Plausibility and tradition: Why the history of archaeology matters

Presented by ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences

Professor Tim Murray stresses the importance of the history of archaeology in fostering critical reflection about the fundamental structures of our discipline. His primary purpose is to contribute to this reflection by showing how the history of archaeology can support an ongoing investigation of the formulation and assessment of archaeological theory, and to underpin a developing understanding of archaeological epistemology and archaeological metaphysics that together comprise the foundations of a coherent philosophy of archaeology.

About Tim Murray

Tim Murray is Charles La Trobe Professor of Archaeology at La Trobe University. A practicing archaeologist with an interest in history and epistemology, his research and publication has focused on the history and philosophy of archaeology, the archaeology of the modern world, and heritage archaeology. His most recent books include World Antiquarianism Comparative Perspectives (co-edited with Alain Schnapp, Lothar von Falkenhausen and Peter Miller, Getty Research Institute, 2013), An Archaeology of Institutional Confinement. The Hyde Park Barracks, 1848-1886 (co-authored with Peter Davies and Penny Crook, Sydney University Press, 2013), and From Antiquarian to Archaeologist: The history and philosophy of archaeology (Pen and Sword Press, 2014). His current projects are based around the general theme of transnational archaeologies in the long 19th century, with particular focus on ‘contact’ archaeology, urban archaeology and technology transfer, and demonstrating the importance of the history of archaeology for building more robust archaeological theory.