chapter  2
33 Pages

The development of archaeological theory: explaining the past

WithCharles L. Redman

As long as people have sought to know more about themselves, they have tried to understand and explain the past. In various cultures this enquiry has taken idealist forms, such as myth, religion, or tradition, while in other contexts the pursuit has been more empirical as exemplified by the study of history and archaeology. As is outlined in the previous chapter on the history of archaeology, the Western approach to knowing the past has taken many forms, but in a general sense has become increasingly empirical.