What Kind of Archaeology do We Need?

  • Staša Babić Department of Archaeology Faculty of Philosophy University of Belgrade
archaeological epistemology, paradigm shift, social responsibility of archaeologists


From the time of the constitution of archaeology as an academic discipline to the present, two radical changes have taken place of theoretical postulates, aims, methods, relationships with other disciplines. However, potentially farreaching consequences of these fundamental changes have not had the same impact in all the academic communities. The critical assessment of the epistemological foundations of archaeology in Serbia indicates that our professional community has remained resistant to the large extent to the paradigm changes in the wider disciplinary surrounding, so the culture-historical approach still prevails, even though it was severely criticized as early as by the middle of the 20th century. Facing this significant delay raises many important questions, starting by the issue of selection among various, sometimes mutually conflicting theoretical approaches, being a part of archaeological research for several decades and implying certain consequences in terms of methodological aspects of the discipline. Partial, non-critical and insufficiently theoretically informed borrowing of individual elements of research may lead to equally bad results as the total rejection of influences from other archaeological environments. It is therefore necessary to bring into the discipline the comprehension of the social responsibility of archaeologists, the importance of the academic narratives we produce and the ways of their creation.


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How to Cite
Babić, S. (2016). What Kind of Archaeology do We Need?. Issues in Ethnology and Anthropology, 8(3), 621-631. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.21301/eap.v8i3.1

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