Agency In Archaeology

Author : Marcia-Anne Dobres
ISBN : 9781317959403
Genre : HISTORY
File Size : 84.97 MB
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Agency in Archaeology is the first critical volume to scrutinise the concept of agency and to examine in-depth its potential to inform our understanding of the past. Theories of agency recognise that human beings make choices, hold intentions and take action. This offers archaeologists scope to move beyond looking at broad structural or environmental change and instead to consider the individual and the group Agency in Archaeology brings together nineteen internationally renowned scholars who have very different, and often conflicting, stances on the meaning and use of agency theory to archaeology. The volume is composed of five theoretically-based discussions and nine case studies, drawing on regions from North America and Mesoamerica to Western and central Europe, and ranging in subject from the late Pleistocene hunter-gatherers to the restructuring of gender relations in the north-eastern US.
Category: HISTORY

Agency Uncovered

Author : Andrew Gardner
ISBN : 9781315435206
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 65.16 MB
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This book questions the value of the concept of 'agency', a term used in sociological and philosophical literature to refer to individual free will in archaeology. On the one hand it has been argued that previous generations of archaeologists, in explaining social change in terms of structural or environmental conditions, have lost sight of the 'real people' and reduced them to passive cultural pawns, on the other, introducing the concept of agency to counteract this can be said to perpetuate a modern, Western view of the autonomous individual who is free from social constraints. This book discusses the balance between these two opposites, using a range of archaeological and historical case studies, including European and Asian prehistory, classical Greece and Rome, the Inka and other Andean cultures. While focusing on the relevance of 'agency' theory to archaeological interpretation and using it to create more diverse and open-ended accounts of ancient cultures, the authors also address the contemporary political and ethical implications of what is essentially a debate about the definition of human nature.
Category: Social Science

Technology And Social Agency

Author : Marcia-Anne Dobres
ISBN : 1577181239
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 33.32 MB
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The book presents a new conceptual framework and a set of research principles with which to study and interpret technology from a phenomenological perspective.
Category: Social Science

An Archaeology Of The Cosmos

Author : Timothy R. Pauketat
ISBN : 9781136196379
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 57.68 MB
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An Archaeology of the Cosmos seeks answers to two fundamental questions of humanity and human history. The first question concerns that which some use as a defining element of humanity: religious beliefs. Why do so many people believe in supreme beings and holy spirits? The second question concerns changes in those beliefs. What causes beliefs to change? Using archaeological evidence gathered from ancient America, especially case material from the Great Plains and the pre-Columbian American Indian city of Cahokia, Timothy Pauketat explores the logical consequences of these two fundamental questions. Religious beliefs are not more resilient than other aspects of culture and society, and people are not the only causes of historical change. An Archaeology of the Cosmos examines the intimate association of agency and religion by studying how relationships between people, places, and things were bundled together and positioned in ways that constituted the fields of human experience. This rethinking theories of agency and religion provides readers with challenging and thought provoking conclusions that will lead them to reassess the way they approach the past.
Category: Social Science

Warfare In Cultural Context

Author : Axel E. Nielsen
ISBN : 0816527075
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 53.51 MB
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Warfare is a constant in human history. According to the contributors to this volume, archaeologists have assumed thatÑwithin certain socioenvironmental parametersÑwar is always essentially the same phenomenon and follows a common logic, breaking out under similar conditions and having analogous effects on the people involved. In pursuit of this idea, archaeologists have built models to account for the occurrence of war in various times and places. The models are then tested against prehistoric evidence to make the causes and conduct of war predictable and data-based. However, contributors argue, this model-and-evidence approach has given rise to multiple competing hypotheses and ambiguity rather than to full, coherent explanations of what turns out to be surprisingly complex acts of war. The chapters in Warfare in Cultural Context contend that agency and culture, inherited values and dispositions (such as religion and other cultural practices), beliefs, and institutions are always woven into the conduct of war. This revealing book focuses on the ways that specific people construed their interests and life projects, and their problems and possibilities, and consequently chose among alternative courses of action. Using archaeological and ethnohistorical data from various parts of the world, the contributors explore the multiple avenues for the cultural study of warfare that these ideas make possible. Contributions focus on cultural aspects of warfare in Mesoamerica, South America, North America, and Southeast Asia. Case studies include warfare among the Maya, Inca, southwestern Pueblos, Mississippian cultures, and the Enga of Papua New Guinea.
Category: Social Science

Archaeology The Key Concepts

Author : Colin Renfrew
ISBN : 9781134370412
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 21.44 MB
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From two of the best-known archaeological writers in the trade, this outstanding resource provides a thorough survey of the key ideas in archaeology, and how they impact on archaeological thinking and method. Clearly written, and easy to follow, Archaeology: The Key Concepts collates entries written specifically by field specialists, and each entry offers a definition of the term, its origins and development, and all the major figures involved in the area. The entries include: thinking about landscape archaeology of cult and religion cultural evolution concepts of time urban societies the antiquity of humankind archaeology of gender feminist archaeology experimental archaeology multiregional evolution. With guides to further reading, extensive cross-referencing, and accessibly written for even beginner students, this book is a superb guide for anyone studying, teaching, or with any interest in this fascinating subject.
Category: Social Science

The Social Construction Of Communities

Author : Mark D. Varien
ISBN : 9780759112384
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 59.71 MB
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The Social Construction of Communities draws on archaeological research in the Southwest to examine how communities are created through social interaction. The archaeological record of the Southwest is important for its precise dating, exceptional preservation, large number of sites, and length of occupation—making it most intensively researched archaeological regions in the world. Taking advantage of that rich archaeological record, the contributors to this volume present case studies of the Mesa Verde, Rio Grande, Kayenta, Mogollon, and Hohokam regions. The result is an enhanced understanding of the ancient Southwest, a new appreciation for the ways in which humans construct communities and transform society, and an expanded theoretical discussion of the foundational concepts of modern social theory.
Category: Social Science

Material Agency

Author : Carl Knappett
ISBN : 0387747117
Genre : Science
File Size : 53.39 MB
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Thus far an ‘agent’ in the social sciences has always meant someone whose actions bring about change. In this volume, the editors challenge this position and examine the possibility that agency is not a solely human property. Instead, this collection of archaeologists, anthropologists, sociologists and other social scientists explores the symbiotic relationships between humans and material entities (a key opening a door, a speed bump raising a car) as they engage with one another.
Category: Science

Handbook Of Archaeological Theories

Author : R. Alexander Bentley
ISBN : 0759100330
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 42.2 MB
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This handbook, a companion to the authoritative Handbook of Archaeological Methods, gathers original, authoritative articles from leading archaeologists on all aspects of the latest thinking about archaeological theory. It is the definitive resource for understanding how to think about archaeology.
Category: Social Science