A Crisis in Historical Archaeology

  • Charles E. OrserJr.
Part of the Contributions to Global Historical Archaeology book series (CGHA)


“It is with theories as with wells: you may see to the bottom of the deepest if there be any water there, while another shall pass for wondrous profound when ‘tis merely shallow, dark, and empty” (Allibone 1890:698). Jonathan Swift, the celebrated author of Gulliver’s Travels, penned these words in 1726 during his tenure as dean of the majestic St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. Many of today’s best literary scholars applaud Swift for his insightful social commentaries, and generations of schoolchildren learn the fine art of satire by reading his essays and poems. Though sometimes biting and often obscure, Swift always gave freely of his now timeless wisdom.


Historical Archaeology Literate Culture Door Knocker Archaeological Theory Abandoned Well 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles E. OrserJr.
    • 1
  1. 1.Illinois State UniversityNormalUSA

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