Translated into English from the French.
Archaeology has been an important source of metaphors for some of the key intellectuals of the 20th century: Sigmund Freud, Walter Benjamin, Alois Riegl and Michel Foucault, amongst many others. However, this power has also turned against archaeology, because the discipline has been dealt with perfunctorily as a mere provider of metaphors that other intellectuals have exploited. Scholars from different fields continue to explore areas in which archaeologists have been working for over two centuries, with little or no reference to the discipline. It seems that excavation, stratigraphy or ruins only become important at a trans-disciplinary level when people from outside archaeology pay attention to them and somehow dematerialize them. Meanwhile, archaeologists have been usually more interested in borrowing theories from other fields, rather than in developing the theoretical potential of the same concepts that other thinkers find so useful. The time is ripe for archaeologists to address a wider audience and engage in theoretical debates from a position of equality, not of subalternity. Reclaiming Archaeology explores how archaeology can be useful to rethink modernity’s big issues, and more specifically late modernity (broadly understood as the 20th and 21st centuries). The book contains a series of original essays, not necessarily following the conventional academic rules of archaeological writing or thinking, allowing rhetoric to have its place in disclosing the archaeological. In each of the four sections that constitute this book (method, time, heritage and materiality), the contributors deal with different archaeological tropes, such as excavation, surface/depth, genealogy, ruins, fragments, repressed memories and traces. They criticize their modernist implications and rework them in creative ways, in order to show the power of archaeology not just to understand the past, but also the present. Reclaiming Archaeology includes essays from a diverse array of archaeologists who have dealt in one way or another with modernity, including scholars from non-Anglophone countries who have approached the issue in original ways during recent years, as well as contributors from other fields who engage in a creative dialogue with archaeology and the work of archaeologists.
This Handbook is the first comprehensive survey of a rapidly expanding sub-field in archaeology, the study of the present and recent past. It seeks to explore the boundaries of this emerging area, to develop a tool-kit of concepts and methods, which are applicable to this new sub-field, and to suggest important future trajectories for research.
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.
Space and Time in Mediterranean Prehistory addresses these two concepts as interrelated, rather than as separate categories, and as a means for understanding past social relations at different scales. The need for this volume was realised through four main observations: the ever growing interest in space and spatiality across the social sciences; the comparative theoretical and methodological neglect of time and temporality; the lack in the existing literature of an explicit and balanced focus on both space and time; and the large amount of new information coming from prehistoric Mediterranean. It focuses on the active and interactive role of space and time in the production of any social environment, drawing equally on contemporary theory and on case-studies from Mediterranean prehistory. Space and Time in Mediterranean Prehistory seeks to break down the space-time continuum, often assumed rather than inferred, into space-time units and to uncover the varying and variable interrelations of space and time in prehistoric societies across the Mediterranean. The volume is a response to the dissatisfaction with traditional views of space and time in prehistory and revisits these concepts to develop a timely integrative conceptual and analytical framework for the study of space and time in archaeology.
Since the nineteenth century, mass-production, consumerism and cycles of material replacement have accelerated; increasingly larger amounts of things are increasingly victimized rapidly and made redundant. At the same time, processes of destruction have immensely intensified, although largely overlooked when compared to the research and social significance devoted to consumption and production. The outcome is a ruin landscape of derelict factories, closed shopping malls, overgrown bunkers and redundant mining towns; a ghostly world of decaying modern debris normally omitted from academic concerns and conventional histories. The archaeology of the recent or contemporary past has grown fast during the last decade. This development has been concurrent with a broader popular, artistic and scholarly interest in modern ruins in general. Ruin Memories explores how the ruins of modernity are conceived and assigned cultural value in contemporary academic and public discourses, reassesses the cultural and historical value of modern ruins and suggests possible means for reaffirming their cultural and historic significance. Crucial for this reassessment is a concern with decay and ruination, and with the role things play in expressing the neglected, unsuccessful and ineffable. Abandonment and ruination is usually understood negatively through the tropes of loss and deprivation; things are degraded and humiliated while the information, knowledge and memory embedded in them become lost along the way. Without even ignoring its many negative and traumatizing aspects, a main question addressed in this book is whether ruination also can be seen as an act of disclosure. If ruination disturbs the routinized and ready-to-hand, to what extent can it also be seen as a recovery of memory as exposing meanings and presences that perhaps are only possible to grasp at second hand when no longer immersed in their withdrawn and useful reality? Anybody interested in the archaeology of the contemporary past will find Ruin Memories an essential guide to the very latest theoretical research in this emerging field of archaeological thought.
