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The Limitations of Archaeological Knowledge

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Ghana -- Antiquities, Ghana -- Social life and customs, Archaeology and history -- Ghana, Historic sites -- Ghana, Archaeology -- Political aspects


One of the desires of the majority of archaeologists is to obtain from their analyses an objective knowledge of the societies they study. However, the mere desire to obtain objectivity does not ensure its attainment especially where biases cannot be controlled. Added to this difficulty of obtaining objectivity is that not only is the subject matter of archaeology vast and varied, but also archaeologists disagree on directions of study and interpretations, and in many cases very few scholars attempt to put themselves at a standpoint from which to measure the inadequacies and unevenness of their interpretations. Fundamental to interpretations in archaeology is the definition of cultural entities as well as of their constituent elements and such interpretations are not acceptable by fiat.

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