ARCHAEOLOGY THE DISCIPLINE OF THINGS

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Archaeology

Author : Bjørnar Olsen
ISBN : 9780520274174
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 32.48 MB
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"This book exhorts the reader to embrace the materiality of archaeology by recognizing how every step in the discipline's scientific processes involves interaction with myriad physical artifacts, ranging from the camel-hair brush to profile drawings to virtual reality imaging. At the same time, the reader is taken on a phenomenological journey into various pasts, immersed in the lives of peoples from other times, compelled to engage their senses with the sights, smells, and noises of the publics and places whose remains they study. This is a refreshingly original and provocative look at the meaning of the material culture that lies at the foundation of the archaeological discipline."--Michael Brian Schiffer, author of The Material Life of Human Beings "This volume is a radical call to fundamentally rethink the ontology, profession, and practice of archaeology. The authors present a closely reasoned, epistemologically sound argument for why archaeology should be considered the discipline of things, rather than its more commonplace definition as the study of the human past through material traces. All scholars and students of archaeology will need to read and contemplate this thought-provoking book."--Wendy Ashmore, Professor of Anthropology, UC Riverside "A broad, illuminating, and well-researched overview of theoretical problems pertaining to archaeology. The authors make a calm defense of the role of objects against tedious claims of 'fetishism.'"--Graham Harman, author of The Quadruple Object
Category: Social Science

Archaeology

Author : Bjørnar Olsen
ISBN : 9780520274167
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 61.32 MB
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“This book exhorts the reader to embrace the materiality of archaeology by recognizing how every step in the discipline’s scientific processes involves interaction with myriad physical artifacts, ranging from the camel-hair brush to profile drawings to virtual reality imaging. At the same time, the reader is taken on a phenomenological journey into various pasts, immersed in the lives of peoples from other times, compelled to engage their senses with the sights, smells, and noises of the publics and places whose remains they study. This is a refreshingly original and provocative look at the meaning of the material culture that lies at the foundation of the archaeological discipline.”—Michael Brian Schiffer, author of The Material Life of Human Beings “This volume is a radical call to fundamentally rethink the ontology, profession, and practice of archaeology. The authors present a closely reasoned, epistemologically sound argument for why archaeology should be considered the discipline of things, rather than its more commonplace definition as the study of the human past through material traces. All scholars and students of archaeology will need to read and contemplate this thought-provoking book.”—Wendy Ashmore, Professor of Anthropology, UC Riverside "A broad, illuminating, and well-researched overview of theoretical problems pertaining to archaeology. The authors make a calm defense of the role of objects against tedious claims of 'fetishism.'"—Graham Harman, author of The Quadruple Object
Category: Social Science

Archaeology

Author : Bjørnar Olsen
ISBN : 9780520954007
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 77.51 MB
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Archaeology has always been marked by its particular care, obligation, and loyalty to things. While archaeologists may not share similar perspectives or practices, they find common ground in their concern for objects monumental and mundane. This book considers the myriad ways that archaeologists engage with things in order to craft stories, both big and small, concerning our relations with materials and the nature of the past. Literally the "science of old things," archaeology does not discover the past as it was but must work with what remains. Such work involves the tangible mediation of past and present, of people and their cultural fabric, for things cannot be separated from society. Things are us. This book does not set forth a sweeping new theory. It does not seek to transform the discipline of archaeology. Rather, it aims to understand precisely what archaeologists do and to urge practitioners toward a renewed focus on and care for things.
Category: Social Science

Ruin Memories

Author : Bjørnar Olsen
ISBN : 9781317695790
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 29.70 MB
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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.
Category: Social Science

In Defense Of Things

Author : Bjørnar Olsen
ISBN : 0759119325
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 66.73 MB
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In much recent thinking, social and cultural realms are thought of as existing prior to—or detached from—things, materiality, and landscape. It is often assumed, for example, that things are entirely 'constructed' by social or cultural perceptions and have no existence in and of themselves. Bjornar Olsen takes a different position. Drawing on a range of theories, especially phenomenology and actor-network-theory, Olsen claims that human life is fully mixed up with things and that humanity and human history emerge from such relationships. Things, moreover, possess unique qualities that are inherent in our cohabitation with them—qualities that help to facilitate existential security and memory of the past. This important work of archaeological theory challenges us to reconsider our ideas about the nature of things, past and present, demonstrating that objects themselves possess a dynamic presence that we must take into account if we are to understand the world we and they inhabit.
Category: Philosophy

