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The Archaeological Imagination

Publication Date: 
1 March 2012
Citation: 
Archaeology is a way of acting and thinking—about what is left of the past, about the temporality of what remains, about material and temporal processes to which people and their goods are subject, about the processes of order and entropy, of making, consuming and discarding at the heart of human experience. These elements, and the practices that archaeologists follow to uncover them, is the essence of the archaeological imagination. In this extended essay, renowned archaeological theorist Michael Shanks offers his colleagues and students a window on this imaginative world of past and present and the creative role archaeology can play in uncovering it, analyzing it, and interpreting it.