A survey of Ph.D dissertations on the history of prehistoric archaeology

A list of recent Ph.D dissertations about the history of prehistoric archaeology. Updates can be sent to Sébastien Plutniak.

Contents of this article

Quantitative overview

Cumulative sum of defended Ph.D dissertations about the history of prehistoric archaeology between 2008 and 2019.
Language of the dissertations about the history of prehistoric archaeology defended between 2008 and 2019.
Location of the institutions where the Ph.D dissertations have been defended (2008-2019).

Dissertations by year


  • Cataldi, Maddalena. 2019. Découvrir, comprendre et interpréter des gravures pariétales. Une histoire de la science archéologique à travers l’histoire de l’étude scientifique du Mont Bégo (1868-1947). [Discovering, understanding and interpreting rock engravings. A history of archeological science through the study of Mount Bégo (1868–1947)] EHESS, France. [abstract]
  • Hussain, Shumon. 2019. The French-Anglophone divide in lithic research. A plea for pluralism in Palaeolithic archaeology. Leiden University, Netherlands. [abstract] [HDL: 1887/69812]
  • Fux, Peter. 2019. Archäologie Schweiz – Weltweit. Potenzial und Herausforderungen einer komparativen Archäologie. Eine Studie mit wissenschaftstheoretischen Grundlagen und empirischen Projektbeispielen mit Bhutan und Peru. Universität Zürich, Switzerland.[abstract] [DOI: 10.5167/uzh-171562]


  • Aguilera Durán, Tomás. 2018. Bárbaros y héroes: recepción de la Iberia prerromana en la España moderna. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain. [abstract] [HDL: 10486/684254]
  • Trif, Alina. 2018. La culture de Cucuteni dans le discours de l’archéologie préhistorique, de 1889 jusqu’en 1937. Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium. [abstract] [HDL: 2013/ULB-DIPOT:oai:dipot.ulb.ac.be:2013/276735]


  • Plutniak, Sébastien. 2017. L’opération archéologique. Sociologie historique d’une discipline aux prises avec l’automatique et les mathématiques. France, Espagne, Italie, 2e moitié du XXe siècle [The archaeological operation. A sociohistorical perspective of a discipline faced with developments in automatics and mathematics. France, Spain, Italy, in the second half of the 20th century]. EHESS, France. [abstract]
  • Proust, Clotilde. 2017. Les ateliers du Musée des Antiquités nationales : aux origines de la restauration en archéologie. Université de Paris I, France. [abstract] [HAL: tel-01717238]


  • Coltofean-Arizancu, Laura. 2016. Zsófia Torma și așezarea de la Turdaș, punctul Luncă, județul Hunedoara [Zsófia Torma and the settlement of Turdaș-Luncă (Hunedoara County)]. Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Romania. [abstract]
  • Defrance-Jublot, Fanny. 2016. Être préhistorien et catholique en France (1859-1962). [The experience of being prehistorian and catholic in France (1859-1962)] EPHE, France. [abstract]
  • Norton, Elizabeth, Jane. 2016. Polished axes: object biographies and the writing of world prehistories. University of Southampton, U.K. [abstract] [eprint: 407539]
  • Pizzato, Fedra Alessandra. 2016. Fossili della nazione. Paletnologia, antropologia e nazionalismo in Italia (1871-1915). Università Ca’Foscari, Italy & Universitat de Barcelona, Spain. [abstract] [HDL: 10579/8836]


  • Carandell Baruzzi, Miquel. 2015. Orce Man. A Public Controversy in Spanish Human Origins Research 1982-2007. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. [abstract] [HDL: 10803/313233]
  • Engström, Elin. 2015. Eketorps veckningar. Hur arkeologi formar tid, rum och kön. [The Folds of Eketorp: How Archaeology Shapes Time, Space and Gender]. Stockholm University, Sweden. [abstract] [URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-116288]
  • Varouhakis, Vassilios, 2015. L’archéologie enragée. Archaeology & national identity under the Cretan State (1898–1913). University of Southampton, U.K. [abstract] [eprint: 381861]
  • Woźny, Marzena. 2015. Włodzimierz Demetrykiewicz (1859-1937). Prehistoryk z przełomu epok [Włodzimierz Demetrykiewicz (1859-1937). A prehistorian from the turn of the eras]. Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw, Poland. [abstract]


  • Delley, Géraldine. 2014. Au-delà des chronologies. Des origines du radiocarbone et de la dendrochronologie à leur intégration dans les recherches lacustres suisses. Université de Neuchâtel, Switzerland. [abstract]
  • Loiseau, Jean-Patrick. 2014. François Bordes (1919-1981) et la construction de la Préhistoire dans la seconde moitié du XXe siècle. [François Bordes (1919-1981) and the construction of Prehistory in the second half of the 20th century]. Université de Bordeaux, France. [abstract] [HAL: tel-01149174]



  • Davey, Christopher. 2012. The foundation of the Australian Institute of Archaeology and the origin of its Ancient Near Eastern museum collection. La Trobe University, Australia. [abstract] [HDL: 1959.9/514487]
  • Hardy-Smith, Tania. 2012. “Another dimension of seeing…” Exploring artistic responses to antiquity and the effect on the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. La Trobe University, Australia. [abstract] [HDL: 1959.9/522567]
  • Lanzarote Guiral, José María. 2011. “Prehistoria Patria’. National identities and Europeanisation in the construction of prehistoric archaeology in Spain (1860-1936). European University Institute, Florence, Italy. [abstract] [HDL: 1814/20737]
  • Lippé, Renaud. 2012. Nature, culture et progrès. Histoire comparative du concept de transition entre paléolithiques moyen et supérieur en archéologie préhistorique. Université de Bordeaux 1, France. [abstract] [HDL: 1866/13599]


