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First published in 1990 as the English translation of a Czech original, this book presents a radical interpretation by Czech philosophers of science of the philosophical, social and political forces shaping archaeology from antiquity onwards. The text reflects upon the divergent paths taken by Anglo-American and European archaeology in the years preceding publication, largely in ignorance of each other. It provides a theoretically sophisticated and cosmopolitan overview of modern archaeology, treating the history of both traditions in a single framework. Moreover, archaeological history is linked to developments in historiography, anthropology and the history and philosophy of science. Illustrated by Czech cartoons which reflect its iconoclastic approach, this book constitutes an important and original contribution to the intellectual history of archaeology.
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Table of Contents

Foreword A. F. Harding; 1. The search for arche; 2. The earliest history; 3. A digression into the natural sciences; 4. More recent history: the twentieth century; 5. The present; 6. Description, classification and seriation; 7. Archaeological hypotheses; 8. Epilogue; Select bibliography; General index; Index of names.

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