Digging Into the Life of the Mind

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Science  20 Nov 1998:
Vol. 282, Issue 5393, pp. 1444
DOI: 10.1126/science.282.5393.1444


CAMBRIDGE, U.K.-- The new dig at Çatalhöyük (see main text) is being closely watched by the archaeological community--yet as much for the way it is being dug as for what it is finding. Its head, Ian Hodder of Cambridge University, has spent much of his career leading a movement called "postprocessualism" that puts much more emphasis on studying the symbolic and cognitive life of ancient peoples than do established archaeological approaches and argues for the need to accept and even welcome differing interpretations of an archaeological site. He sees the dig as his best chance to prove that the postprocessual approach can work.

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