Interpretation in Archaeology Analytical Essay by Nicky

Interpretation in Archaeology
Looks at post-processualism as a preferred approach to interpretation in the field of archaeology.
# 146417 | 2,465 words | 9 sources | APA | 2010 | US
Published on Dec 26, 2010 in Sociology (Theory) , Archaeology (General)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper explains that the post-processualist paradigm of archaeology, which started during the 1980s, accepts a variety paradigms of interpretation plus different sociological paradigms of past investigations. The elements of post-processualist movement in archaeology, the author relates, are symbolism, material culture and hermeneutics. The paper reviews the problems of past theories of interpretation and concludes that post-processualism is the most useful paradigm because it does recognize past work.

From the Paper:

"The Church, on the other hand, promoted the belief of the "natural" order of feudalism. This belief was also applied to the material representations of the spiritual world. As such, heavenly hierarchies were represented in the social relationships of the time, and also in artifacts and physical structures such as Stonehenge.
"The "us and them" concept can then be applied to the differentiated classes of medieval times. Those who worshiped the stones were seen as "the other" by the higher classes. They were the common people, used for labor, and regarded as the lowest in the natural hierarchy of feudalism."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bender, B. 1989. The Roots of Inequality. In D. Miller, M. Rowlands and C. Tilley (eds.), Domination and Resistance. London: Unwin Hyman, 83-95.
  • Bender, B. 1998. Stonehenge: Making Space. Oxford: Berg.
  • Gamble, C. 2001. Chapter 2: How Many Archaeologies Are There? In Archaeology: The Basics. London and New York: Routledge, 21-44.
  • Gero, J. 1994. Gender Division of Labour in the Construction of Archaeological Knowledge in the United States. In G.C. Bond and A. Gilliam (eds.), Social Construction of the Past. London and New York: Routledge, 144-153.
  • Hodder, I. 1998. The Past as Passion and Play: Catal Hoyuk as a Site of Conflict in the Construction of Multiple Pasts. In L. Meskell (ed.), Archaeology under Fire. London: Routledge, 124-139

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Interpretation in Archaeology (2010, December 26) Retrieved April 22, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Interpretation in Archaeology" 26 December 2010. Web. 22 April. 2021. <>