Colouring the past: The Significance of Colour in Archaeological Research

Colouring the past: The Significance of Colour in Archaeological Research

by Andrew Jones
     
 

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Colour shapes our world in profound, if sometimes subtle ways. It helps us to classify, form opinions, and make aesthetic and emotional judgements. Colour operates in every culture as a symbol, a metaphor, and as part of an aesthetic system. Yet archaeologists have traditionally subordinated the study of colour to the form and material value of the objects they find…  See more details below

Overview

Colour shapes our world in profound, if sometimes subtle ways. It helps us to classify, form opinions, and make aesthetic and emotional judgements. Colour operates in every culture as a symbol, a metaphor, and as part of an aesthetic system. Yet archaeologists have traditionally subordinated the study of colour to the form and material value of the objects they find and thereby overlook its impact on conceptual systems throughout human history.

This book explores the means by which colour-based cultural understandings are formed, and how they are used to sustain or alter social relations. From colour systems in the Mesolithic, to Aztec symbolism and the use of colour in Roman Pompeii, this book paints a new picture of the past. Through their close observation of monuments and material culture, authors uncover the subtle role colour has played in the construction of past social identities and the expression of ancient beliefs.

Author Biography: Andrew Jones is a Research Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research in Cambridge. Gavin MacGregor is Project Officer, Archaeological Research Division, Glasgow University.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Until recently archaeologists were remarkably insensitive to the importance of colour in ancient societies. This book changes the situation. It offers a series of provocative and persuasive studies which will surely influence a new generation of research. It will help to stimulate a more imaginative approach to fieldwork and richer interpretations of the past. All archaeologists should read it and learn from what it has to say.” —Richard Bradley, Reading University
Reading University Richard Bradley

Until recently archaeologists were remarkably insensitive to the importance of colour in ancient societies. This book changes the situation. It offers a series of provocative and persuasive studies which will surely influence a new generation of research. It will help to stimulate a more imaginative approach to fieldwork and richer interpretations of the past. All archaeologists should read it and learn from what it has to say.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781859735428
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date:
07/01/2002
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.68(d)
Lexile:
1400L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

Edited by Andrew Jones, Lecturer in Archaeology, University of Southampton and Gavin MacGregor, Project Officer, Archaeological Research Division, University of Glasgow

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