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Editorial Policies

Focus and Scope

Interest in the political dimensions of archaeology has grown dramatically around the world. One of the outcomes has been a questioning of archaeological truth claims, which in turn has led to demands for the return of cultural property, questioning who may research, speak and write about the past of Others, and considerations of what kinds of relations we can and should develop to past Others. Today it is scarcely possible to speak about an ethically based, socially responsible archaeology without engaging with these themes.

Forum Kritische Archäologie has as its goal to further discussions of these and related issues, especially within the framework of the German-speaking archaeological community.

The journal takes as its purview issues associated with a developing critical archaeology. We use the term critical archaeology in two ways. On the one hand, it refers to critiques of ideology and discourse analyses, as practiced in the social sciences and in literary studies, that include critiques of androcentrism, heteronormativity, and colonial discourse. On the other hand, critical archaeology refers to the development of new, theoretically informed scenarios for interpreting the past. A critical approach understands all cultural products, including archaeological interpretations and the writing of history, as ideological and politically shaped constructions. Objectivity, including at the level of "pure" description, simply does not exist.

As scholars we are responsible for engaging in continual reflection on the fundamental basis of our disciplines and for continually casting a critical eye on research results, with particular attention to how they are produced and shaped within the contemporary late capitalist and postcolonial world. This forms the basis of a critical engagement with the disciplines of archaeology.

In order to be able to identify and problematize the interests that underlie our work as archaeologists, we require a reflexive approach to archaeological praxis, from the planning of excavations to their analysis and interpretation, as well as critical analyses of the scholarly products of our research and their reception by others. By scholarly products we refer to written and illustrated works, such as articles and books, but also exhibitions and various kinds of presentations in the internet.

Forum Kritische Archäologie offers a platform for discussion of these issues. Contributions engage critically with existing interpretations within archaeological discourse as well as with archaeological practice and the formulation of research questions. We set neither temporal nor geographical limits to the contributions we publish. All archaeologies, from Paleolithic studies to archaeology of the contemporary period, are equally welcome.

Section Policies

Research Papers

Forum Kritische Archäologie publishes research articles or occasionally longer essays under the rubric "Research Papers." They can be found as individual contributions on the homepage.

Themes Issues

Under the rubric of "Theme Issues," we include multiple contributions on a single theme, accompanied by an introductory chapter and commentary by the editor(s), if desired. Within this framework various authors are invited to take positions on a topic. The papers from a workshop or small conference may also be the basis for a theme issue. A theme issues is published as a self-contained unit that can be downloaded as a reader or as individual papers.

We are happy to offer guest editors the opportunity to develop a theme issue.


The section "Debates" offers the possibility for several authors to engage in a direct dialog with one another over a controversial topic. The format generally consists of an article that has gone through peer review, which is then sent to one or more commentators who agree to write a critical response. The article and associated commentaries are published together.


In the context of "Conversations," we offer the possibility to publish interviews. The format opens a space for conversations on themes that are of relevance for a critical archaeology and for the discussion of perspectives that are outside the standard disciplinary publication forms.

Peer Review Process

Submitted articles are peer reviewed. Contributions will first be read by the editorial collective to ascertain whether they are thematically suitable for the journal. Contributions will then be forwarded to external reviewers in an anonymized form. Reviewers'comments will be sent to the author(s) to be taken into consideration in revising the paper.

Open Access Policy

This journal provides open access to all of its contents. It is committed to the idea that free, digital availability to research results provides a worldwide benefit.

Advisory Board

Abar, Aydin
Institut für Archäologische Wissenschaften, Ruhr-Universität Bochum

D'Anna, Maria Bianca
Institut für Vorderasiatische Archäologie, Freie Universität Berlin

Davidovic-Walther, Antonia
Frankfurt am Main

Dezhamkhooy, Maryam

Pinar Durgun (VAM)
Vorderasiatisches Museum Berlin (Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz)

Gramsch, Alexander
Römisch-Germanische Kommission

Hahn, Hans Peter
Institut für Ethnologie, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt a.M.

Hamilakis, Yannis
Brown University, Rhode Island

Hofmann, Kerstin P.
Römisch-Germanische Kommission

Holtorf, Cornelius
School of Cultural Sciences, Linnaeus University (Kalmar, Sweden)

Jung, Matthias
Institut für Grundlagen der Gesellschaftswissenschaften, Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt a.M.

Jauss, Carolin

von Rüden, Constance
Institut für Archäologische Wissenschaften
Ruhr-Universität Bochum


ISSN: 2194-346X