AGENCY IN ARCHAEOLOGY

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Agency In Archaeology

Author : Marcia-Anne Dobres
ISBN : 9781317959403
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 23.87 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: Social Science

Warfare In Cultural Context

Author : Axel E. Nielsen
ISBN : 0816527075
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 21.1 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

Relational Identities And Other Than Human Agency In Archaeology

Author : Eleanor Harrison-Buck
ISBN : 9781607327479
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 84.50 MB
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Relational Identities and Other-than-Human Agency in Archaeology explores the benefits and consequences of archaeological theorizing on and interpretation of the social agency of nonhumans as relational beings capable of producing change in the world. The volume cross-examines traditional understanding of agency and personhood, presenting a globally diverse set of case studies that cover a range of cultural, geographical, and historical contexts. Agency (the ability to act) and personhood (the reciprocal qualities of relational beings) have traditionally been strictly assigned to humans. In case studies from Ghana to Australia to the British Isles and Mesoamerica, contributors to this volume demonstrate that objects, animals, locations, and other nonhuman actors also potentially share this ontological status and are capable of instigating events and enacting change. This kind of other-than-human agency is not a one-way transaction of cause to effect but requires an appropriate form of reciprocal engagement indicative of relational personhood, which in these cases, left material traces detectable in the archaeological record. Modern dualist ontologies separating objects from subjects and the animate from the inanimate obscure our understanding of the roles that other-than-human agents played in past societies. Relational Identities and Other-than-Human Agency in Archaeology challenges this essentialist binary perspective. Contributors in this volume show that intersubjective (inherently social) ways of being are a fundamental and indispensable condition of all personhood and move the debate in posthumanist scholarship beyond the polarizing dichotomies of relational versus bounded types of persons. In this way, the book makes a significant contribution to theory and interpretation of personhood and other-than-human agency in archaeology. Contributors: Susan M. Alt, Joanna Brück, Kaitlyn Chandler, Erica Hill, Meghan C. L. Howey, Andrew Meirion Jones, Matthew Looper, Ian J. McNiven, Wendi Field Murray, Timothy R. Pauketat, Ann B. Stahl, Maria Nieves Zedeño
Category: Social Science

An Archaeology Of The Cosmos

Author : Timothy R. Pauketat
ISBN : 9780415521284
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 45.72 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

Technology And Social Agency

Author : Marcia-Anne Dobres
ISBN : 1577181247
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 39.46 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

Agency Uncovered

Author : Andrew Gardner
ISBN : 9781315435190
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 68.60 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

The Oxford Handbook Of Material Culture Studies

Author : Dan Hicks
ISBN : 9780199218714
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 52.83 MB
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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.
Category: Social Science

Archaeological Theory In The New Millennium

Author : Oliver J. T. Harris
ISBN : 9781317497455
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 75.24 MB
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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.
Category: Social Science

The Archaeology Of Traditions

Author : Timothy R. Pauketat
ISBN : 1616101296
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 49.79 MB
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"At last, southeastern archaeology as history of people, not just 'cultures'."--Patricia Galloway, Mississippi Department of Archives and History Rich with the objects of the day-to-day lives of illiterate or common people in the southeastern United States, this book offers an archaeological reevaluation of history itself: where it is, what it is, and how it came to be. Through clothing, cooking, eating, tool making, and other mundane forms of social expression and production, traditions were altered daily in encounters between missionaries and natives, between planters and slaves, and between native leaders and native followers. As this work demonstrates, these "unwritten texts" proved to be potent ingredients in the larger-scale social and political events that shaped how peoples, cultures, and institutions came into being. These developments point to a common social process whereby men and women negotiated about their views of the world and--whether slaves, natives, or Europeans--created history. Bridging the pre-Columbian and colonial past, this book incorporates current theories that cut across disciplines to appeal to anthropologists, historians, and archaeologists. CONTENTS 1. A New Tradition in Archaeology, by Timothy R. Pauketat 2. African-American Tradition and Community in the Antebellum South, by Brian W. Thomas 3. Resistance and Accommodation in Apalachee Province, by John F. Scarry 4. Manipulating Bodies and Emerging Traditions at the Los Adaes Presidio, by Diana DiPaolo Loren 5. Negotiated Tradition? Native American Pottery in the Mission Period in La Florida, by Rebecca Saunders 6. Creek and Pre-Creek Revisited, by Cameron B. Wesson 7. Gender, Tradition, and the Negotiation of Power Relationships in Southern Appalachian Chiefdoms, by Lynne P. Sullivan and Christopher B. Rodning 8. Historical Science or Silence? Toward a Historical Anthropology of Mississippian Political Culture, by Mark A. Rees 9. Cahokian Change and the Authority of Tradition, by Susan M. Alt 10. The Historical-Processual Development of Late Woodland Societies, by Michael S. Nassaney 11. A Tradition of Discontinuity: American Bottom Early and Middle Woodland Culture History Reexamined, by Andrew C. Fortier 12. Interpreting Discontinuity and Historical Process in Midcontinental Late Archaic and Early Woodland Societies, by Thomas E. Emerson and Dale L. McElrath 13. Hunter-Gatherers and Traditions of Resistance, by Kenneth E. Sassaman 14. Traditions as Cultural Production: Implications for Contemporary Archaeological Research, by Kent G. Lightfoot 15. Concluding Thoughts on Tradition, History, and Archaeology, by Timothy R. Pauketat Timothy R. Pauketat, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois, Urbana, is the author of The Ascent of Chiefs and coeditor of Cahokia: Domination and Ideology in the Mississippian World.
Category: Social Science

Reading The Past

Author : Ian Hodder
ISBN : 0521528844
Genre : History
File Size : 34.77 MB
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In 'Reading the Past', the authors argue that archaeologists must bring to bear a variety of perspectives in the task of constructing meaning from the past. This third edition includes new material on feminist archaeology, historical approaches such as cultural history, and theories of discourse and signs.
Category: History