By C. Gamble
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Additional resources for Archaeology. The Basics
Shennan 1993: 56, my emphasis) 41 ARCHAEOLOGY: THE BASICS The point about humans is that we negotiate what the social structure will be. It is not, and never has been, specific to our species. Therefore intent, while difficult to measure, is part of the explanation. Neo-Darwinism, if interpreted broadly, does allow those all-important processes that integrate the micro- and the macro-scale of human activity, such as individual and society, village and civilisation, a year and a millennium, to be explored.
Feminist approaches have successfully challenged entrenched ways of thinking and by focusing on gender have added to our understanding of the active role of material culture in creating power (Chapter 8). Interpretive approaches may have more adherents in Europe than anywhere else. However, the social theory they draw on has wide significance and provides archaeologists with an entry to debates other than those of science. Finally, the neoDarwinians, a diverse bunch ranging from the hardest of hard scientists to those wrapped in a thin coating of biological metaphor, remind us that we need to develop our own theory and methods rather than be simply borrowers.
Since I teach at a British university I am most familiar with what goes on there. However, my feeling is that almost anywhere that archaeology is taught a broadly similar range of themes will be covered, though the emphasis will vary. The major differences will be in the periods covered, which will in turn reflect the archaeology of the country concerned. A list of topics (Box 4), basically on the core of the subject, was recently drawn up to encapsulate the teaching of archaeology in Britain. Of course it does not list everything, but as an example of a structured à la carte menu from one country it gives you an idea of the choices on ofter.