Narrow anthro

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Archaeologist (and blogger) Michael E. Smith writes some thoughts about “Why anthropology is too narrow an intellectual context for archaeology.”

Gordon Willey and Philip Phillips (1958) once claimed that archaeology is anthropology or it is nothing, and Lewis Binford (1962) promoted a program of archaeology as anthropology [see also Gillespie, 2003 #9111]. I disagree with these views. Had my research on comparative urbanism remained within the confines of anthropology, it would have remained pedestrian and limited in scope. Based on my personal experience, I suggest that the intellectual horizons of archaeology should not be limited to the rather parochial discipline of anthropology.

There are many jingoistic scholars who claim to love anthropology because it encompasses everything. I, for one, think that the field that tries to encompass everything will thereby mean nothing.

I resist making a tag for “disciplinarity”.

One more thing: The Anthropologies project, which I’ve linked a couple of times now, is a really good idea.