Archaeology as a Profession

This source preferred by Timothy Darvill

Authors: Darvill, T.

Editors: Skeates, R., McDavid, C. and Carman, J.

Pages: 373-394

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Place of Publication: Oxford

ISBN: 9780199237821

Grounded in antiquarian traditions of the mid-sixteenth century the professionalization of archaeology accelerated greatly during the 1970s as demands for new and varied kinds of archaeology grew, especially in the public sector. Such developments are closely comparable with changes in other disciplines where a branch of advanced learning or science is applied for the general social good. Role specialization is now a characteristic of archaeological practice and a review of arrangements in Britain, Europe, the United States, Australasia, and other parts of the world shows that while archaeology has become a global profession sharing many underlying ethical principles and ideals there are also regional and local characteristics.

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Authors: Darvill, T.

ISBN: 9780199237821

DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199237821.013.0020

© Oxford University Press 2012. All rights reserved. The development of archaeology as a discipline, both in terms of its theoretical and philosophical foundations, and its methodological and practical frameworks, is discussed many times and from a number of perspectives. This article considers how archaeology in the Western world has become professionalized and what constitutes the archaeological profession. It focuses on the situation in Europe, North America, and Australasia. Archaeology is a global profession that shares many underlying tenets and ideals, although its application and deployment often have more regional aims and local characteristics. One key issue inextricably bound up with professionalization in archaeology is the matter of role specialization. Relationships between Indigenous people and archaeology are also a major strand running through archaeological practice, and the associated codes of practice and ethical principles, in Australasia. Much of the future development of the profession will probably hinge on the spread of specialization in archaeological work, responses to cultural diversity, pressures born of economic circumstances, and reactions to insights gained through the adoption of global perspectives.

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