An overview of the relationship between archaeology and history is presented as the context in which to situate the argument that a rapprochement between the disciplines can be achieved only if we begin to think of texts and objects as having had efficacy in the past rather than just as evidence about it. Discussions of the meaning of material culture and the power of texts conclude with the suggestion that historical archaeologists need to be more cognizant of the latter. A case-study from the Roman world is used to illustrate the fact that texts can be both instruments of oppression and vehicles for enlightenment and liberation.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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