'While the meaning of artefacts is subjective and even their existence, as I have pointed out, is subject to selection and pressure, it does seem that up to a certain extent they act as independent witnesses. We can read many meanings into a text but, to a certain extent, a spade is a spade. Either a civilization developed a steam engine or it did not. Therefore, the archaeological record is to a certain extent uncontaminated by the grosser swings of theoretical fashion. '
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