Social science and archaeological enquiry

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Is archaeology a social science? Most archaeologists would probably agree that the goal of our discipline is to learn about the people, societies and cultures of the past. Thus there should be little objection to labelling archaeology a 'social' field of study. We study both people and society, but what about the 'science' part? This label is more controversial. Many archaeologists reject the notion that archaeology is, can be or should be a science. Others assume that archaeology is indeed a science and get on with their work, not worrying much about epistemology or definitions of science. Still others pursue decidedly non-scientific goals yet borrow scientific techniques from other disciplines and call it 'archaeological science'.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)520-528
Number of pages9
Issue number356
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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