By Eberhard W. Sauer

ISBN-10: 0203643712

ISBN-13: 9780203643716

ISBN-10: 0203683595

ISBN-13: 9780203683590

ISBN-10: 0415302013

ISBN-13: 9780415302012

A few classicists nonetheless take care of the traditional international as though archaeological proof is of little relevance to their paintings. this may suggest that territories or topics for which there's little textual facts may be marginalised or now not studied in any respect. equally, many ancient archaeologists, disenchanted with their ancillary position, assert that fabric facts for the traditional global can and will be studied independently. even though efforts are being made - in a few quarters not less than - to erode those disciplinary barriers, in others they've got turn into more and more fossilized, and rifts inside of matters are resulting in ever extra remoted sub disciplines. whereas representatives of every diversified specialism may possibly think they've got stumbled on the trail to old fact, the true fact is that the straitjackets of disciplinary obstacles - no matter if generations outdated or fashionably novel - are stifling innovation, creativity, and the potential for illuminating the prior with the entire wisdom at our disposal. This choice of items from overseas participants explores the separation of the research of the human earlier into historical past and archaeology, tough its validity and asking how we will be able to stream to a holistic strategy. whereas the point of interest is at the old international, really Greece and Rome, the teachings that emerge are major for the research of anyplace and time.

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Giddens 1984: 357). 2 The dangers of one-sided approaches While it is permissible to choose to study questions and periods for which a favoured research method is of paramount importance, it is hardly justifiable to deal with more complex topics while ignoring a significant part of the available evidence. There are, indeed, subjects one could classify as mainly ‘historical’ or mainly ‘archaeological’. Ancient philosophy forms an example of the former; even depictions of philosophers and excavated places of teaching are only identifiable as such against the background of historical texts.

The burial process; we can also draw parallels with coin and weapons offerings elsewhere to trace to some extent foreign influences and indigenous elements, yet we are unable to reconstruct the underlying belief system which led to this peculiar form of bird burials. Of course, archaeology can make essential contributions to social and religious history, yet it is clear that we need textual information (where available) to gain in-depth insights into pagan theology. Many ancient historians include the classical art and architecture of their period and area of interest in their studies, but the potential of other archaeological research methods is often underestimated or completely ignored.

But, equally, social scientists whose concerns are the most abstract and general theories about social life, are not freed from the hermeneutic demands of the interpretation of texts and other cultural objects. Historical research is cultural research and vice versa. (Giddens 1984: 357–8) This is a crucial point: Giddens argues that there is no difference between social science and history. Historians in his definition also include those who specialize in particular types of textual materials (which must include philologists, papyrologists and epigraphists) and, notably, he makes no distinction between the study of texts and of ‘cultural objects’.

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Archaeology and Ancient History: Breaking Down the Boundaries by Eberhard W. Sauer


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