Modern disturbances: On the ambiguities of archaeology

Gavin Lucas*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


This paper discusses the relationship between modernity and archaeology from two directions. The first half examines the historical development of archaeology in relation to the concept of prehistory where prehistory is viewed not as a chronological period but an ontological condition, defined by a dialectical tension between discourse and materiality. The second half explores this dialectic through archaeological approaches to the modern world, especially the present, and argues for a greater need to frame archaeological practice as cultural performance. In particular, it is suggested that archaeology be viewed as an engagement with the unconstituted present, where historicity is affirmed as an act of cultural production which should be socially situated at all levels of practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-120
Number of pages12
JournalModernism - Modernity
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Other keywords

  • Archaeology


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