Anthropology, Department of



Mayo Buenafe

Date of this Version



Nebraska Anthropologist 2012


Copyright 2012


The following article is the author's treatise on the imperative for explicit theoretical use in North American archaeological approaches and research by critically assessing the views of Michelle Hegmon 's (2003:213-243) "Setting Theoretical Egos Aside: Issues and Theory in North American Archaeology" and Matthew Johnson's (2010:216-235) conclusions on the future of theory seen in Archaeological Theory: An Introduction, 2nd ed. This commentary discusses theory development in North American Archaeology as a discipline and advocates for the explicit use of theory in North American Archaeological research. A critical analysis of American archaeology is discussed through an assessment of common themes, the dynamics of key concepts, and the "fear" of postmodernism in North American archaeology theory and research. Examples of methodology and theory use in Philippines Archaeology is discussed in relation to North American Archaeology in terms of agency, materiality, and the dynamic nature of these key concepts when data is evaluated (e.g. materiality, evolution, and social organization). This study is a social inquiry on the current trend of North American archaeology being approach-explicit yet theory-implicit, and offers recommendations for the discipline to clearly define theoretical approaches as well as methodological frameworks to truly develop comprehensive andforthright research.