Symmetrical archaeology: Excerpts of a manifesto

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This article sketches the project of a symmetrical archaeology in brief. At a point when archaeology has arguably never been more relevant, it finds itself in a climate of necessary plurality where incommensurability is routinely shrugged off as a symptom of diversity; it finds itself in a state where seemingly incompatible differences proliferate on either side of the divide between the humanities and the sciences; it finds itself perplexed by divides between ideas and things, past and present, and so on. A symmetrical archaeology holds that these divides are of our own making. Without over-simplifying the world with an impoverished vocabulary of contradictory bifurcations, a symmetrical archaeology offers a profitable suite of perspectives and practices for recognizing the impact of things and our fellow creatures, ordinarily denied a stake in modernist myths of the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)546-562
Number of pages17
JournalWorld Archaeology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2007


  • Genealogy
  • Mediation
  • Multiple fields
  • Pragmatogony
  • Symmetry
  • Things


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