Explanation pp 231-248 | Cite as

Explanation in Archaeology

Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 302)


Archaeology is an interdisciplinary field of study with implications that reach far beyond academia. Today, most people recognize the close connections between archaeology and the state. Governments regulate, at least indirectly, most archaeological work since they are charged with preserving their countries’ cultural heritage. Archaeological excavation is so expensive that government money is required to support any large scale project. Archaeological work is politically important because archaeologists can trace the occupation of ethnic groups in particular territories over significant periods of time. By combining archaeological information about former inhabitants of a land with politicians’ contemporary cultural views about the continuity of property rights, governments attempt to challenge or to defend present political boundaries.1


Scientific Explanation Archaeological Record System Explanation Statistical Explanation Archaeological Material 
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