V. Gordon Childe 25 years after: his relevance for the archaeology of the eighties (1983)
This is a review article of three monographs published recently (for 1983) about V. Gordon Childe, who was Europe’s most eminent prehistorian from 1925-1957. The article draws attention to the fact that there seems, especially in Great Britain, to be a re-emergence of Childe’ s popularity after a relative inattention in the last 20 years. There is a possible explanation of this phenomenon as part of the reactionary trend of European, and especially British, archaeology to the American New Archaeology and as part of the development of strongly history-oriented theoretical models of social and economic change. The article focusses on the theoretical and philosophical background to Childe’ s writings, especially on his ideas of progress, historical theory, and his use of historical materialist models of prehistoric cultural change.
The monographs reviewed are:
Sally Green (1981) Prehistorian: a Biography of V. Gordon Childe, Moonraker Press: Wiltshire, England; referred to in the text as “Green: Childe”.
Barbara McNairn (1980)The Method and Theory of V. Gordon Childe, Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh; referred to in the text as “Mc-Nairn: Childe”.
Bruce Trigger (1980) Gordon Childe: Revolutions in Archaeology, Thames and Hudson Ltd.: London; referred to in the text as
Tringham, Ruth (1983) V. Gordon Childe 25 years after: his relevance for the archaeology of the eighties. Journal of Field Archaeology 10(1): 85-100.