Is There a Future for XRF in Twenty-First Century Archaeology?



I am pretty widely characterized (by others) as a “post-processual” archaeologist, more specifically (an identification I actually agree with), as a feminist archaeologist. So what am I doing, enthusiastically endorsing the idea that the future of archaeology requires us to integrate archaeological science even more fully into our practice and explanations than we have been doing in recent decades in archaeology? Without obscuring my actual lack of direct experience in the application of XRF, which I still admit to treating like a kind of magic, I want to make two arguments in this chapter, explaining why archaeologists like me should encourage the cultivation of expertise in archaeological science, and why archaeological scientists should find what I personally prefer to call “social archaeology,” a congenial place to spend time.


Grand Unify Theory Archaeological Material Lithic Material Archaeological Theorist Archaeological Science 
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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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