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Title: The method and theory of V. Gordon Childe
Author: McNairn, Barbara
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1979
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Although Childe himself especially valued his contribution to archaeology as the originator of new interpretative concepts and methods of explanation, his explicitly theoretical work is not widely known today and indeed was largely ignored by his contemporaries. Here an attempt is made to redress the balance, not by depreciating Childs's role as a synthesiser, nor by overstating his explicit concern with theory, but rather by viewing both these aspects of his work as integral parts of an overall enquiry into prehistory. The thesis thus begins with an outline of the development of Childe's synthesis of European and Oriental prehistory in relationship to the development of his theoretical framework. This is followed by a more detailed analysis of the theoretical content of the synthesis itself. In tracing Childe's intellectual genesis and development from his entry into archaeology in the early twenties to his tragic death in 1957. One follows a remarkable journey through philological theory, Oriental diffusionism, functionalism, Darwinism and Marxism. The picture which emerges is one of an archaeologist grappling with complex and often contradictory theoretical systems, in an attempt not only to perceive the patterns in prehistory, but to understand the historical process itself.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available