The awkward adolescence of archaeological science

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


The rapid growth of archaeological science (and of the Journal of Archaeological Science) over the last 15 years has changed archaeology worldwide. New methods of analysis have allowed archaeologists to pose many new questions, and have made it possible to revisit many old ones. In spite of its many successes, archaeological science is not yet a mature field of science, for it has yet to attract adequate funding, has not solved the problem of how to reproduce itself (issues of training and employment), and still struggles with quality control. These are however all problems of archaeological science in rich nations. Looking beyond these, a particularly troubling issue is the growing inequality of access to archaeological science. Archaeologists in poorer nations are often aware of the growing importance of scientific techniques in archaeological research, but cannot obtain access to them. Archaeological scientists also need to be aware of potential political sensitivity of their work, and to work to build trust.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-247
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Archaeological science
  • Archaeometry
  • Employment
  • Funding
  • Quality control
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology


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