The Classical Archaeology Of Greece

Author : Michael Shanks
ISBN : 9781134693177
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 62.91 MB
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Archaeologists do not discover the past but take the fragmentary remains which they recover and make something of them. Archaeology is a process of detection and supposition; this is what makes it so fascinating. However, the interpretations of archaeologists differ and change over time. They depend upon the amount of evidence available, the ideas and preconceptions of the archaeologist and their interests and aims. Michael Shanks's enlivening work is a guide to the discipline of classical archaeology and its objects. It assesses archaeology as a means of reconstructing ancient Greek society using the latest approaches of social archaeology. In addition, The Classical Archaeology of Greece outlines the history of the discipline and discusses why Classical Greece continues to fascinate us and why it has had such an impact on European civilization and identity.
Category: Social Science

Archaeology In The Making

Author : William L. Rathje
ISBN : 9780415634809
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 58.17 MB
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Archaeology in the Making is a collection of bold statements about archaeology, its history, how it works, and why it is more important than ever. This book comprises conversations about archaeology among some of its notable contemporary figures. They delve deeply into the questions that have come to fascinate archaeologists over the last forty years or so, those that concern major events in human history such as the origins of agriculture and the state, and questions about the way archaeologists go about their work. Many of the conversations highlight quite intensely held personal insight into what motivates us to pursue archaeology; some may even be termed outrageous in the light they shed on the way archaeological institutions operate – excavation teams, professional associations, university departments. Archaeology in the Making is a unique document detailing the history of archaeology in second half of the 20th century to the present day through the words of some of its key proponents. It will be invaluable for anybody who wants to understand the theory and practice of this ever developing discipline.
Category: Social Science

Thinking From Things

Author : Alison Wylie
ISBN : 0520935403
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 42.62 MB
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In this long-awaited compendium of new and newly revised essays, Alison Wylie explores how archaeologists know what they know. Examining the history and methodology of Anglo-American archaeology, Wylie puts the tumultuous debates of the last thirty years in historical and philosophical perspective.
Category: Social Science

In Defense Of Things

Author : Bjørnar Olsen
ISBN : 0759119325
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 76.98 MB
Format : PDF, ePub, Mobi
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In much recent thinking, social and cultural realms are thought of as existing prior to—or detached from—things, materiality, and landscape. It is often assumed, for example, that things are entirely 'constructed' by social or cultural perceptions and have no existence in and of themselves. Bjornar Olsen takes a different position. Drawing on a range of theories, especially phenomenology and actor-network-theory, Olsen claims that human life is fully mixed up with things and that humanity and human history emerge from such relationships. Things, moreover, possess unique qualities that are inherent in our cohabitation with them—qualities that help to facilitate existential security and memory of the past. This important work of archaeological theory challenges us to reconsider our ideas about the nature of things, past and present, demonstrating that objects themselves possess a dynamic presence that we must take into account if we are to understand the world we and they inhabit.
Category: Philosophy

The Order Of Things

Author : Michel Foucault
ISBN : 9780307819307
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 48.93 MB
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In the work that established him as the most important French thinker since Sartre, Michel Foucault offers startling evidence that "man"—man as a subject of scientific knowledge—is at best a recent invention, the result of a fundamental mutation in our culture. With vast erudition, Foucault cuts across disciplines and reaches back into seventeenth century to show how classical systems of knowledge, which linked all of nature within a great chain of being and analogies between the stars in the heavens and the features in a human face, gave way to the modern sciences of biology, philology, and political economy. The result is nothing less than an archaeology of the sciences that unearths old patterns of meaning and reveals the shocking arbitrariness of our received truths.
Category: Philosophy