  • Dubois, Sébastien. 2011. Émergence et développement de l’archéologie préhistorique en Midi Toulousain entre 19e et 20e siècle. [Emergence and development of prehistoric archelogy in southern France between XIXth and XXth century]. Université Toulouse 2 Le Mirail, France. [abstract] [HDL: tel-00690340]
  • Pruitt, Tera Corinne, 2011. Authority and the production of knowledge in archaeology. University of Cambridge, United-Kingdom. [abstract] [DOI: 10.17863/CAM.15966]



  • Abad de los Santos, Rafael. 2009. The Idea of ‘Prehistory’ in the Modern Japanese Archaeological Thought – from Shell Mounds of Omori (1879) by Edward Sylvester Morse, to Yûshi Izen no Nihon (1918) by Torii Ryûzô. Hokkaido University, Japan. [abstract]
  • Canady Wargo, Melissa. 2009. The Bordes-Binford debate. Transatlantic interpretative traditions in Paleolithic archaeology. The University of Texas at Arlington, USA. [abstract] [HDL: 10106/1766]
  • Richmond, Jesse. 2009. Experts and australopithecines: credibility and controversy in the science of human evolution, 1924-1959. University California, San Diego, USA. [abstract] [permalink]


  • Roux, Philippe. 2008. Les « archives Mortillet » à l’Université de Sarrebruck. Parcours et stratégie scientifique de Gabriel et Adrien de Mortillet. [The “Mortillet Archives” at Sarrebruck University. Career and scientific strategy of Gabriel and Adrien de Mortillet] Université Paris I, France. [abstract]


  • Murray, Tim. 1987. Remembrance of things present: appeals to authority in the history and philosophy of archaeology, University of Sydney, Australia. [abstract]


M. Cataldi, 2019

Discovering, understanding and interpreting rock engravings. A history of archeological science through the study of Mount Bégo (1868–1947)

Nowadays, the Vallée des Merveilles archaeological site, in the Mercantur National Park (Alpes-Maritimes, France), preserves about 40.000 protohistoric engravings. These engravings are carved on the rocks of the valleys around Mount Bego, dated between the Chalcolithic and the Bronze Age (3300-1800 BC). Known since the 16th century, these engravings reappeared around the 1860s, in the framework of a recently established knowledge, prehistory. Our research examines how they have been characterized as a scientific object as well as the process that led to their protection as expression of the culture of the “primitive man”. The thesis analyzes, through an historiographical method, three moments of the redefinition of the value of the site, in order to describe how it is constituted at the intersection of the scientific debate, of the construction of the public opinion and his protection by national institutions.

S. Hussain, 2019

The French-Anglophone divide in lithic research. A plea for pluralism in Palaeolithic archaeology

In this provocative study, Shumon T. Hussain engages with the long-standing issue of French-Anglophone research conflicts in Palaeolithic archaeology. By examining a range of well-selected case studies and discursive contexts, the author shows that French and Anglophone approaches in lithic analysis are anchored in opposing cognitive frameworks. He argues that the mainstays of this division can be elucidated by calling upon the marginalised work of American philosopher Stephen C. Pepper, who captured the totality of credible Western thought in terms of four equitable world hypotheses. Based upon his insights, the dissertation demonstrates that French lithic research gravitates towards ‘contextualistic’ and ‘organicistic’ modes of inquiry, while Anglophone approaches tend to rely on ‘formistic’ and ‘mechanistic’ styles of reasoning. Hussain carefully lays out the implications of this condition for mutual understanding and critical practice. He contends that the French-Anglophone divide can only be overcome if scholars endorse scientific pluralism and begin to seriously take into consideration both the strengths and shortcomings of different cognitive frameworks, including their own.

P. Fux, 2019

Archäologie Schweiz – Weltweit. Potenzial und Herausforderungen einer komparativen Archäologie. Eine Studie mit wissenschaftstheoretischen Grundlagen und empirischen Projektbeispielen mit Bhutan und Peru

T. Aguilera Durán, 2018

Bárbaros y héroes: recepción de la Iberia prerromana en la España moderna

Esta tesis analiza la recepción de los pueblos de la Iberia prerromana (celtíberos, lusitanos, cántabros, turdetanos, etc.) entre la Antigüedad clásica y finales del siglo XVIII. Desde un enfoque histórico-cultural de larga duración, se estudian las distintas formas de representación de aquellas culturas (literatura, arte, filosofía, etc.), incidiendo particularmente en la historiografía y atendiendo sobre todo a sus implicaciones ideológicas e identitarias. Por un lado, se aborda la manera en que la intelectualidad grecolatina caracterizó a las sociedades hispanas como una realidad periférica y barbárica en el contexto de su incorporación colonial por Roma. Por otro, se analiza cómo los estereotipos resultantes fueron interpretados, readaptados y asumidos en el proceso de definición de la identidad nacional en la España moderna. Estos planteamientos se desarrollan desde dos enfoques complementarios. En un bloque se presenta la cuestión de manera global y diacrónica, exponiendo en cuatro capítulos cronológicos (Antigüedad, Medievo, siglos XVI-XVII y siglo XVIII) los procesos de recepción generales en su contexto político y cultural. En el siguiente bloque la cuestión se desgrana en seis temas clave a través de sendos capítulos monográficos y transversales (dualidad civilización-barbarie, fidelidad, belicosidad, bandidismo, religión y sacrificio); se profundiza así en los elementos específicos esenciales que han caracterizado a la visión etnográfica de aquellas culturas, explorando cómo sus respectivas potencialidades, complicaciones y contradicciones fueron tratadas en cada momento. En general, el análisis se guía por dos premisas fundamentales: por una parte, que la definición etnohistórica de los pueblos hispanos ha estado predeterminada por una serie limitada de tópicos recurrentes y duraderos, adaptables, no obstante, a los distintos discursos; por otra, que el análisis del papel que ha cumplido la recepción de esa parte del pasado resulta muy revelador para comprender el proceso de construcción cultural de la identidad española, en tanto que atañe a la búsqueda de sus anclajes históricos ancestrales y su particularismo esencialista

