Ethnoarchaelogy – the Present as Key to the Past

  • Marko Porčić Department of Archaeology Faculty of Philosophy University of Belgrade
ethnoarchaeology, middle-range theories, analogy


This text discusses the theoretical aspects of ethnoarchaeology, as a discipline that represents a specific hybrid of ethnology and archaeology and thus asserts itself as a significant pathway to building middle-range theories. Methods in ethnoarchaeology enable us to study all aspects of human action, with the necessary reliance on the premise of uniformness, which also gets tested in the course of research. In many ways, this subdiscipline relies on results from related disciplines such as ecology, sociology and psychology. Ethnoarchaeology is thus viewed as a vital research strategy in the building of archaeological theory that represents a necessary condition for the knowledge of the past, and the uses of that knowledge in the construction of general anthropological theory. The author points to the yet unexploited possibilties of ethnoarchaeology in the Balkans, claiming that their exploration may lead to the productive collaboration of archaeology and ethnology in Serbia.


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