In May 2000, Peter F. Biehl, Alexander Gramsch and Arkadiusz Marciniak organized a three-day conference in Poznań (Poland) called Archaeologies East – Archaeologies West. Connecting Theory and Practice across Europe. The goal of the conference was to reflect upon how post-Cold War exchange has influenced the way archaeologists from Eastern and Western traditions, as well as those from Northern, Southern, and Central European countries conceive and practice archaeology. It was intended to gain deeper and more nuanced histories of archaeological thought in different European countries.
The publication presents different ways of doing archaeology across Europe. Contributors of the book share their views on the archaeological theories and practices that shaped the discipline in their countries. Authors offer a diachronic narrative. The history of archaeological methods and theories, and the political and social context of practising archaeology across Europe, are scrutinized.
The book highlights also the ways archaeology was used and misused for political reasons during the last century. The intention of the editors was also to deliver an analysis of the theories and methods that shaped various archaeologies and the perceptions and misperceptions that guided them.
European archaeologies have always been diverse. This book tries to understand the multivocality of archaeological discourse. Above all, the intention behind the book was to bridge the gaps that divided European archaeologies during 20th century. According the editors and the authors, doing archaeology in the 21st century requires understanding the past of their own discipline in the first place.