Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

Living Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith (Editor-in-Chief)

Actor Network Theory (ANT)

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-51726-1_3401-1


Actor-Network Theory (ANT) is a framework for the study of sociology that emerged in the early 1980s with the work of Bruno Latour, Michel Callon, and John Law in the field of Science and Technology Studies (STS). Bruno Latour continued to develop ANT throughout the 1990s, where its application moved beyond the boundaries of STS and made its way into other disciplines outside sociology. The application of ANT within the archaeological discipline has predominantly occurred through the development of symmetrical archaeology, which seeks to apply the ANT concept of symmetry in order to develop more complex interpretations within the archaeological discipline. Beyond this, the application of ANT by archaeologists exists within a number of isolated case studies in the subfields of maritime archaeology aviation archaeology, and ethnographies of archaeological practice.


ANT primarily emerged as a result of sociologies of scientific practice that developed in the early...


Actor Network Theory (ANT) Unsuccessful Instances Archaeological Discipline Archaeological Practice Whitridge 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Jordan Ralph
    • 1
  • Troy Lovata
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologyFlinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Honors CollegeThe University of New MexicoAlbuquerqueUSA