Archaeology and Social Anthropology (ARC3608)

15 credits

Archaeologists and socio-cultural anthropologists have long aimed at understanding the 'exotic' contexts of other cultures, whether contemporary or ancient ones. More recently, both disciplines have also challenged this notion by scrutinising their own culturally-specific understandings and practices. In this process, they have both fed each other with complementary perspectives and approaches that have been mutually beneficial.

This module will explore some of the history of this relationship, as well as some central themes in current socio-cultural anthropology and their influence on archaeological research and practice. The module will review and critically examine the migration of concepts, techniques and methods across the disciplinary divide. This will enable a better understanding of how archaeologists build theoretical and practical frameworks not only to study ancient societies, but also to deal with the impact of archaeological research in the present.