Trends and Practices in Archaeology


This is a seminar of theoretical and methodological reflection, which aims to study a set of interpretative approaches currently represented in archaeology, involving students in the main debates that this discipline has incorporated. The following objectives try to go beyond the mere transmission of information, taking place in the acquisition of skills of interdisciplinary dialogue and in the understanding and discussion of the problematics and methods of the different trends and practices of Archaeology:

  • Provide theoretical, conceptual and methodological elements for the study of archaeology;
  • Acquire in-depth knowledge of key issues of different disciplinary areas of research;
  • Develop capacity for reflection and critical analysis;
  • Acquire the ability to understand theoretical conceptions, new problems and new practices.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Francisco José Gomes Caramelo


Weekly - 3

Total - 420

Teaching language





  • Alarcão, Jorge, 2000. A Escrita do Tempo e a sua Verdade, Coimbra, Quarteto Editora;
  • Alberti, Benjamin and Jones, Andrew, 2016. Archaeology After Interpretation: Returning Materials to Archaeological Theory, New York, Routledge;
  • Bintliff, John, 2006 (ed.). A Companion to Archaeology, Padstow, Blackwell Publishing;
  • Chapman, Robert and Wylie, Alison, 2015. Material Evidence: Learning from the Archaeological Practice, London, Routledge;
  • Gonzalez-Ruibal, Alfredo, 2016 (ed.). Reclaiming Archaeology Beyond the Troops of Modernity, London, Routledge;
  • Harris, Oliver and Cipolla, Craig, 2017. Arcaheological Theory in the New Millennium: Introducing Current Perspectives, London and New York, Routledge;
  • Henson, Donald, 2012. Doing Archaeology: a Subject Guide for Students, London, Routledge;
  • Johnson, Matthew, 2019. Archaeological Theory, Oxford, John Willey and Sons;
  • Thomas, Julian, 2000 (ed). Interpretive Archaeology, a reader, London, Leicester University Press.

Teaching method

Presential lessons with exposition of contents, critical analysis of texts and invitation to experts in various areas mentioned in the syllabus.

Evaluation method

Assessment - Critical review and participation in class(100%)

Subject matter

1. Thinking in archeology.
1.1. The trends of the new century; the interpretation in archeology.

2. The main traditions of archeology in a contemporary perspective.
2.1. Critical analysis: classical archaeology; archaeology of recent history; environmental archaeology; archaeology and art; archaeology in the interaction with the written documentation.

3. Current themes/trends and new departures:
3.1. Critical analysis; Archaeogenetics; Archaeology of language; Archaeology of gender; fragmentation studies; Archaeology and social theory.