By Francis Pryor

A full of life and authoritative research into the lives of our ancestors, in keeping with the revolution within the box of Bronze Age archaeology which has been occurring in Norfolk and the Fenlands over the past two decades, and within which the writer has performed a relevant role.

One of the main haunting and enigmatic archaeological discoveries of contemporary instances was once the uncovering in 1998 at low tide of the so-called Seahenge off the north coast of Norfolk. This circle of wood planks set vertically within the sand, with a wide inverted tree-trunk within the heart, likened to a ghostly 'hand achieving up from the underworld', has now been dated again to round 2020 BC. The timbers are presently (and controversially) within the author's safekeeping at Flag Fen.

Francis Pryor and his spouse (an specialist in historic wood-working and research) were on the centre of Bronze Age fieldwork for almost 30 years, piecing jointly the lifestyle of Bronze Age humans, their cost of the panorama, their faith and rituals. The well-known wetland websites of the East Anglian Fens have preserved ten occasions the knowledge in their dryland opposite numbers like Stonehenge and Avebury, within the type of pollen, leaves, wooden, hair, epidermis and fibre chanced on 'pickled' in dust and peat.

Seahenge demonstrates how a lot Western civilisation owes to the prehistoric societies that existed in Europe within the final 4 millennia BC.

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But Politis (1995: 227) argues that ‘so far in the history of South America, there has been no such thing as a school of “indigenous archaeology”, if that implies a way of thinking and practising archaeology which has not been derived from Western archaeology’. Does this imply that the influence of PPA in particular will continue to grow across the continent? I think it highly unlikely. While Politis’s view of the relations of dependence between South American and Western archaeologists will continue at the level of technical resources and infrastructure, I see strong evidence of intellectual independence, for example, in the work of the Grupo Oaxtepec (see McGuire 1992: 67–8), with their rejection of French structural Marxism, as well as of polar oppositions such as subjectivity/objectivity.

G. Kobylinski 1991). In Greece, the expansion of interest in archaeological theory was due to the influence of French structural Marxism from the late 1970s, while PA was valued primarily for its materialist methodology (Kotsakis 1991). The situation in Italy seems more complex: the impact (much of it methodological) of PA was evident mostly in the 1980s, but its anthropological approach was countered by the historical strength of the indigenous classical tradition and, to a lesser extent, by the Marxist research of scholars such as Peroni, Puglisi, Carandini 15 A R C H A E O L O G I C A L T H E O RY A N D P R A C T I C E and Tosi, while PPA’s espousal of idealism (through Collingwood) was thought to be unoriginal, and even reactionary, in the land of Croce (Guidi 1988, 1996).

This may not help those whose political strategies within the discipline favour exclusion and restriction, or those who feel the need to claim identity through inclusion within a particular, mode-ish (or post-mode-ish) group. Moving beyond such tribalism will, I think, enhance our internal debates, as they respond to, and incorporate, the outcome of practice by individual archaeologists and archaeological projects. There is also something to be learnt from the reaction of ‘outsiders’ to such debates within Anglo-American archaeology; our prime concerns are not necessarily theirs, as we shall see in the next section.

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