The Influence of Linguistics upon the Formation of the Culture-Historical Approach in Archaeology

  • Zorica Kuzmanović Department of Archaeology Faculty of Philosophy University of Belgrade
Keywords:
culture-historical archaeology, classical philology, comparative linguistics, Balkan studies

Abstract

Through the critical research into the history of archaeology, the paper aims to explore the influence of linguistics and, more generally, the role of language in modern societies, upon the formation of the culture-historical approach in the discipline, focusing upon the situation in the Serbian archaeology. In doing so, the author follows the series of the similar critical historical accounts of the history of archaeology, pointing to the conceptual burden carried along with the culture-historical practice of attributing artefacts according to their cultural affiliation, automatically making inferences about the cultural/ ethnic identity of the people who used them. The need to analyse the relationship between linguistics and archaeology at the time of formation of the discipline originates from the standpoint that, even if we do not advocate the complete rejection of the culture-historical tradition (still impossible, however), it is nevertheless necessary to understand the ways in which certain meanings were formed, implicit to the archaeological concept of culture. In this way, it becomes possible to avoid the interpretive mistakes inherent to the conceptual burden of the discipline.

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Published
2016-03-01