EPISTEMOLOGY OF THE TRUTH IN ARCHAEOLOGY

PARTICIPATION OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL FRENCH
ORGANIZATION

CENTRE DE RECHERCHE ET DIFFUSION ARCHEOLOGIQUE

ONG CEREDIAR ORG

cerediar.org@aliceadsl.fr

FAIR ARCHÆOLOGY

THEORETICAL ARCHÆLOGY GROUP – TAG 2009

31 st ANNUAL MEETING

DEPARTMENT OF ARCHÆLOGY

DURHAM UNIVERSITY

EPISTEMOLOGY OF THE TRUTH IN ARCHAEOLOGY

By

Dr Ernest-Emile

LOPEZ-SANSON de LONGVAL

Permanent Member of the « Societe
des Americanistes au Siège du Musée de l’Homme à Paris ».

Member of Society for American Archaeology of Washington DC.

President of Ong Cerediar Org

President of the « Société d’Archéologie
Sociale »

And

Lic. Adriana Noemí

SALVINO

Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires

Scientific Assistant Director of Ong Cerdiar Org

Permanent Member of the « Société d’Archéologie
Sociale »

In our presentation at the Seminar of the Social Archaeology ENAH and 53
International Congress of Americanists, we agreed that:

« Archaeology is a social science; therefore these activities pose a different alternative to the traditional archaeology. A social Archaeology that consider that the theory is put into practice and that archaeologists
aren’t divorced from the local reality but they are social actors, the result of the confrontation between the world of ideas or theories and the remains of prehistoric reality. « 

In the epistemology of the truth or the doctrine of the fundamentals and
methods of scientific knowledge we can agree with José Ingenieros that it’s not entirely true conceiving the existence of absolute universal or eternal truths in reality or in the abstract reasoning as in the human experience, formed on the basis of an evolving universe, becomes steadily relative truths.

With the advent of postmodernism and its resulting posprocesual archaeology, it became clear that the subjectivity of the researcher intervened in the interpretation of the past. It was further noted that the dualities that have been based on Cartesian Western scientific thought, were part of a cognitive mechanism that has characterized our society, but not to those societies that we study through archaeology.

Archaeology therefore doesn’t discover « truths”, it doesn’t reveal the past, but works with what is left of it.