the nature of what we study, the archaeological record (Chapter 3), in a variety of ways (Patrik 1985). Even so, while drawing the lines between approaches I have been very aware in this chapter of just how overlapping rather than territorial the position really is. Although frowned upon by some (Johnson 1999a: 118), what is emerging is a more eclectic, rather than evangelical, approach to the use of theory.
Archaeology : the basics by Clive Gamble