Critical Approaches in Archaeology: Material Life, Meaning, and Power


Mar 17-25, 1989

Organized by

Robert Paynter


Hotel do Guincho, Cascais, Portugal


  • Luis F. Bate Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico
  • Barbara Bender University College, London, UK
  • Michael Gebühr Christian-Albrechts-Universität, West Germany
  • Ian Hodder University of Cambridge, UK
  • Kristian Kristiansen Copenhagen University, Denmark
  • Susan Kus Rhodes College, USA
  • Mark Leone University of Maryland, USA
  • William Marquardt University of Florida, USA
  • Randall McGuire State University of New York, Binghamton, USA
  • James Moore Queens College, CUNY, USA
  • Tim Murray La Trobe University, Australia
  • Thomas Patterson Temple University, USA
  • Robert Paynter University of Massachusetts, USA
  • Dolores Root University of Massachusetts, USA
  • Michael Rowlands University College, London, UK
  • Dean Saitta University of Denver, USA
  • Alain Schnapp Université Paris I-Sorbonne, France
  • Sydel Silverman Wenner-Gren Foundation, USA
  • Maurizio Tosi University of Naples, Italy
  • Sander van der Leeuw University of Cambridge, UK
  • Iraida Vargas Arenas Universidad Central de Venezuela
  • Martin Wobst University of Massachusetts, USA
  • Alison Wylie University of Western Ontario, Canada

ORGANIZER’S STATEMENT: The goal of this symposium was to identify and evaluate the diversity of recent approaches archeologists have taken to the study of social power under the broad labels of “critical” and “post-processual” archeology. Archeologists from North America, Latin America, Europe, and Australia addressed a number of issues entailing power in a wide range of case studies. Key questions were: how has social power been dealt with in contemporary archeological thought and inquiry? how can the non-unitary nature of social power be analyzed, with attention to gender, ethnicity, and class? how might abstractions about power be grounded in concrete situations detectable in the archeological record? how has social power entered into the many strands of critical archeology that have developed in different ways within different national academies?

Wenner-Gren Symposium #108

Front row: D. Root, T. Patterson, M. Wobst, B. Marquardt, J. Moore, I. Vargas, F. Bate, R. McGuire, F. da Silva-Lopez, L. Obbink Back Row: R. Paynter, N. Watson, T. Murray, S. Kus, S. Van der Leeuw, S. Silverman, K. Kristiansen, A. Wylie, D. Saitta, B. Bender, M. Tosi, M. Leone, A. Schnapp, M. Gebuhr, M. Rowlands, I. Hodder