A. Trif, 2018

La culture de Cucuteni dans le discours de l’archéologie préhistorique, de 1889 jusqu’en 1937

Nous avons intitulé notre recherche « La culture de Cucuteni dans le discours de l’archéologie préhistorique — de 1889 jusqu’en 1937 ». Ce travail vient s’ajouter aux abondantes recherches qui ont été menées au sujet de cette culture. Pour autant, il n’en remplace aucune. La dette est forcément grande et sa nouveauté est bien petite ; sauf, peut-être, la manière d’appréhender ce thème. Car dans cette analyse, nous nous proposons de revisiter les bases de notre savoir sur « la culture de Cucuteni » et de nous interroger sur ce qui nous est déjà bien connu. Le but de cette recherche est de prendre en considération le rôle joué par plusieurs acteurs dans la construction de cette catégorie nécessaire afin de donner du sens au nouveau phénomène archéologique — les découvertes de céramique peinte du nord de la Moldavie à la fin du XIXe siècle. De même, nous tenterons de comprendre la manière dont l’acceptation de cette nouvelle classification d’artefacts a pu, à son tour, influencer le processus historique même de sa construction.Au cœur de la motivation de notre travail se retrouve la question suivante : comment cette culture de Cucuteni s’est concrètement construite ? La question pourrait faire penser à tort à l’existence d’un objet fixe — « la culture de Cucuteni » — qui assurerait une continuation des conceptions passées et présentes. Notre intérêt est de tenter une analyse de la fabrication de ce nouveau « fait scientifique » comme un rapport entre plusieurs acteurs, venant de plusieurs champs scientifiques et sociaux qui ont appréhendé « la culture de Cucuteni » de façon différente pour satisfaire leurs propres intérêts. « La culture de Cucuteni » n’est pas conçue ici comme un artefact relevé par le travail scientifique, mais comme un produit d’une histoire. […]

S. Plutniak, 2017

The Archeological Operation. A Sociohistorical Perspective on a Discipline facing Automatics and Mathematics. France, Spain, Italy, Second half of the 20th Century

During the second half of the twentieth century, attempts at operational redefinitions of social activities increased, relying on the scientific and technical innovations developed during the Second World War and then strengthened by the generalization of automation. Scrutinizing the particular case of archaeology, this research addresses these attempts from an historical sociology perspective. During that period, archaeology showed an increasing process of disciplinarization and professionalization. The same happened for applied mathematics and then computer science: this study is precisely about the relationships between these three fields. At their intersection, methodological and conceptual innovations notably increased in France during the 1950’s and 1960’s. However, their scientific reception was relatively low afterwards. In this case, innovations related to applied mathematics and automatics did not led to the emergence of an archaeological specialty based on computation. Such a situation shows a striking contrast with what happened in other scientific disciplines or in archaeology in other countries, whereas the theoretical and methodological propositions of the “New Archaeology” trend spread worldwide.
Three collective attempts to redefine the conceptual and methodological basis of archaeology are explored, respectively led by Georges Laplace, Jean-Claude Gardin and Jean Lesage, concerning both France, Spain and Italy. These main cases are supplemented by those of a set of actors who articulated both a career in engineering and in archaeology. Generally speaking, this study tackles the cognitive and social aspects of methodological contributions in the scientific activities. Three models of relationships between experts in formal methods and experts in the application domain are empirically identified and described. Effects of the introduction of mathematics and automated procedures on the division of labor and the distribution of recognition are analyzed. The success or failure of the reception of those methodological propositions are discussed with reference to several factors and models of scientific innovation. This work leads us to shade new light both on the roots and growth of rescue archaeology and on the use of digital technologies in human sciences.
This study draws on 82 interviews, 23 archives and several bibliometric dataset (extracted from pre-existing databases of constructed for the purpose of this research). Mirroring the archaeological propositions under study, this research is also intended to illustrate a possible use of computing and formalized procedures in social sciences. The documentation and demonstrative principles underlying this work, implemented by using a Wiki and the methods of literate programming and reproducible research, are themselves analyzed.

C. Proust, 2017

The workshops of the National Museum of Antiquities : the origins of the archaeological restoration

The National Museum of Antiquities (MAN) was created at the instigation of Emperor Napoleon Ill in 1862. With the proposed creation of the museum has become the need to equip the workshops of molding and restoration. Abel Maître, a sculptor by training, is the first leader of workshop in the late 19th century. Indispensable part of the MAN, Il proved to be a !rue precursor of the restoration of archaeological objects as it conceives today. His successor, Benoit-Claude Champion, leads workshops throughout the first half of the 20th century and works to professionalize the discipline, at a time when the Issue of training for restorers is central to the debate. Through concrete example of MAN workshops, this research alms to show how archeology has emerged as a specialty in the highly artistic restoration, and how the development of this discipline is closely linked to International politics Heritage Preservation, which comes into its own after World war 1.