Photography as an everyday practice is changing dramatically once again. At this moment of transition from analogue to digital, Digital Snaps aims to develop a new media ecology that can accommodate these changes to photography 'as we know it'. Expert contributors representing varied disciplines demonstrate how and to what extent the traditional social practices, technologies and images of analogue photography are being transformed with the movement to digital photography. They zoom in on typical, vernacular, everyday practices: the development of the family photo album from a physical object in the living room to a digital practice on the internet; the use of mobile phones in everyday life; photo communities on the internet; photo booth photography; studio photography; and fine arts' appropriation of amateur photography. They explore how this media convergence transforms the media ecology - the networks, objects, performances, meanings and circulations - of vernacular photography, as we research it through ordinary people's use of such new cameras and interactive internet spaces as part of their everyday lives.
"This book provides perspective revealing the intellectual, historical and practical depths of archaeology's embedded role within cultural production. Presenting archaeology as creative practice, Shanks frees the archaeological sensibility from its dependence on positivistic science to enjoy the riches of transdisciplinary creativity.-"Ian Alden Russell, curator, David Winton Bell Gallery, Brown University. --Book Jacket.
Butrint has been one of the largest archaeological projects in the Mediterranean over the last two decades. Major excavations and a multi-volume series of accompanying scientific publications have made this a key site for our developing understanding of the Roman and Medieval Mediterranean. Through this set of interwoven reflections about the archaeology and cultural heritage history of his twenty-year odyssey in south-west Albania, Richard Hodges considers how the Butrint Foundation protected and enhanced Butrint's spirit of place for future generations. Hodges reviews Virgil's long influence on Butrint and how its topographic archaeology has now helped to invent a new narrative and identity. He then describes the struggle of placemaking in Albania during the early post-communist era, and finally asks, in the light of the Butrint Foundation's experience, who matters in the shaping of a place Â? international regulations, the nation, the archaeologist, the visitor, the local community or some combination of all of these stakeholders? With appropriate maps and photographs, this book aims to offer an unusual but important new direction for archaeology in the Mediterranean. It should be essential reading for archaeologists, classical historians, medievalists, cultural heritage specialists, tourism specialists as well as those interested in the Mediterranean's past and future.
This new edition of the first comprehensive feminist, theoretical synthesis of the archaeological work on gender reflects the extensive changes in the study of gender and archaeology over the past 8 years. New issues—such as sexuality studies, the body, children, and feminist pedagogy—enrich this edition while the author updates work on the roles of women and men in such areas as human origins, the sexual division of labor, kinship and other social structures, state development, and ideology.
This book is about how human societies form collective, i.e. shared, memories, with implications for how nations, ancient and modern, are built. Understanding how nations manipulate the collective memory making process is key to explaining the behaviors of various state and non-state actors, such as the Islamic State.
The studies in this impressive volume of over 700 pages are presented in memory of Douglas L. Esse, an archaeologist and assistant professor at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago until his untimely death at the age of forty-two on October 13, 1992. The majority of the thirty-four chapters in this volume are concerned with the study of the Early Bronze Age, and some chapters deal with periods and issues that pre-date and post-date the Early Bronze Age, as all of the forty-six authors selected to contribute to this volume were either colleagues or students of Esse and some were not primarily Early Bronze Age specialists. Chapter One includes three "Tributes" to Esse by L. E. Stager, A. Ben-Tor, and D. Saltz that assess the impact of Esse's scholarship, excellence in fieldwork, and the friendship he showed to all of those with whom he worked. Many of the chapters are concerned with ceramic studies from various historical periods, while other chapters deal with burial customs, cult, chronology, social organization, cylinder seal impressions, faunal studies, metrology, architecture, radiocarbon determinations, and maritime trade. The Israelite sites that figure prominently in these studies include Tel Maahaz, Tel Dor, Megiddo, Arad, Ai, Tel Yaqush, Nahal Tillah, Beit Yerah, Illin Tahtit, and Ashkelon. The geographical areas that are investigated include the Soreq Basin, the Akko Plain, the Jezreel Valley, the Dead Sea Plain, and the Carmel Coast and Ramat Menashe regions in Israel and Jordan; external studies are concerned with material from Egypt, the site of Alishar Hoyuek in Turkey, Tell el-Umeiri in Jordan as well as with pottery connections in Arabia. One chapter is concerned with the latest historical periods, which discusses the Persian and Muslim conquests in Palestinian archaeology.
Destined to become a modern classic in the vein of Guns, Germs, and Steel, Sapiens is a lively, groundbreaking history of humankind told from a unique perspective. 100,000 years ago, at least six species of human inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo Sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations, and human rights; to trust money, books, and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables, and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come? In Sapiens, Dr. Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical -- and sometimes devastating -- breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural, and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, palaeontology, and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come? Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, Sapiens challenges everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our power...and our future.
