ARCHAEOLOGY THE DISCIPLINE OF THINGS

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Archaeology

Author : Bjørnar Olsen
ISBN : 9780520274174
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 39.34 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 : 26.65 MB
Format : PDF
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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 : 37.78 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

In Defense Of Things

Author : Bjørnar Olsen
ISBN : 0759119325
Genre : Philosophy
File Size : 66.44 MB
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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.
Category: Philosophy

Ruin Memories

Author : Bjørnar Olsen
ISBN : 9781317695806
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 45.55 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

Reclaiming Archaeology

Author : Alfredo González-Ruibal
ISBN : 9781135083526
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 32.9 MB
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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.
Category: Social Science

Thinking From Things

Author : Alison Wylie
ISBN : 9780520223608
Genre : History
File Size : 53.60 MB
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"No other work in this field covers the history of important conceptual issues in archaeology in such a deep and knowledgable way, bringing both philosophical and archeological sophistication to bear on all of the issues treated. Wylie’s work in Thinking from Things is original, scholarly, and creative. This book is for anyone who wants to understand contemporary archaeological theory, how it came to be as it is, its relationship with other disciplines, and its prospects for the future."—Merrilee Salmon, author of Philosophy and Archaeology "Wylie is a reasonable and astute thinker who lucidly and persuasively makes genuinely constructive criticisms of archaeological thought and practice and very useful suggestions for how to proceed. She commands both philisophy and archaeology to an unusual degree. Having her articles together in Thinking from Things, with much new material extending and integrating them, is a major contribution that will be widely welcomed among archaeologists—both professionals and students, philosophers and historians of science, and social scientists."—George L. Cowgill, Arizona State University
Category: History

The Archaeology Of Science

Author : Michael Brian Schiffer
ISBN : 9783319000770
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 51.62 MB
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This manual pulls together—and illustrates with interesting case studies—the variety of specialized and generalized archaeological research strategies that yield new insights into science. Throughout the book there are templates, consisting of questions, to help readers visualize and design their own projects. The manual seeks to be as general as possible, applicable to any society, and so science is defined as the creation of useful knowledge—the kinds of knowledge that enable people to make predictions. The chapters in Part I discuss the scope of the archaeology of science and furnish a conceptual foundation for the remainder of the book. Next, Part II presents several specialized, but widely practiced, research strategies that contribute to the archaeology of science. In order to thoroughly ground the manual in real-life applications, Part III presents lengthy case studies that feature the use of historical and archaeological evidence in the study of scientific activities.
Category: Social Science

Historical Archaeology

Author : Pedro Paulo A. Funari
ISBN : 9781134816163
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 82.68 MB
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Historical Archaeology demonstrates the potential of adopting a flexible, encompassing definition of historical archaeology which involves the study of all societies with documentary evidence. It encourages research that goes beyond the boundaries between prehistory and history. Ranging in subject matter from Roman Britain and Classical Greece, to colonial Africa, Brazil and the United States, the contributors present a much broader range of perspectives than is currently the trend.
Category: Social Science

Archaeology And Anthropology

Author : Duncan Garrow
ISBN : 1842173871
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 36.5 MB
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This book focuses on the relationship between the disciplines of archaeology and anthropology. Both disciplines arose from a common project: a desire to understand human social and cultural diversity. However, in recent years, archaeologys interest in anthropology has remained largely unreciprocated. To date, the causes and consequences of this imbalance have received little attention, particularly within anthropology. Including papers by eminent thinkers within both disciplines, this book sheds new light on issues of disciplinary identity. The contributors show how a lack of collaboration has resulted in a narrowing of horizons within both disciplines and explore the grounds upon which these might be opened up. The papers draw on a range of theoretical perspectives and empirical case-studies, but are unified in their concern to explore the ideological, practical and methodological commitments that mark each discipline as distinct. Ultimately, the volume arrives at the startling conclusion that archaeologys apparent absence of data may actually be a positive attribute, leading to a distinctive approach from which anthropology can learn.
Category: Social Science