L. Coltofean-Arizancu, 2016

Zsófia Torma and the settlement of Turdaș-Luncă (Hunedoara County)

Zsófia Torma (1832-1899) was a pioneering Hungarian archaeologist from nineteenth-century Transylvania. Today, she is known among archaeologists for her archaeological collection and the researches she undertook at the site of Turdaș – Luncă. However, little is known about her life. From the information we have today, she is the first female archaeologist in Austria-Hungary, as well as in today’s Romania and Hungary. In her time, Transylvania was part of Austria-Hungary, which is why her activity must be analyzed and discussed in the context of Hungarian archaeology. Zsófia Torma had a significant role in the development of prehistoric archaeology in Transylvania, especially through the researches she carried out at the prehistoric settlement of Turdaș – Luncă, located in Hunedoara County. Due to its large size and richness of finds, Turdaș – Luncă is one of the most important archaeological sites in today’s Romania and even Europe. Thanks to Zsófia Torma, this site, which was for a long time associated with Troy, became very famous in Europe beginning with the 1880s. Zsófia Torma is the first person who excavated this site, starting with the autumn of 1875. She discovered numerous artifacts which allowed her to create an impressive archaeological collection in her house, in the town of Orăștie. Soon, her collection became renowned not only in Hungary, but also internationally. Towards the end of her life, this collection that is now hosted by The National History Museum of Transylvania consisted of more than 10000 objects. For all these reasons, Zsófia Torma’s scientific activity and experiences in a field that was at the dawn of its development, in a society where women’s scientific preoccupations were disregarded, are very important for the history of Hungarian, Romanian and European archaeology. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to reconstruct Zsófia Torma’s scientific biography in the cultural, social and political context of nineteenth-century Transylvania. […]

F. Defrance-Jublot, 2016

The experience of being prehistorian and catholic in France (1859-1962)

In the second part of the XIXth century in France, the context of secularization created a dividing line between theological and scientific discourses about human origins. In spite of this, several archaeologists publicly displayed their Catholic faith during this period. These archaeologists felt a connection, rather than a boundary, between their faith and their scientific research. They viewed the Bible as symbolic rather than literal and sought in prehistoric remains proofs that supported their Catholic beliefs. Thus, their faith had a certain influence on their interpretations of prehistoric man. Although several facts seemed to testify against historicity of Genesis, Catholic archaeologists always tried to resolve incoherencies and establish acceptable scenarios. They did this for themselves and to support fellow Catholics alarmed by anticlerical objections. I examine these connections but also another boundary: what could be said and what could not be said in the French Catholic community about prehistoric origins in the context of the Modernist crisis.

E. Norton, 2016

Polished axes: object biographies and the writing of world prehistories

Polished axes have become an iconic tool representing the Neolithic in the archaeological record. Polished axes are unusual as they are similar in form and design across space and time, found internationally in both archaeological and ethnographic contexts. This meant they have become an easily recognisable item for collectors and have been found in public and private collections from the 18th Century onwards. A common component in many diverse collections, tracing the history of polished axes allows the investigation of the networks of people and artefacts which built the collections of the British Museum. These networks were also crucial in the sharing of information, which especially in the mid – 19th Century may have had a significant impact in the way in which world prehistories were written. The research has focused on the British Museum’s collection of polished axes from Oceania, and Europe. Objects associated with the axes, including hafts, labels, diaries, letters and catalogues have been used to reconstruct the ‘biography’ of each collection of artefacts. This makes it possible to show how the British Museum’s collections of polished axes were built and how they have been used to write the prehistory of the world from a Western perspective.
There are three main aims to my research. Firstly I aim to better understand how the British Museum acted as a site of knowledge making during the construction of prehistory as a concept and the construction of archaeology as a discipline. Secondly, I aim to show how ethnographic and archaeological artefacts have been used together, both inside and outside the British Museum, to write world prehistories. Finally, I will show how polished axes have been used to write world prehistories which have influenced archaeologists for generations and to show object biographies may inform world prehistories in the future.

F. Pizzato, 2016

Fossili della nazione. Paletnologia, antropologia e nazionalismo in Italia (1871-1915)

L’obiettivo generale della tesi è analizzare i rapporti tra paletnologia e antropologia e il nation building process italiano tra 1871 e 1915. Per fare questo il lavoro si è svolto su due fronti, corrispondenti a due parti della tesi. Una prima parte dedicata alle strategie di autopromozione degli scienziati e alla costruzione di diverse teorie sulle origini nazionali e alle relazioni che intercorrevano tra queste e diverse anime del nazionalismo italiano. I casi di studio analizzati in questa sezione sono in particolare quelli delle figure e delle opere di Giuseppe Sergi e Luigi Pigorini. Una seconda parte della tesi è invece dedicata alla divulgazione di tali idee e ad alcune significative modalità di interazione tra mondo scientifico, società e politica. In questa prospettiva si affrontano alcune questioni relative alla nascita dei musei nazionali e locali; si riflette sul tema dell’associazionismo borghese; si discute il problema del Trentino e della definizione dei confini nazionali dal punto di vista degli scienziati.

M. Carandell Baruzzi, 2015

Orce Man. A Public Controversy in Spanish Human Origins Research 1982-2007

This PhD thesis deals with the so-called Orce Man controversy. The Orce Man is a 8 centimetres cranial fragment attributed to a hominid and discovered in the Venta Micena site, in Orce, Granada, Andalusia, southern Spain. The fossil was unearthed in 1982 by three young Catalan palaeontologists, Josep Gibert, Salvador Moyà-Solà i Jordi Agustí, from the Institut de Paleontologia de Sabadell. Apparently the discovery could be scientifically revolutionary as it was attributed to the earliest European hominid. The three scientists brought the discovery to the politicians in charge of their institution. Together with the Andalusian politicians, a public presentation of the discovery was organized for June 1983. When it was announced, the internal part of the bone was still attached to a rock and, therefore, remained invisible. The Orce Man attracted a great media following with coverage from several newspapers, magazines, and television channels. The political situation in Spain, with democracy just emerging after 40 years of dictatorship, was a crucial factor in the way that this discovery was disseminated. After a year, the internal part of the fragment was cleaned and a strange crest appeared. The crest seemed to indicate that the fragment was not from a hominid but that it belonged to an ancient equine. The new information was first made public on the front page of the El País newspaper. With this, a very public controversy broke out. Only one of the three discoverers, Josep Gibert, stuck to his stance, maintaining that the Orce fragment was indeed a hominid. This dispute lasted for at least 23 years until 2007 when Gibert died. By developing a chronological narrative of the controversy, this thesis wants to explore the interactions between scientists, journalists, the general public, and politicians. In this analysis, several general remarks emerged. First, the importance of the geographic situation of scientists and sites and how this affected the way that knowledge was presented to society. Second, the significant role that the Orce scientists¿ discourses and strategies that make certain claims credible or not for both the scientific community and the general public. Third, the necessity to consider the similarities between the Orce Man story and other scientific successful stories, in order to detach from Orce the label of a exception in scientific practice that often is attributed to this controversy. Fourth, the prominent role of politicians in this controversy that let us think about the several ways in which politics are related to science. Finally, this thesis aims to highlight the extent to which scientific practice is related to these so-called `publics¿ of science. In the Orce Man story we can perfectly see how the shape that scientific knowledge took place was completely determined by its public stance. To sum up, the Orce Man public controversy is a perfect example to understand how scientists claims are developed, negotiated and finally accepted (or rejected) in public, and, therefore, involving the general public as well as politicians and other actors.