Between 1933 & 1938, Eric Voegelin published four books that expressly stated his opposition to the increasingly powerful Hitler regime. As a result, he was forced to leave his homeland in 1938. Twenty years later, he returned to Germany as a professor of political science at Ludwig-Maximilian University. Voegelin's homecoming allowed him the opportunity to voice once again his opinions on the Nazi regime & its aftermath. In 1964 at the University of Munich, Voegelin gave a series of memorable lectures on what he considered "the central German experiential problem" of his time: Adolf Hitler's rise to power, the reasons for it, & its consequences for post-Nazi Germany. For Voegelin, these questions demanded a scrutiny of the mentality of individual Germans & of the order of German society during & after the Nazi period. Hitler & the Germans, published here for the first time, offers Voegelin's most extensive & detailed critique of the Hitler era. Voegelin interprets this era in terms of the basic diagnostic tools provided by the philosophy of Plato & Aristotle, Judeo-Christian culture, & contemporary German-language writers like Heimito von Doderer, Karl Kraus, Thomas Mann, & Robert Musil. His inquiry uncovers a historiography that was substantially unhistoric: a German Evangelical Church that misinterpreted the Gospel, a German Catholic Church that denied universal humanity, & a legal process enmeshed in criminal homicide. Hitler & the Germans provides a profound alternative approach to the topic of the individual German's entanglement in the Hitler regime & its continuing implications. This comprehensive reading of the Nazi period has yet to be matched.
Reader of original synthesizing articles for introductory courses on archaeology and native peoples of California.
When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, the world reacted with shock on seeing residents of this distinctive city left abandoned to the floodwaters. After the last rescue was completed, a new worry arose—that New Orleans’s unique historic fabric sat in ruins, and we had lost one of the most charming old cities of the New World. In Patina, anthropologist Shannon Lee Dawdy examines what was lost and found through the destruction of Hurricane Katrina. Tracking the rich history and unique physicality of New Orleans, she explains how it came to adopt the nickname “the antique city.” With innovative applications of thing theory, Patina studies the influence of specific items—such as souvenirs, heirlooms, and Hurricane Katrina ruins—to explore how the city’s residents use material objects to comprehend time, history, and their connection to one another. A leading figure in archaeology of the contemporary, Dawdy draws on material evidence, archival and literary texts, and dozens of post-Katrina interviews to explore how the patina aesthetic informs a trenchant political critique. An intriguing study of the power of everyday objects, Patina demonstrates how sharing in the care of a historic landscape can unite a city’s population—despite extreme divisions of class and race—and inspire civil camaraderie based on a nostalgia that offers not a return to the past but an alternative future.
Archaeological theory has gone through a great upheaval in the last 50 years – from the processual theory, which wanted to make archaeology more "scientific" to post-processual theory, which understands that interpreting human behavior (even of past cultures) is a subjective study. This subjective approach incorporates a plurality of readings, thereby implying that different interpretations are always possible, allowing us to modify and change our ideas under the light of new information and/or interpretive frameworks. In this way, interpretations form a continuous flow of transformation and change, and thus archaeologists do not uncover a real past but rather construct a historical past or a narrative of the past. Post-processual theory also incorporates a conscious and explicit political interest on the past of the scholar and the subject. This includes fields and topics such as gender issues, ethnicity, class, landscapes, and consumption. This reflects a conscious attempt to also decentralize the discipline, from an imperialist point of view to an empowering one. Method and theory also means being politically aware and engaged to incorporate diverse critical approaches to improve understanding of the past and the present. This book focuses on the fundamental theoretical issues found in the discipline and thus both engages and represents the very rich plurality of the post-processual approach to archaeology. The book is divided into four sections: Issues in Archaeological Theory, Archaeological Theory and Method in Action, Space and Power in Material Culture, and Images as Material Discourse.
Archaeological Theory in the New Millennium provides an account of the changing world of archaeological theory and a challenge to more traditional narratives of archaeological thought. It charts the emergence of the new emphasis on relations as well as engaging with other current theoretical trends and the thinkers archaeologists regularly employ. Bringing together different strands of global archaeological theory and placing them in dialogue, the book explores the similarities and differences between different contemporary trends in theory while also highlighting potential strengths and weaknesses of different approaches. Written in a way to maximise its accessibility, in direct contrast to many of the sources on which it draws, Archaeological Theory in the New Millennium is an essential guide to cutting-edge theory for students and for professionals wishing to reacquaint themselves with this field.

Best Books