"Interpretive Archaeologies" provides a forum for debate between varied approaches to studying the past. It reflects the profound shift in the direction of archaeological study in the last fifteen years. The book argues that archaeologists must understand their own subjective approaches to the material they study as well as recognize how past researchers imposed their value systems on the evidence they presented.
The book's authors, drawn from Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia, represent many different strands of archaeology. They address the philosophical issues involved in interpretation and the origins of meaning in the evolution and emergence of "mind" in early hominids. They discuss the ways in which material culture is understood and presented in museums, and how the nature of history is itself in flux.