Medieval archaeology and the history of material culture:
Forty years later
The notion of material culture used in various historical and anthropological disciplines was principally introduced into France in several articles written by Jean-Marie Pesez in the late 1970s, to be applied in the field of medieval archaeology. These works reviewed the origins and the circumstances surrounding the emergence of this field of reflection and research, and established an initial framework for putting into practice, in archaeology, the use of material data as a source in the historical approach. A re-examination of these propositions and of the context of their application can be useful in order to investigate the current meaning of the concept, its heuristic potential (which still appears to be too limited), and the role it can play in the convergence of several social sciences.