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ARC4ICA Essay: 'Time Perspectivism': Time as a Methodological Tool in Archaeology

by Caroline Seawright
Honours Essay for Issues in Contemporary Archaeology at LaTrobe University, July 2015.


This paper examines the use of time as a methodological tool in archaeology, focussing on the feasibility of Geoff Bailey's time perspectivisim approach. The history of time theories will be explored, touching on the Pompeii Premise, Braudel and the Annales School, and time-averaging. Alternative approaches to the use of timescales for identifying patterns of human action in the archaeological record will also be briefly discussed. The idea of the archaeological palimpsest and how time perspectivism relates to this concept will also be considered. Although time perspectivism shows promise, it will be argued that further work is required before it can be a viable solution to the problems archaeologists face regarding time and human behaviour.

Analogy and Ethnography in Archaeology

Seawright, C , 'Time Perspectivism': Time as a Methodological Tool in Archaeology, Articles by Caroline Seawright, < kunoichi/themestream/ ARC4ICA-3.html>.

© Caroline 'Kunoichi' Seawright 2015 - present

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