Symbols in Action

Author: Ian Hodder
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521241766
Release Date: 1982-01-14
Genre: Social Science

Material culture - the objects made by man - provides the primary data from which archaeologists have to infer the economies, technologies, social organization and ritual practices of extinct societies. The analysis and interpretation ofmaterial culture is therefore central to any concern with archaeological theory and methodology, and in order to understand better the relationship between material culture and human behaviour, archaeologists need to draw upon models derived from the study of ethnographic societies. First published in 1982, this book presents the results of a series of field investigations carried out in Kenya, Zambia and the Sudan into the 'archaeological' remains and material culture of contemporary small-scale societies, and demonstrates the way in which objects are used as symbols within social action and within particular world views and ideologies.

The Oxford Handbook of Material Culture Studies

Author: Dan Hicks
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780199218714
Release Date: 2010-09-02
Genre: Social Science

Written by an international team of experts, the Handbook makes accessible a full range of theoretical and applied approaches to the study of material culture, and the place of materiality in social theory, presenting current thinking about material culture from the fields of archaeology, anthropology, geography, and science and technology studies.

Symbolic and Structural Archaeology

Author: Ian Hodder
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521035507
Release Date: 2006
Genre: Social Science

This volume presents a searching critique of the more traditional archaeological methodologies and interpretation strategies and lays down a firm philosophical and theoretical basis for symbolist and structuralist studies in archaeology. A variety of procedures, ranging from ethnoarchaeological studies and computing techniques to formal studies of artefact design variability, are utilized to provide models for archaeologists within the proposed framework and the theory and models are then applied to a range of archaeological analyses. This particular approach sees all human actions as being meaningfully constituted within a social and cultural framework. Material culture is not simply an adaptive tool, but is structured according to sets of underlying principles which give meaning to, and derive meanings from, the social world. Thus structural regularities are shown to link seemingly disparate aspects of material culture, from funerary monuments to artefact design, from the use of space in settlements, to the form of economic practices.

The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Death and Burial

Author: Sarah Tarlow
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191650390
Release Date: 2013-06-06
Genre: Social Science

The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of Death and Burial reviews the current state of mortuary archaeology and its practice, highlighting its often contentious place in the modern socio-politics of archaeology. It contains forty-four chapters which focus on the history of the discipline and its current scientific techniques and methods. Written by leading, international scholars in the field, it derives its examples and case studies from a wide range of time periods, such as the middle palaeolithic to the twentieth century, and geographical areas which include Europe, North and South America, Africa, and Asia. Combining up-to-date knowledge of relevant archaeological research with critical assessments of the theme and an evaluation of future research trajectories, it draws attention to the social, symbolic, and theoretical aspects of interpreting mortuary archaeology. The volume is well-illustrated with maps, plans, photographs, and illustrations and is ideally suited for students and researchers.

Critically Reading the Theory and Methods of Archaeology

Author: Guy Gibbon
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9780759123427
Release Date: 2013-09-12
Genre: Social Science

Critically Reading the Theory and Methods of Archaeology stands out as the most thorough and practical guide to the essential critical reading and writing skills that all students, instructors, and practitioners should have. It provides priceless insight for the here and now of the Theory and Methods of Archaeology classes and for a lifetime of reading, learning, teaching, and writing. Chapters focus on rigorous reasoning skills, types of argument, the main research orientations in archaeology, the basic procedural framework that underlies all schools of archaeology, and issues in archaeology raised by skeptical postmodernists.

