Archaeology after interpretation

Andrew Meirion Jones, Benjamin Alberti, Chris Fowler, Gavin Lucas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


This chapter presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The phrase ‘archaeology after interpretation’ denotes two things. First, it distinguishes contributions to the book from the intellectual outlook known as interpretative archaeology that characterized the early 1990s; in that sense, our phrase signifies ‘archaeology after interpretation’. Second, it highlights the elusive and changeable nature of archaeological interpretation. Archaeologists were introduced at a stroke to a diversity of approaches including neo-Marxism, structuralism, feminism, and a variety of post-structuralist positions. The modernist substance ontology of ‘mind’ and ‘matter’ gives way to relational ontologies; essentialist ‘objects’ and ‘subjects’ give way to relational identities, persons, and entities, in which dividing lines are not pre-drawn. The notion of material symbols reproduces a philosophical distinction between material and ideal, despite several attempts to overcome this distinction whether through Daniel Miller’s adoption of Hegel.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArchaeology After Interpretation
Subtitle of host publicationReturning Materials to Archaeological Theory
PublisherTaylor and Francis AS
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781315434247
ISBN (Print)9781611323412
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2013 Left Coast Press, Inc.


Dive into the research topics of 'Archaeology after interpretation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this