The book relies on assumption according to which science in its broadest sense is a social and cultural practice. By the same token, archaeological research is a specific kind of social and cultural enterprise. The Social Past is the first Polish handbook which presents the complexity of ways to approach the social past, as well as, its different manifestations in the contemporary world. This is a publication that gathers Polish researchers (e.g. archaeologists, cultural anthropologists, linguistic scientists, historians) who present different ways of making sense out of archaeological record. It can be understood as an attempt of sketching the condition of Polish archaeology with regard to conceptualization of the social past.
This publication is a result of many discussions conducted between 2003-2011 among members and sympathizers of the Committee of the Anthropology of Prehistory and the Middle Ages, Polish Academy of Science. Works were part of Archaeology in Contemporary Europe project which was selected and co-funded by the European Commission within Culture Programme.