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By Stephen Shennan

Examines the severe implications of cultural id from numerous views. Questions the character and bounds of archaeological wisdom of the previous and the connection of fabric tradition to cultural identification.

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As a result such uses of style perhaps have a stronger and more genuine basis than Wiessner, with her emphasis on conscious identity creation related to context, is prepared to allow. On the other hand, the habitus is not in itself ethnic identity, any more than is isochrestic variation, nor can it be regarded as representing the bedrock explanatory level—it must itself be subjected to a process of further analysis. Emblemic style and identity In the above discussion of ethnicity it was speculated that it was a phenomenon deriving from the social and economic dislocation associated with the existence of states and that outside of such situations the formation of collective interests and supralocal groups is a more situational phenomenon.

Ethnicity and archaeology Ethnicity must be distinguished from mere spatial variation and should refer to self-conscious identification with a particular social group at least partly based on a specific locality or origin. If we accept this definition, then it appears that prehistoric archaeology is in a difficult position as far as investigating it is concerned, since it does not have access to people’s selfconscious identifications (cf. Arutiunov & Khazanov 1981). The position of documentary history is no better.

Nietzsche 1873, quoted in Hollis & Lukes 1982) The idea that the different traditions within an academic discipline may be seen as so many cultures, with different criteria of relevance, significance and meaning has long been commonplace. Hollis & Lukes (1982, p. 1) spell out the point clearly: Recent upheavals in the philosophy of science have turned the historian or sociologist of science into something of an anthropologist, an explorer of alien cultures. It is as if scientific paradigms and theoretical 1 2 INTRODUCTION frameworks were strung out in time like islands across an archipelago.

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