Towards Reflexive Method in Archaeology: The Example of Catalhoyuk

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In the early 1990s, the University of Cambridge reopened excavations at the Neolithic site of Catalhoyuk in central Turkey, abandoned since the 1960s. The first publication of this new fieldwork, On The Surface: atalh y k 1993-95 (1996) , was nominated for the James Wiseman award of the Archaeological Institute of America. This second publication hopes to do the same. Not only is the archaeology of this site fascinating, with extensive evidence for ritual and early urban life, but the techniques being used by the archaeologists working at Catalhoyuk are also innovative. In this volume, Ian Hodder (the new Professor of Archaeology at Stanford University) explains his vision of archaeological excavation, where careful examination of context and an awareness of human bias allows researchers new insights into prehistoric cognition. The aim of the volume is to discuss some of the reflexive or postprocessual methods that have been introduced at Catalhoyuk in the work there since 1993. These methods involve reflexivity, interactivity, multivocality and contextuality or relationality. The methods themselves are described, as are the difficulties of introducing them.