The Oxford Handbook of African Archaeology

Author: Peter Mitchell
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191626159
Release Date: 2013-07-04
Genre: Social Science

Africa has the longest and arguably the most diverse archaeological record of any of the continents. It is where the human lineage first evolved and from where Homo sapiens spread across the rest of the world. Later, it witnessed novel experiments in food-production and unique trajectories to urbanism and the organisation of large communities that were not always structured along strictly hierarchical lines. Millennia of engagement with societies in other parts of the world confirm Africa's active participation in the construction of the modern world, while the richness of its history, ethnography, and linguistics provide unusually powerful opportunities for constructing interdisciplinary narratives of Africa's past. This Handbook provides a comprehensive and up-to-date synthesis of African archaeology, covering the entirety of the continent's past from the beginnings of human evolution to the archaeological legacy of European colonialism. As well as covering almost all periods and regions of the continent, it includes a mixture of key methodological and theoretical issues and debates, and situates the subject's contemporary practice within the discipline's history and the infrastructural challenges now facing its practitioners. Bringing together essays on all these themes from over seventy contributors, many of them living and working in Africa, it offers a highly accessible, contemporary account of the subject for use by scholars and students of not only archaeology, but also history, anthropology, and other disciplines.

Symbols of Excellence

Author: Grahame Clark
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521302641
Release Date: 1986-04-24
Genre: Social Science

Pithily written, rich in anecdote and superbly illustrated with examples of ancient craftsmanship, this book by an archaeologist of world renown ranges freely over the civilisations of the last five thousand years. The theme is a fascinating one. Why is it, Professor Clark asks, that human beings value precious metals, gems and a few organic materials like ivory and pearls so highly? All are difficult to obtain and largely useless for practical purposes. Yet the prestige associated with possession down the ages is undoubted. Position, sanctity and - by extension - the social and political hierarchies of entire societies have become embodied in these materials. Though first exploited to the full in the service of early cults and rulers, their appreciation has survived social change, and personal jewellery and insignia of rank are today more common than ever before. The reasons why are authoritatively explored in a remarkable book.

Home

Author: Francis Pryor
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 9780141971339
Release Date: 2014-10-02
Genre: Social Science

In Home Francis Pryor, author of The Making of the British Landscape, archaeologist and broadcaster, takes us on his lifetime's quest: to discover the origins of family life in prehistoric Britain Francis Pryor's search for the origins of our island story has been the quest of a lifetime. In Home, the Time Team expert explores the first nine thousand years of life in Britain, from the retreat of the glaciers to the Romans' departure. Tracing the settlement of domestic communities, he shows how archaeology enables us to reconstruct the evolution of habits, traditions and customs. But this, too, is Francis Pryor's own story: of his passion for unearthing our past, from Yorkshire to the west country, Lincolnshire to Wales, digging in freezing winters, arid summers, mud and hurricanes, through frustrated journeys and euphoric discoveries. Evocative and intimate, Home shows how, in going about their daily existence, our prehistoric ancestors created the institution that remains at the heart of the way we live now: the family. 'Under his gaze, the land starts to fill with tribes and clans wandering this way and that, leaving traces that can still be seen today . . . Pryor feels the land rather than simply knowing it' - Guardian Former president of the Council for British Archaeology, Dr Francis Pryor has spent over thirty years studying our prehistory. He has excavated sites as diverse as Bronze Age farms, field systems and entire Iron Age villages. He appears frequently on TV's Time Team and is the author of The Making of the British Landscape, Seahenge, as well as Britain BC and Britain AD, both of which he adapted and presented as Channel 4 series.

BABESCH

Author:
Publisher:
ISBN: STANFORD:36105130827129
Release Date: 2002
Genre: History


In Defense of Things

Author: Bjørnar Olsen
Publisher: Rowman Altamira
ISBN: 0759119325
Release Date: 2010-07-16
Genre: Philosophy

This important work of archaeological theory challenges us to reconsider our ideas about the nature of things, past and present, arguing that objects themselves possess a dynamic presence that we must take into account if we are to understand the world we and they inhabit.

Theory and Practice in Archaeology

Author: Ian Hodder
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781134797332
Release Date: 2004-08-02
Genre: Social Science

In this latest collection of his articles, of which seven are written especially for this volume, Ian Hodder captures and continues the lively controversy of the 1980s over symbolic and structural approaches to archaeology. The book acts as an overview of the developments in the discipline over the last decade; yet Hodder's brief is far wider. His aim is to break down the division between the intellectual and the "dirt" archaeologist to demonstrate that in this discipline more than any other, theory must be related to practice to save effectively our rapidly diminishing heritage.