Latest Entries

Culture History vs. Processualism

Last week’s blog post focused on the key components of the processual paradigm, and I thought that it would be useful to detail how this body of theory differs from the culture-historical approach that proceeded it. The fall of culture-history and the development of new archaeological theory, especially the processual archaeology paradigm coincides with the idea … Continue reading


Processualism: The New Archeology

Uncovering Theory Topic #3 Processualism, or the New Archeology, is a school of thought that has its beginnings in the 1960’s and 1970’s of American Archaeology. (Note: New Archeology is not a misspelling- many processualists used this spelling to associate themselves with a more science or social-science oriented practice). In his book Archaeological Theory, Matthew … Continue reading

Frequently Asked Questions / Uncategorized

Did aliens build the pyramids? Did the Myceneans come to North America? And other archaeological questions with racist roots.

At a party recently, I found myself having a conversation with someone who was really interested in the work that I do (this is common- I have a cool job). He had lots of questions for me about what I thought about new local archaeological findings from the area. Inevitably, the topic of the Myceneans … Continue reading

Interpreting Scholarly Articles / Uncategorized

The past as propaganda: totalitarian archaeology in Nazi Germany

Arnold, B., 1990. The past as propaganda: totalitarian archaeology in Nazi Germany. Antiquity, 64(244), pp.464-478. Synopsis: I came across this article while researching The Problem with Culture History: The Celtic Example and The Real Indiana Jones(es): Gustaf Kossina.  The author provides a fascinating history of the ways in which archaeology legitimized the position of the Nazi party. She notes that in … Continue reading

The Real Indiana Jones(es): Gustaf Kossina

The Real Indiana Jones(es): Gustaf Kossina

Today I wanted to talk about a famous, and very controversial archaeologist. He helped to cement the transition to culture-historical archaeology, but he also helped to lay the groundwork for Nazi propoganda. Though Kossina promoted a lot of ideas that are frankly disgusting to modern archaeologists, he nonetheless represents a major shift in archaeological thinking. … Continue reading


CRM Archaeology: What are RPA’s, NRHP and SHPO?

In this blog post, I want to talk a bit about the professional qualifications that CRM archaeologists have to meet, and the state and national offices that oversee archaeological work. If you are interested in regulations regarding Native American sites please see: NAGPRA. This post will only deal with historic archaeology. On a nationwide level, the … Continue reading