E. Engström, 2015

The Folds of Eketorp: How Archaeology Shapes Time, Space and Gender

This thesis examines the history of the cultural heritage site of Eketorp, a prehistoric ring-fort, on the island of Öland, Sweden. The archaeological excavations at Eketorp, which began in 1964, lasted for a decade and soon turned into one of the largest archaeological research projects in Sweden. The scale and the implementation of the excavations, as an interdisciplinary and international research project, fostered a whole generation of archaeologists and resulted in numerous research publications. After the excavations the archaeological site was transformed into a full-scale archaeological reconstruction by the Swedish National Heritage Board. Since the mid-1980s the site has been a popular tourist attraction and open-air museum.
The history of the site itself connects to several academic fields, including archaeology, history of archaeology, cultural heritage and museum studies. Through Ludwig Fleck’s concept thought collective and Donna Haraway’s situated knowledge, which are used as analytical tools, the aim of this thesis is to explore how these different fields interacted throughout the history of Eketorp. Further, the analytical tools are used to highlight how these interactions have generated notions of time, space, and gender.
The study takes an interdisciplinary approach with the history of Eketorp analysed in three analytical chapters, each of them with different chronological and empirical focus. First, Eketorp is explored as a contemporary museum space through ethnographic fieldwork. Second, archive material is used to analyse how the archaeological excavation and the following archaeological reconstruction were conducted during the 1960s and onwards. Third, scientific texts are used to analyse how interpretations of Eketorp as a prehistoric site has changed. The concluding chapter integrates the results of the three chapters in order to critically examine how notions of time, space and gender interconnect between these fields. Illustrated by a wide chronological and interdisciplinary approach, the central argument of the thesis is thus that the Eketorp thought collective and thought style, intimately connected to hierarchies in academic practice, were created, performed, and maintained through several scientific and heritage institutions.

V. Varouhakis, 2015

L’archéologie enragée. Archaeology & national identity under the Cretan State (1898–1913)

This thesis deals with the parallel threads of colonial politics, nationalism and archaeology in the Cretan State (1898 – 1913), a semi-autonomous, semi- colonial regime, established on the island of Crete by some of the “Great Powers” of the time (Great Britain, France, Russia and Italy). This polity ended 250 years of direct Ottoman rule, in a region inhabited by both Christians – the majority – and Muslims. Some of the most significant archaeological projects began during that period, mainly directed by western archaeological missions. Amidst this setting, a local elite of intermediaries supported Greek irredentism and demanded a nationally “pure” present, heir to an equally “pure” past. At the same time, an obedient stance towards the occupying forces and their archaeological demands secured their individual and collective interests. Both stances lead them to clash with Western archaeologists, Greek archaeologists, and especially the local peasantry, whose behaviour towards antiquities they considered ignorant and non-patriotic.
How did the colonial foundations of Cretan archaeology affect its relationship with Greek nationalism? How was modern archaeology received and “consumed” by the Cretans of the time? In order to answer these questions, I organise my chapters by focusing upon different “groups” of people related to my subject (the Western archaeologists, the local archaeological elites, the Cretan peasants etc.) and studying how their intermingling evolved regarding the management of the material past. Most of my resources are of an archival nature, some of them never published before. They come from personal collections, memoirs, correspondence between key figures, press articles and administrative records.
My findings clearly highlight how the Westerners managed to incorporate successfully the Cretan archaeological production within their identity-building, focused on the origins of the European civilisation. This material bond subsidised their collective, “civilised” identity, allowing them the privilege to colonise the world beyond their perception. At the same time, Crete was occupied by the Greek national imagination. The new archaeological narrative was used by the local elites in order to remodel the Cretan society, particularly the most “unruly” parts of it, the rural population, into obedient national subjects. The Cretan peasants reacted to these practices with a remarkable flexibility and resistance, which was evident in both their narrative and activity related to the material remains of the past.
The outcomes of my research have wider relevance, especially for studies that may include, among others, topics such as the social history of Crete, archaeology and the politics of identity, ethnocratic applications of archaeology, memory destruction and reconstruction, conflict archaeology and archaeology “from below”.

