What work does the adjective 'social' in social archaeology do? What is the character of human/things relations under the rubric of social archaeology? We raise these questions in relation to the recent Companion to Social Archaeology by Meskell and Preucel. While the corrective of the 'social' has been extremely productive, in broaching these questions we enter very murky waters. Our task in this article is to show where meanings of the 'social' have broken down; our charge is to demonstrate how frames of reference in understanding people/things relations have become muddled. By building on the strength of archaeology with regard to things, we seek to revisit the question: what is it to be human?