In taking the temperature of the discipline, Kristiansen has major concerns about the state of thinking and practice in both Heritage and academic archaeology – an unusual perspective coming from a career that has involved managing the archaeology of a Ministry of Culture as well as directing a major research institute. This conversation addresses the big picture of European prehistory, the shape of change across millennia and how we can understand it, the relationship between Heritage and innovative theory, and the formation of, and politics behind, the European Association of Archaeologists.