M. Woźny, 2015

Włodzimierz Demetrykiewicz (1859-1937). A prehistorian from the turn of the eras

Włodzimierz Demetrykiewicz was the most important Polish prehistorian at the turn of the nineteenth and twentieth century. He had a great influence on archaeo- logy in Poland – both in the scientific and organizational aspects. Thanks to him, already in 1905 (not much later than in Vienna, Prague or Budapest) prehistoric archaeology became the subject of university lectures in Kraków. It is necessary to emphasize that among his merits, apart from academic achievements, is his work in the preservation of monuments of art and archaeology, and the pedagogical activity – the formation of new staff of Polish prehistory. His students called him “the right creator of Polish archaeology”.
The book reproduces the activities of the scholar against the background of his time and existent situation in Kraków (later also in independent Poland), where he developed his work as a conservator of monuments, a member of several academic committees of the Academy of Arts and Sciences (Polish abbr. AU; later the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences, abbr. PAU), curator and director of the AU and PAU Archaeological Museum and the first professor of prehistoric archaeology in Kraków, both on the basis of archival materials and scholarly literature. […]

G. Delley, 2014

Au-delà des chronologies. Des origines du radiocarbone et de la dendrochronologie à leur intégration dans les recherches lacustres suisses

Since the latter half of the 19th century, research on ancient Swiss lake-dwellings has involved intensive exchanges between prehistory and natural sciences. In some cases, these collaborations have led to the development of observation and analysis tools that contributed to the specialization and emancipation of the concerned disciplines. Based on the elo- quent case of Swiss lake-dwelling research, this publication examines how radiocarbon and dendrochronology, dating tools originating in nuclear and botanical research, became accepted dating methods in prehistoric research.
This work first traces the history of the development of these tools, from the United States where they were con- ceived, to their first applications in the domain of Swiss wetland archaeology in the early 1950’s. The dating method based on the measurement of the disintegration of the isotope 14 of carbon ( 14C) was refined in American nuclear research in the 1950’s. At this time, numerous American laboratories implied during the Second World War in the “military-in- dustrial complex” had to find new applications that were not limited to the military domain. Energy production, medi- cal and agronomic research, as well as isotopic dating, were among the new fields. It is in this context that Willard Frank Libby – a former collaborator on the Manhattan project, which led to the refinement of the atomic bomb – developed the 14C dating method, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1960. […]

J.-P. Loiseau, 2014

François Bordes (1919-1981) and the construction of Prehistory in the second half of the 20th century

F. Bordes brand of its print the construction of Prehistory in second half of the 20th century. An analysis set of themes of its work in three parts makes it possible to clarify its principal aspects. A first part, entitled “a normative approach” is devoted to the approach of F. Bordes which is characterized by a methodological renewal. A second part, entitled ”lithic industries like wire of Ariane”, is devoted to interpretations of F. Bordes concerning the evolution of the prehistoric cultures and with its research to reconstitute the material daily life during the Paleolithic. A third part, “the construction of a school of thought”, analyses the particular place of F. Bordes within the community of the prehistorians. F. Bordes is also Francis Carsac, a science fiction writer, whose stories study makes it possible to provide supplementary illumination on its concerns. In conclusion of this thesis, a look is carried what it remains of his scientific contribution.

C. Davey, 2012

The foundation of the Australian Institute of Archaeology and the origin of its Ancient Near Eastern museum collection

This dissertation aims to explain the establishment of the Australian Institute of Archaeology (the Institute) in the context of archaeological and theological environments up to the mid-twentieth century. It seeks to understand the principles behind it and to discover how they were applied during its first twenty-four years of operation. It also seeks to discover the origins of its Ancient Near Eastern collection of artefacts and to assess their role in this enterprise. Walter Beasley, a business man, evangelical Christian and amateur archaeologist, established and endowed the Institute in 1946. The context of his work is explored by tracing the origins of evangelical theology and the history of evangelical societies in Australian universities. The beginnings of antiquarianism are also discussed together with the nature of archaeological societies and the patterns of funding archaeological fieldwork. Any references to the Bible are examined. Drawing on literary records, family documents, letters, minutes, media reports and oral history, an archaeological biography of Beasley’s life is developed. The structure of the Institute is discussed and its operation until 1970 is sketched. A chapter is devoted to Beasley’s relationship with James Stewart who became Professor of Archaeology at the University of Sydney. The conclusions highlight the way Beasley’s religious agenda and his controlling character shaped the Institute and by 1970 brought it close to disaster. It is finally suggested that the dogmatic religious position adopted by Beasley and the Institute may have in fact been counter-productive.

J. M. Lanzarote Guiral, 2012

Prehistoria Patria’. National identities and Europeanisation in the construction of prehistoric archaeology in Spain (1860-1936)

This thesis analyses the construction of prehistoric archaeology in Spain from a transnational perspective. Drawing influence from several historiographical fields, such as history of science and nationalism studies, I argue that the constitution of prehistory as a fully institutionalised discipline can only be acceptably explained as a social and cultural history of entangled scientific practices. This focus on the personal agency is firstly used to overcome the limitations of traditional histories of archaeology, understood as pure history of ideas and discovery accounts, and secondly to articulate a research project, in which several trends of analysis converge.
While dealing with the birth of prehistory in the 19th century, crucial questions pertaining to history of science are studied, such as Darwinism and the conflict between religious and scientific interpretations on the origins of humanity. These subjects, which are analysed in light of the complex process of secularisation of European societies in modernity, have been considered with regard to the Spanish case but from a transnational perspective; the construction of prehistory is marked by the tensions created within an international scientific community in formation, that of the prehistorians, by the nation-state building process. Presented as the first chapter of national histories, prehistory became enmeshed, especially in the first half of the 20th century, in the cultural construction of national identities in Europe.
For these reasons, this histoire croisée of prehistory has paid particular attention to the role of cultural and scientific transfers across European borders in the shaping of the discipline. By so doing, I set out to deconstruct nationalist narratives, such as the alleged “Spanish scientific backwardness” and the “colonial archaeology” of the French and German scholars in Spain. Summing up, this research is not about Spanish protagonism or particularism, but about Spain’s participation in a cultural and scientific phenomenon that, animated by either emulation or competition, was essentially transnational.

