By Wilma George, Yapp. W. B.

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In this way, material evidence and texts can share the same epistemological status. It is thus interesting that Ginzburg links his method of historical interpretation to the semiotic turn in the social and human sciences, because around the same time, many archaeologists were of course espousing the same about material culture, but from the opposite perspective. g. Hodder 1982a, 1989a; Tilley 1990; Preucel & Bauer 2001). However, this is to digress; the relevant point here concerns the nature of an unintended or accidental record as opposed to an intended one, and it is with historians such as Droysen, Collingwood, Bloch, and Ginzburg that the archaeological and historical records are most closely aligned, as opposed to a view which emphasizes the distinction between objects and documents, things and texts.

In terms of Anglo-American traditions, this issue has never been a major point of discussion; Stuart Piggott once made passing reference to the nature of archaeological sources as unconscious evidence, clearly referencing this distinction but nothing more (Piggott 1966: 14–15). g. Schiffer 1987, although Schiffer does not explicitly use this opposition), but it hardly plays a substantial role in contemporary formation theory (see Chapter 3). In contrast, the German tradition makes much more out of this.

I suggest that perhaps each of these archaeological absences is in fact mutually reinforcing by virtue of the fact that each facet of the archaeological record is kept distinct. In other words, the very fragmentation and separation of the concept of the archaeological record into three different discourses, which rarely impinge on one another, actually creates the problem of absence felt in each. The only way to deal with such absences is to reconnect the domains, which is the intention of the later chapters of this book.

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A Natural History of the Bestiary by Wilma George, Yapp. W. B.
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