Critical Distance: Stabilizing Evidential Claims in Archaeology

Evidence, Inference, and Enquiry
Wylie, Alison. “Critical Distance: Stabilizing Evidential Claims in Archaeology.” In Evidence, Inference and Enquiry, edited by Philip Dawid, William Twining, and Mimi Vasilaki, 371-394. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

The vagaries of evidential reasoning in archaeology are notorious: the material traces that comprise the archaeological record are fragmentary and profoundly enigmatic, and the inferential gap that archaeologists must cross to constitute them evidence of the cultural past is a perennial source of epistemic anxiety. And yet, archaeologists know a great deal about the cultural past. 

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