T. Hardy-Smith, 2012

“Another dimension of seeing…” Exploring artistic responses to antiquity and the effect on the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians

Since the 1990s, the gradual revelation of shared histories and shared identities has lead to an awareness that the histories of Aboriginal Australia and of non-Indigenous Australians are entwined and mutually influential. In the case of archaeology, making a contribution to the writing of histories of Aboriginal Australia since 1788 has become an important research goal for practitioners and others, as narratives previously formulated within narrow ethnographic or anthropological frameworks have become less relevant for contemporary issues of cultural revitalisation and reconciliation.
From the late 19th century, information about Aboriginal society became increasingly accessible to non-Indigenous Australians, and nascent archaeological exploration began demonstrating that there was at least the possibility of high human antiquity. This was coincident with the emergence of a general desire to develop a unique Australian identity, spearheaded by literary and visual artists advocating for an idiosyncratic language that expressed a deeply personal and symbolic understanding of place. The antiquity and symbolic complexity of Aboriginal ceremony and culture, and the lengthy connection to land was inspirational for some non-Indigenous Australians, and they sought to creatively interpret the relationship with Indigenous Australia through metaphorically adventurous means. Such emotional engagement was transformative as it altered the language of understanding from a previously static and personally dissociated observation of a past culture into an expression of a contemporary cross-cultural interaction and dynamism previously unimagined.
This dissertation explores the symbolism inherent in archaeological knowledge and how it inspires creative interpretation in an examination of the opera Batavia, then applies the findings to a study of two episodes in the cultural history of Australia where alternative creative responses to knowledge were transformational for the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, and therefore for Australian identity.

R. Lippé, 2012

Nature, culture et progrès : histoire comparative du concept de transition entre paléolithiques moyen et supérieur en archéologie préhistorique

This thesis’ main object is to study on an historical level a long-lasting scientific controversy in Prehistoric archaeology, the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic transition, by attempting to explain the persistence of that debate in terms of construction and transformation of antagonistic models of explanation, and by showing how that controversy had play a role on the acquisition of knowledge, to elucidate how the debate itself had change since its origin. On a chronological scale, the evolution of some epistemological elements inside the confrontation of opposed hypothesis could be contrasted with conservative notions. To make that process clear, it is necessary to characterize what constitute that specific controversy for prehistorians with the tool given by the history of sciences, and what kind of analytical methodology can be call upon for doing so. Then, it will be possible to link those elements with the scientific problem itself to establish a structural model of this debate’s theoretical positions of the protagonists. This methodology could then be use to separate the history of that debate in three sections, each with its specific research axis, each phase in three structural level (data and methods, paradigms, meta-paradigm) to create a general model of the evolution of that controversy. The ambition of that thesis is to use history of science’s contribution as a way to clarify on a theoretical level the goals of that debate, and its implication on the study of cultural change for prehistorical archaeologists community, and to initiate for science’s historians a historical and structural model of scientific controversies, and their weight on conceptual change base on a specific case study.

S. Dubois, 2011

Emergence and development of prehistoric archelogy in southern France between XIXth and XXth century

Dès le milieu du XIXe siècle, Toulouse apparaît comme un pôle dynamique du développement des études en archéologie préhistorique. « Laboratoire » d’expériences institutionnelles de la jeune discipline, enseignements universitaires, revues, sociétés savantes et musées toulousains favorisent en effet l’implantation d’une communauté scientifique dont l’examen sociologique révèle l’ampleur des réseaux à différentes échelles, notamment à travers l’étude des correspondances et archives personnelles de ces premiers préhistoriens.Parmi les nombreuses personnalités scientifiques ayant participé à ce développement et favorisé l’essor des recherches en ce domaine, la figure d’Emile Cartailhac (1845-1921) apparaît comme emblématique de cette communauté savante. La longue et prolifique carrière de ce scientifique provincial, son engagement dans la structuration de la communauté locale, ses relations avec les savants français et étrangers ainsi que son implication active dans les grands débats de son époque le placent au cœur d’une problématique visant à redéfinir le rôle de ces érudits locaux dans la constitution des savoirs entre XIXe et XXe siècle. Ce travail propose donc à travers l’étude de la pensée et de la production de ce préhistorien toulousain, notamment par l’examen de ses archives personnelles, une lecture de l’histoire de la discipline et des apports de ces savants d’envergure « secondaire ».

T. Pruitt, 2011

Authority and the production of knowledge in archaeology

This thesis examines the role of authority in the production of archaeological knowledge. It examines how fluid ideas and observations formed in the field become authoritative, factual, solid archaeological products, like scientific texts, reconstructions or museum displays. It asks, what makes a person, a thing or an account of history something that is authoritative? What makes someone an authority on the past? What is archaeological authority? This thesis deconstructs and exposes authority in archaeological practice. It targets how practitioners of archaeology actively enact, construct and implement authority in the process of producing knowledge. Formal representations of the past rely heavily on an underlying notion of the ‘authoritative account’. The entire process of reconstructing the past in archaeology is dependent on individuals and institutions existing as authorities, who actively or passively imply that artefacts, sites and final interpretations are ‘authentic’ or have ‘fidelity’ to the past. This study examines how authority and acts of legitimation are employed and distributed through the medium of science, and how they need to be actively performed in order to acquire and maintain status. This thesis not only argues that authority is embedded in every stage of the archaeological process, but importantly, it identifies how this authority manifests through the medium of scientific acts. This thesis is structured around two comparative case studies: one case of professional archaeology and one case of alternative archaeology. Both are archaeological sites that produce their own ‘authoritative’ accounts of the past through practices, publications and presentations. The first case is the professional archaeological project of Çatalhöyük in the Republic of Turkey, under the direction of Ian Hodder at Stanford University. This case offers insights about how the processes of inscription, translation and blackboxing establish and maintain authority in archaeological practice. It also addresses how physical and intellectual space, as well as issues of access in localised knowledge-producing social arenas, affect archaeological authority. The second case is the controversial pseudoarchaeological project in Visoko, Bosnia, commonly referred to as the Bosnian Pyramids. This project, under the direction of amateur archaeologist Semir Osmanagić, has successfully created an account of prehistory that has been received by the general Bosnian public as authoritative, despite objections by the professional archaeological community. This case demonstrates how authority can be constructed, mimicked and performed by drawing on academic arenas of scientific practice and by eager public participation. Specifically, this case study highlights the importance of socio-politics, authoritative institutions and performative behaviour in the construction of archaeological authority.

