The Archaeology of Time
By Gavin Lucas
Routledge – 2004 – 160 pages
Series: Themes in Archaeology Series
It might seem obvious that time lies at the heart of archaeology, since archaeology is about the past. However, the issue of time is complicated and often problematic, and although we take it very much for granted, our understanding of time affects the way we do archaeology.
This book is an introduction not just to the issues of chronology and dating, but time as a theoretical concept and how this is understood and employed in contemporary archaeology. It provides a full discussion of chronology and change, time and the nature of the archaeological record, and the perception of time and history in past societies.
Drawing on a wide range of archaeological examples from a variety of regions and periods, The Archaeology of Time provides students with a crucial source book on one of the key themes of archaeology.
'Lucas presents a clear, well-written and logically structured book … [this book] does raise some important issues for consideration by those who are concerned about the political and philosophical motives of the discipline, and the practical problems of 'doing archaeology' in Australia.' – Australian Archaeology
1. Beyond Chronology 2. Time and the Archaeological Record 3. Time in Past Societies 4. Case Study: The life and Times of a Roman Jar 5. Conclusions: Forgetting the Past
Gavin Lucas is assistant director of the Institute of Archaeology in Reykjavik.