Posted by: Johan Normark | April 12, 2011

R.I.P. Lewis Binford

One of the most important archaeologists passed away yesterday. Lewis Binford (1930-2011) was one of the leading figures in New Archaeology, a positivistic brand of archaeology that emerged in the 1960s as a reaction to the older culture historical tradition. This ultimately led to what we now call processual archaeology.


  1. […] Archaeological Haecceities tells me that one of the most important archaeologists off the 20th century has passed away, Lewis Binford (1930-2011). Binford was an American archaeologist that was one of the leading archaeologist behind the New Archaeology, a positivistic type of archaeology that emerged in the late 50′s early 60s. New Archaeology later led to what we call processual archaeology. His contribution is mainly within the theoretical part of archaeology and began with the anthology New Perspectives In Archaeology (1968) – written together with his wife at the time Sally Binford. […]

  2. Odd that he is no longer with us, he was such a defining figure. He leaves a great legacy.

  3. It has been a while since I read something directly written by him. As an undergraduate at the University of Gothenburg (15 years ago), Binford and other processualists were the ones to criticize as postprocessualism prevailed at the department (and it still does, at least its descendent versions). As a result I have turned myself against postprocessualism and find more of interest in the descendent versions of processual archaeology. I believe Binford’s legacy will last longer than any of the contemporary archaeologists.


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