R. Abad de los Santos, 2009

The Idea of ‘Prehistory’ in the Modern Japanese Archaeological Thought – from Shell Mounds of Omori (1879) by Edward Sylvester Morse, to Yûshi Izen no Nihon (1918) by Torii Ryûzô

M. Canady Wargo, 2009

The Bordes-Binford debate. Transatlantic interpretative traditions in Paleolithic archaeology

In the 1960s, Lewis Binford, a young American archaeologist, challenged François Bordes, a venerable French prehistorian, over the interpretation of a taxonomy Bordes had developed to describe stone tools of the European Middle Paleolithic period (Mousterian). Ostensibly about the meaning of variability in Mousterian stone tool assemblages, the Bordes- Binford debate exposed a deep rift in the field of archaeology about how the deep past should be studied and interpreted. The intellectual clash has been cast subsequently in dichotomous terms: old versus young, descriptive versus explanatory, idiographic versus nomothetic, Old World versus New World. The Bordes-Binford debate, however, was not merely a singular event in the intellectual history of Paleolithic archaeology. It is the main thesis of this work that the Bordes-Binford debate is emblematic of the differing traditions within the discipline of archaeology as it was practiced by American and French scholars and that an understanding of the debate furthers understanding of how archaeology developed and is practiced and conceptualized in those countries today. To that extent, the Bordes-Binford debate is best understood in its transatlantic context; that is, it grew out of an encounter and exchange between protagonists who were profoundly influenced by their respective national and cultural experiences. The debate and its aftermath changed the practice of Paleolithic archaeology on both sides of the Atlantic.

J. Richmond, 2009

Experts and australopithecines: credibility and controversy in the science of human evolution, 1924-1959

This dissertation investigates debates in the early and middle parts of the twentieth century over the significance of the Australopithecine fossils discovered in South Africa. The initial specimen, famously known as the “Taung Child”, was characterized by Raymond Dart in 1925 as a possible evolutionary ancestor of human beings, linking our species to a distant past in which our anatomical similarity to the apes was much more conspicuous. Most of the recognized scientific authorities disagreed with Dart’s assessment, instead seeing the specimen as a mere extinct ape, without any special place in humankind’s evolutionary history. My narrative examines the debates that ensued over the next three and a half decades, closely following the changing credibility of Dart’s initial claim, as well as subsequent claims by Dart and other scientists about the Australopithecines, through the shifting networks of objects, texts, people, practices and institutions that made up the infrastructure of paleoanthropological knowledge. The narrative demonstrates that the determinants of credibility in the Australopithecine debates were strongly tied to the particulars of local circumstances and personal relationships, and cannot be reduced to any normative, a priori account of how credibility is or ought to be achieved in science

P. Roux, 2008

The “Mortillet Archives” at Sarrebruck University Career and scientific strategy of Gabriel and Adrien de Mortillet

The purpose of this PhD has been the bringing into light of the Mortillet archives (Nachlaß Mortillet) from the Institut für Vor- und Frühgeschichte und Vorderasiatische Archäologie and the Saarländische Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek.
The inventory of the collection has been realised in files created to record the series of boxes. The description and the quantification of the archives restore the documentary volume, reflecting the scientific careers of Gabriel and Adrien de Mortillet from 1860 to 1931, date of Adrien ‘s death.
A particular attention has been paid to the history of the fund, which crossed the first and the second world war before reaching us with still a few unanswered questions.
Several points illustrate the scientific story of this family of palethnologists. Gabriel de Mortillet, the instigator of the institutionalisation of the discipline, appears as founder scientist, inheriting of the age of enlightenment. Adrien, the son with much know-how, sticks into an intensely close relationship with his father, when great inventories and global approaches give place to precise specialisation in this trend of prehistory which part of it started in the Vézère Valley (Dordogne) at the beginning of the XXth century. Prehistory passes then, through hectic debates, from an universal method towards a rationalization of converging disciplines.
Mortillet fund represents an exceptional all, allowing a better understanding of certain mechanisms that led the researching orientation in prehistoric archaeology and offers many researching perspectives.

T. Murray, 1987

Remembrance of things present: appeals to authority in the history and philosophy of archaeology

Over the past twenty five years virtually every aspect of archaeology – from its nature as a discipline to its relationship with society – has been the subject of inquiry, debate and change. Not only has there been a great increase in the amount of archaeology being done, and the number of archaeologists doing it, the development of new techniques of dating and analysis have also helped to broaden and deepen the scope of the discipline itself. New methodological links have been forged with the human, earth, and life sciences, and practitioners have ranged far in search of approaches that will help to expand their understanding of the meaning and significance of the archaeological record. Not all of these changes have met with universal approval. Archaeology is now more disputatious than ever before as practitioners openly debate conceptual and epistemological issues which lie at the core of the discipline itself. Indeed, much that at the outset of the ‘new’ archaeology was considered to be stable or unproblematic, such as the goals of archaeology, or even the nature of the archaeological record itself, is now openly questioned. Archaeology exhibits such internal dissension that we are entitled to question whether there are any disciplinary ‘cultural norms’ left, whether there are norms and understandings that can survive such disputation. This study argues that such changes provide an opportunity to re-examine the nature, meaning and value of archaeological knowledge, especially the terms of the relationship between past and present, and the nature of archaeology as a distinct discipline. Some aspects of the history, philosophy, and sociology of prehistoric archaeology are investigated so that a clearer picture of the determinants of archaeological knowledge production can be gained. It is argued that these investigations can help us to develop a more coherent and consistent understanding of archaeological logic, epistemology and metaphysics, to assist in the building of archaeological theory at all levels and to foster strategies for dealing with current serious disputes in archaeology.