For the last decade or so, archaeology in company with other social science disciplines has been involved in a great deal of soul searching variously described as irrelevant, pretentious, a postmodern fashion or the most important revolution in the discipline for a hundred years. Whatever the truth or relevance of these comments, it is clear that much of the discourse surrounding archaeology in recent years has been engaged in a self-conscious examination of the processes and assumptions underlying its status both as an object of ontological inquiry and as a historical discipline. This has resulted in a scrutiny of the variety of methodological and theoretical platforms within which the discipline of archaeology operates. This period of self-reflection-or ‘navel gazing’ depending on which side of the rhetorical boundary we are placed-has been marked by a continuing polemic on both the true nature and possible recovery of archaeological knowledge.