The Difficulties in Archaeological Investigation Essay by Master Researcher

The Difficulties in Archaeological Investigation
This paper examines archaeological methods for identifying sites of imperial control in the ancient world.
# 90378 | 1,350 words | 1 source | 2006 | US
Published on Dec 01, 2006 in Archaeology (General)

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In "Dimensions of Imperial Control: The Vijayanagara Capital," Carla Sinopoli and Kathleen Morrison confront this difficulty in archaeological investigation, attempting a more cautious and evidence-based analysis of the sites of power in and around the capital city of the Vijayanagara empire. They begin their assessment, rightly, with a basic ideological assumption about the nature of archaeology of ancient empires: overarching models that describe imperial control and loci of power that are relatively useless.

From the Paper:

"Archaeology can be a frustrating discipline. The scholars who form the ranks of the world's archaeological institutions spend lifetimes sifting through scant clues to reconstruct the intimate details of civilizations long gone. Mistakes are easily made. Evidence is easily misinterpreted. It takes years of pointed training to develop the practical and intellectual skills to draw some meaningful conclusions regarding the characteristics of the ancient world. It's somewhat akin to trying to solve a murder mystery with only the briefest of clues that happened thousands of years prior. (In fact, Bob Brier--a famous Egyptologist--did just that, working to solve what he concluded was the murder of Tutankhamen)."

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