chapter  1
19 Pages

Before Prison

Russian archaeology and Western archaeology still share a significant common factor: there remain large numbers of archaeologists who are indifferent to theoretical archaeology, if not downright hostile. In Russia, despite the fact that Marxism demands theory and negates empiricism', this antipathy can be traced back to the Soviet era. Klejn concedes that there are circumstances in which archaeology has progressed without any theory other than that implicitly held by antitheoretical empiricists. The archaeological theorist makes use of processual laws both bridging laws and those concerned with the development of sociocultural systems. Klejn sees archaeological explanations as at bottom hypothetical reconstructions containing an ineradicable element of inductive reasoning. As such the super session of one explanation by another may approach ever nearer to the truth but never attains absolute certainty. Klejn argues that awareness of how archaeological information is attained, and of the questions that must be asked in order to maximise the reliability of this information.