Archaeology: The Basics / Edition 1

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From archaeological jargon to interpretation, this volume probes the depths of this increasingly popular discipline, presenting critical approaches to the understanding of our past. A piece of broken pottery will never seem the same again.

This ultimate guide for all new and would-be archaeologists, whether they are new students or interested amateurs, introduces its readers to archaeological thought, history and practice.

Lively and engaging. Archaeology: The Basics fires the archaeological imagination whilst tackling such questions as: What are the basic concepts of archaeology? How and what do we know about people and objects from the past? What makes a good explanation in archaeology? Why dig here? Archaeology: The Basics provides an invaluable overview of a fascinating subject.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415346597
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 7/2/2004
  • Series: Basics Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Clive Gamble is Professor of Archaeology at University of Southampton. He is an archaeologist with a particular interest in our earliest origins and the evolution of human society.

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations ix
List of boxes xi
To the reader xv
Acknowledgements xvii
1 What is archaeology? 1
The archaeological imagination 1
Three political contexts 2
How did archaeology get started? 2
How has archaeology changed? 6
Two basic concepts 7
Changing Anglo-Saxons: a case study 11
The archaeological cafeteria: is that really archaeology? 15
2 How many archaeologies are there? 21
Culture history 22
Anthropological archaeology 24
Summary 42
3 Basic concepts 45
Starting out with a research design 46
The representative sample 48
Survey and excavation 50
Recovery 51
Archaeological entities 52
Two principles 59
The archaeological record 67
Summary 71
4 People 73
Who do we want to know? 74
What can we know? 83
How do we know? 92
Summary 97
5 Objects 99
Objects and the archaeological imagination 99
Material culture 100
Mental templates 101
Interpreting artefacts 102
Dualisms 105
Style 107
The biography of objects 115
Summary 120
6 Time and space 123
Contexts and entities 124
Time 132
Space 139
Pattern recognition 141
Analytical approaches to space 144
Summary 152
7 Change and stasis 155
Questions about change 156
Mechanisms and models 178
What makes a good explanation in archaeology 181
Summary 188
8 Identity and power 189
Two identities 190
What we mean by power 191
The identity within 196
The identity from 208
Conclusion: archaeology, the future 217
References 219
Index 235
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