Debating Archaeological Empiricism: The Ambiguity of Material Evidence, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Debating Archaeological Empiricism

The Ambiguity of Material Evidence, 1st Edition

Edited by Charlotta Hillerdal, Johannes Siapkas


200 pages

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Debating Archaeological Empiricismexamines the current intellectual turn in archaeology, primarily in its prehistoric and classical branches, characterized by a return to the archaeological evidence. Each chapter in the book approaches the empirical from a different angle, illuminating contemporary views and uses of the archaeological material in interpretations and theory building. The inclusion of differing perspectives in this collection mirrors the conceptual landscape that characterizes the discipline, contributing to the theoretical debate in archaeology and classical studies. As well as giving an important snapshot of the practical as well as theoretical uses of materiality in archaeologies today, this volume looks to the future of archaeology as an empirical discipline.

Table of Contents


Johannes Siapkas & Charlotta Hillerdal

Why ‘The Death of Archaeological Theory’?

Julian Thomas

Comment by Johannes Siapkas

Comment by Christopher Witmore

Archaeology and the Second Empiricism

Christopher Witmore

Comment by Frands Herschend

Comment by Michael Fotiadis

Public Archaeological Challenges in the 2010s: Learning from Participatory Action in Practice

Katherine Hauptman

Comment by Charlotta Hillerdal

Comment by Julian Thomas

Students First, Please!

Michael Fotiadis

Comment by Frands Herschend

Comment by Katherine Hauptman

Archaeology is History or it’s History

Frands Herschend

Comment by Katherine Hauptman

Comment by Johannes Siapkas

Empirical Tensions in the Materialities of Time

Charlotta Hillerdal

Comment by Julian Thomas

Comment by Michael Fotiadis

Neo-Empirical Mixtures

Johannes Siapkas

Comment by Christopher Witmore

Comment by Charlotta Hillerdal



Gavin Lucas

About the Editors

Charlotta Hillerdal is Lecturer in Archaeology, University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Hillerdal’s research focuses on theoretical archaeology, social identities and ethnic constructions. Her main research areas are Indigenous archaeology (esp. Yupik Alaska) and Viking Age Scandinavia and diaspora. Previous publications include: People in Between. Ethnicity and Material Culture – a New Approach to Deconstructed concepts

Johannes Siapkas is Associate Professor in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History, Uppsala University, Sweden. Siapkas' research focuses on the epistemological foundations of Classical Studies, and modern appropriations of classical antiquity. Previous publications include: Heterological Ethnicity, Displaying the Ideals of Antiquity (co-authored).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / General
HISTORY / Historiography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology