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La préhistoire est-elle toujours une science humaine ?

Abstract : This article goes beyond the major trends in the field – such as New Archaeology and Contextual Archaeology – in attempting to compare the evolution of two approaches: on the one hand, «cultural» events and, on the other, material data relating to technology and economy. The first approach – dealing with cultural events – is examined from the standpoint of artistic production and Neanderthal Man's linguistic capacity. This approach is seen to vacillate between the epistemological models of the natural sciences and the humanities. The study of stone tools provides the point of departure for an examination of the second approach. The focus on material data is shown to be considerably more linear; the emphasis in this case on the accumulation of information and knowledge aligns this approach more closely with the methodology of the natural sciences. Addressing the social dimension of this technology, however, casts a different light on the matter. The article defends the idea that, whatever the place of sophisticated technology (typology, use-wear analysis...) may be, prehistory operates according to the premises that characterise other human sciences. In short, prehistory falls squarely within the rubric of the so-called« historical » sciences.
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Contributor : Sophie A. de Beaune <>
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  • HAL Id : halshs-00406457, version 1

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Sophie A. de Beaune. La préhistoire est-elle toujours une science humaine ?. Jacques Evin. Un siècle de construction du discours scientifique en Préhistoire, vol. III « ..Aux conceptions d'aujourd'hui », Actes du Congrès Préhistorique de France, XXVIe session, Congrès du Centenaire, 21-25 septembre 2004, Avignon., Mémoires de la Société préhistorique française, pp.13-21, 2007. ⟨halshs-00406457⟩

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