后处理考古学是20世纪80年代发生的考古学科学运动，它明确地反映了前一运动的局限性，即20世纪60年代的过程考古学。简而言之，过程考古学使用科学方法来识别影响过去人类行为的环境因素。考古学家曾经实践过程性考古学，或者在成长期间接受过教育，因为它未能解释过去人类行为的变异性而批评了过程考古学。后处理者拒绝确定性论证和逻辑实证主义方法，因为它们太过限制，无法涵盖各种各样的人类动机。最具体的是，作为后加工主义的“激进批判”在20世纪80年代的特点是拒绝实证主义者对行为的一般规律的追求，并建议考古学家更多地关注象征性，结构性和马克思主义观点。象征性和结构性的后处理主义考古学主要在英国与学者伊恩·霍德（Ian Hodder）一起诞生：一些学者如Zbigniew Kobylinski及其同事将其称为“剑桥学校”。在“行动中的象征”等文本中，霍德认为“文化”这个词几乎让实证主义者感到尴尬，虽然物质文化可能反映了环境适应，但它也可能反映了社会的变异性。实证主义者使用的功能性，适应性棱镜使他们对研究中的明显空白点失明。后处理者认为文化不是可以简化为环境变化等外部力量的东西，而是对日常现实的多种多样的有机反应。这些现实由多种政治，经济和社会力量组成，这些力量在特定时间和情况下是特定群体，或者至少似乎是特定群体所特有的，并且远不及处理者所假设的那样可预测。
Post-processing archaeology is an archaeological science movement that took place in the 1980s, which clearly reflects the limitations of the previous movement, the process archaeology of the 1960s. In short, process archaeology uses scientific methods to identify environmental factors that influence past human behavior. Archaeologists have practiced process archaeology or have been educated during their growth because they failed to explain the variability of past human behavior and criticized process archaeology. Post-processors reject deterministic and logical positivist methods because they are too restrictive to cover a wide range of human motives. Most specifically, the “radical critique” as post-processingism was characterized in the 1980s by rejecting positivists’ pursuit of the general laws of behavior and suggested that archaeologists pay more attention to symbolism, structure and Marx. Doctrine. Symbolic and structural post-processing archaeology was born in England together with scholar Ian Hodder: some scholars such as Zbigniew Kobylinski and colleagues called it the “Cambridge School”. In the text “The Symbol of Action”, Hod thinks that the word “culture” is almost embarrassing to positivists. Although material culture may reflect environmental adaptation, it may also reflect social variability. The functional, adaptive prisms used by positivists made them blind to obvious gaps in research. Post-processors believe that culture is not something that can be reduced to external forces such as environmental change, but a variety of organic reactions to everyday reality. These realities are made up of a variety of political, economic, and social forces that are specific to a particular group of times and circumstances, or at least seem to be unique to a particular group, and far less predictable than the processor assumes.