Examining the history of archaeology from medieval times to the present, this book places the development of archaeological thought and theory within a broad social and intellectual framework. The successive but interacting trends apparent in archaeological thought are defined and the author determines the extent to which these trends reflect the personal and collective interests of archaeologists. He argues that while subjective influences have been powerful, the gradual accumulation of archaeological data has exercised a growing constraint on interpretation. In turn this has increased the objectivity of archaeological research and enhanced its value for understanding the entire span of human history and the human condition in general.
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