Background and mission statement

Within the post-modern humanities, integrated discourses that bridge archaeology, social and cultural anthropology and philosophy are becoming increasingly relevant in the endeavour to reach a more complete und comprehensive understanding of the human condition and its variability across space and time. Fields such as ethnoarchaeology, anthropological archaeology, archaeological ethnography and historical anthropology make highly relevant contributions to this agenda by reflecting the applicability and relevance of cross-cultural comparisons, by incorporating multi-vocal scopes and shared authority in the research design, and by integrating longue durée perspectives, thereby critically reflecting also on the position of the researchers themselves and the interstitial zone between archaeological and ethnographic visions of alterity. This way, they can contribute much-needed new perspectives onto contemporary global concerns such as social inequality, climate change, and Indigenous sovereignty.

The Ethnographisch-Archaeologische Zeitschrift (EAZ) will provide a novel, transdisciplinary, pluralist and international forum for these debates that is grounded in its long-standing history as a cross-field medium. It will integrate a multitude of approaches and thought styles from diverse scientific and Indigenous/descendent backgrounds. Founded in Berlin in 1953, the EAZ has a unique background in integrating pre- and protohistoric archaeology, social, cultural, and physical anthropology that stands in the tradition of the respective interdisciplinary approach launched in Germany in the mid-19th century. This tradition influenced Franz Boas when developing his seminal four-field sub-division of anthropology in America. In Europe, however, the fields became increasingly separated in academia, and the EAZ stood largely alone in upholding an integrated trans-disciplinary scope over much of the later 20th century. Published in Leipzig between 2009 and 2018, it increasingly incorporated also theoretical and methodological contributions and reflections on the history of science.

Aims and scope

The relaunch of the EAZ at Christian-Albrechts University Kiel (CAU) will establish the journal as a forum for integrated transdisciplinary approaches to the study of humans and their worlds within dynamic socio-cultural and environmental settings, with a decidedly long-term and global scope. The EAZ will be dedicated to research and scientific communication at the interface of pre- and protohistory, historical and contemporary archaeology, ethnography, social and cultural anthropology, and philosophical reflection, in particular focussing on social, environmental and cultural connectivity. By bridging these disciplines and by overcoming their methodological and epistemological limits and boundaries, a deeper understanding of potential realities and complexities of past human life ways both in ancient and more recent contexts can be reached.

Apart from cross-cultural comparative and analogous reasoning and its critical reflection, relevant fields include multi-species approaches, the critical consideration of scientific colonialism and ethnocentrism, multi-vocality in study design and data interpretation, cultural heritage issues, community-based approaches, and ethical questions concerning the integration of Indigenous knowledge, ethnographic work and archaeology.

The journal will enable contemporary, multi-vocal and symmetrical transdisciplinary reflections that can make relevant theoretical, methodological and historical contributions. It will be transformative through an openness towards ontological possibilities and variable life worlds/ways and can contribute to progressive social and political agendas in the fields of cultural continuation and survival.

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