What are the purposes of archaeological theory

Eds. M. K. H. Eggert and U. Veit

The format of the Tübingen Archaeological Pocket Books runs counter to a trend that has been observed for about fifteen years in publications on prehistoric and protohistoric archeology: everywhere one is switching from an originally smaller to a larger format. In the case of the archaeological disciplines, the advantages that this changeover offers for source submission and source comparison are obvious. If we have decided on the opposite here - and we are only foregoing an even smaller format for reasons of cost - then this is based on considerations of content. We are of the opinion that the study of prehistory and early history in the German-speaking area lacks publication organs in which the focus is not on the edition and analysis of archaeological sources, but on overarching theoretical, methodological and cross-cultural studies. In this respect, it seemed appropriate to us to set up a small-format series parallel to the Tübingen writings for the publication of such works that are primarily text-oriented and therefore do not require a large format.

As positive as it is for archeology that new sources are constantly growing over it, it is also true that the interpretation of these sources requires a meta-level on which the methodological procedures, the interpretative concepts and the guiding theories in dealing with other cultural or cultural systems . Historical studies have to be reflected upon. This is no less true for the self-assurance of the subject in the academic as well as in the social context.

The Tübingen archaeological paperbacks would like to be a forum for the discussion of those questions that do not concern the archaeological phenomena of a certain space and time, but archeology itself. Therefore, we invite everyone who is planning relevant publishing projects to submit them as part of this series. This includes not only relevant anthologies or conference reports, but also corresponding monographic works. We also expressly welcome those manuscripts that approach the topic outlined here not from archeology but from the perspective of other disciplines.

The Tübingen archaeological paperbacks

are managed by Waxmann-Verlag (Münster - Berlin - New York, etc.) and are available from bookshops or directly from the publisher www.waxmann.com


The following volumes have been published so far:

  • Volume 1: Manfred K. H. Eggert & Ulrich Veit (Eds.), Theory in Archeology: For Discussion in English (1998; A5 paperback, 400 pages). Table of Contents
  • Volume 2: Marlies Heinz, Manfred K. H. Eggert & Ulrich Veit (Eds.), Between explaining and understanding? Contributions to the epistemological foundations of archaeological interpretation (2003, A 5 paperback, 272 pp.). Table of Contents
  • Volume 3: Peter F. Biehl, Alexander Gramsch & Arkadiusz Marciniak (eds.), Archäologie Europäische / Archaeologies of Europe. History, Methods and Theories / History, Methods and Theories (2002, A 5 paperback, 590 pp.). Table of Contents
  • Volume 5: Stefan Burmeister & Nils Müller-Scheeßel (eds.), Social groups - cultural boundaries. The interpretation of social identities in prehistoric archeology (2006, A 5 paperback, 286 pages). Table of Contents
  • Volume 6: Christoph Kümmel, Beat Schweizer & Ulrich Veit (eds.), Body staging - collection of objects - monumentalization: death ritual and grave cult in early societies. Archaeological sources from a cultural-scientific perspective (2008, A 5 paperback, 564 pp.)
  • Volume 7: Peter Trebsche, Nils Müller-Scheeßel & Sabine Reinhold (eds.), The built space: building blocks of an architectural sociology of premodern societies (2010, A 5 paperback, 518 pp.)
  • Volume 8 (in print): Carsten Juwig & Catrin Kost (eds.), Images in Archeology - An Archeology of Images? (2010, A 5 paperback).