Universiteit Leiden

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Lecture

CANCELED | Comparing the incomparable

Date
Monday 16 March 2020
Time
Address
Van Steenis
Einsteinweg 2
2333 CC Leiden
Room
A2.02a

In this talk, I argue for new definitions of (field) methods, of methodologies, and of archaeology’s development. In part, this includes a discussion of what constitutes a method, how new methods affect the distance between observation and record, and the temporality of excavations. Further, I would like to address some of the issues that are latent in a lot of archaeological analyses, e.g. not accommodating for comparability issues and the sliding scale between representability and data resolution. How wrong could it go if we continue to compare the incomparable?

Comparability is most often neglected, despite a number of papers addressing it. One such example is that of sieving, as one cannot statistically compare sites, which have been sieved, with sites that have not. The same could be said for temporal comparisons, where one site has a fine-tuned chronology, while the other does not. After all: the highest accuracy one can arrive at, is the lowest in the dataset.

This is part of the theoretical framework that I have created for my dissertation, and while the dissertation takes Danish town archaeology as a case, the framework should be applicable to archaeologists everywhere. I therefore invite you to come, no matter your archaeological discipline, and join me in testing the robustness of my framework.

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