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For many a long day archaeologists saw only finds and what is hidden behind them – an Indian behind the artefact, after the catchwords of R. Braidwood (1959a, 79). There was, and is, meant exactly this by ‘‘archaeology’’. Renfrew (1969a, 243) called the methodological study of the discipline itself, of its general theory and methods, ‘‘metaarchaeology’’. Under this term he seemed to imply ironically a cliché of D. Clarke. It would be more exact to speak of archaeological metatheory, but Renfrew’s phrase possesses potentials for a broader use and therefore has come to stay. According to norms of the Greek language one should write this term as ‘‘metarchaeology’’ (when a prefix in Greek ends in a vowel and is followed by another vowel, then the vowel from the prefix is dropped). However, in newer languages the borrowed prefix ‘meta-’ only occurs in the full form (probably due to words like ‘‘metaphysics’’, ‘‘metaphor’’, ‘‘metamorphosis’’, ‘‘metastasis’’). This does not exhaust theoretical archaeology either. Still more theories remain that do not properly belong to archaeology but have a significant meaning for it. (Klejn 2001, 9)

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2 comments

  1. Karla Stingerstein

    Hi, I am really enjoying your blog. First, can you tell me where I can find out more on Spurensicherung art? I can’t locate a any online information thats in English. Second, who made the drawing for your blog, the one that demarcates flints and the guns.

    Thank you.

    • Hi! That’s good to hear.
      The first time I came across spurensicherung art was when reading Holtorf’s book. You can find it on google books.
      I made the header picture by combining two pictures (to which I have no rights whatsoever) I found on the internet.

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