Inference to the Best Explanation (IBE) and Archaeology: Old Tool, New Model.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The last decades have seen a renewed interest in the study of argumentation in archaeology, particularly in response to the overproduction of weak and unreliable interpretations and explanations. Concurrently, recent appeals for scientific transparency and efficiency in the management of archaeological information in digital form have stressed the necessity of explicitly showing the processes followed. A growing body of literature has identified inference to the best explanation (IBE) as the most adequate way of interpreting archaeological data, although it has quietly existed for over a century. Despite this, the investigation of IBE-based models for recording archaeological reasoning remains a largely under-researched topic. The author concludes with a novel IBE-based model for recording archaeological argumentation.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Classical Archaeology and Ancient History


  • inference to the best explanation (IBE), archaeological reasoning, digital archaeology, 3D reconstruction, IBE-based pipeline, inférence à la meilleure explication (IME), raisonnement en archéologie, archéologie numérique, restitution 3D, trajectoire basée sur l'IME, Inferenz zur besten Erklärung (IBE), Gedankengang in der Archäologie, digitale Archäologie, 3D Rekonstruktion, IBE-basiertes Verfahren
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalEuropean Journal of Archaeology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021 Apr 6
Publication categoryResearch