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While few practitioners in theoretical archaeology would still argue for a unified disciplinary approach, few volumes have explored the full range of emerging perspectives. This volume, however, captures the diversity of contemporary archaeological theory. Some authors argue for an approach close to the natural sciences, others for an engagement with cultural debate about representation of the past. Some minimize the relevance of culture to societal change, while others see it as central; some focus on the contingent and the local, others on long-term evolution.
The volume also reflects archaeology's new openness to external influences, as well as the desire to contribute to wider debates. The contributors examine ways in which archaeological evidence contributes to theories of evolutionary psychology, as well as to the social sciences in general, where theories of social relationships, agency, landscape and identity are informed by the long-term perspective of archaeology.
Archaeological Theory Today will be essential reading for students and scholars in archaeology and in the social sciences more generally.
|List of Figures and Tables|
|List of Contributors|
|1||Introduction: A Review of Contemporary Theoretical Debates in Archaeology||1|
|2||Behavioral Archaeology: Toward a New Synthesis||14|
|4||Archaeological Theory and Theories of Cognitive Evolution||98|
|5||Symbol before Concept: Material Engagement and the Early Development of Society||122|
|6||Agency, the Duality of Structure, and the Problem of the Archaeological Record||141|
|7||Archaeologies of Place and Landscape||165|
|8||Archaeologies of Identity||187|
|9||American Material Culture in Mind, Thought, and Deed||214|
|10||Postcolonial Archaeology: Issues of Culture, Identity, and Knowledge||241|
|11||Archaeological Representation: The Visual Conventions for Constructing Knowledge about the Past||262|
|12||Culture/Archaeology: The Dispersion of a Discipline and its Objects||284|