Interpreting Archaeology: Finding Meaning in the Past / Edition 1

Interpreting Archaeology: Finding Meaning in the Past / Edition 1

by Alexandra Alexandri
     
 

ISBN-10: 0415157447

ISBN-13: 9780415157445

Pub. Date: 05/28/1997

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

There has been a profound shift in the direction of archaeological activity in the last fifteen years, a change reflected in this volume. While excavation remains a professional priority, the interpretation of archaeological evidence is now attracting increasing critical study. In part this is stemmed from the public demand for explanation of archaeological evidence,

Overview

There has been a profound shift in the direction of archaeological activity in the last fifteen years, a change reflected in this volume. While excavation remains a professional priority, the interpretation of archaeological evidence is now attracting increasing critical study. In part this is stemmed from the public demand for explanation of archaeological evidence, which moves beyond the more restricted academic debate among archaeologists. But it also follows from a desire among archaeologists to come to terms with their own subjective approaches to the material they study, and a recognition of how past researchers have also imposed their own value systems on the evidence which they presented.
This volume provides a forum for debate between varied approaches to the past from leading archaeologists in Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia. It addresses the philosophical issues involved in interpretation, and the origins of meaning in the evolution and emergence of 'mind' in early hominids. It covers the ways in which material culture is understood and presented in museums, and how the nature of history is itself in flux.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415157445
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
05/28/1997
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
286
Product dimensions:
6.80(w) x 9.60(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

1. Philosophical Issues of Interpretation

  • Interpretation in contemporary archaeology: some philosophical issues

  • Past realities

  • Interpretive anthropology

  • The problems of origins: poststructuralism and beyond

2. The origins of

meaning

  • The origins of meaning

  • Cognitive and behavioural complexity in non-human primates

  • Language and thought in evolutionary perspective

  • Talking to each other: why hominids bothered

  • Interpretation in the palaeolithic

3.

Interpretation, writing and presenting the past

  • Interpretation, writing and presenting the past

  • Writing on the countryside

  • Can an African American historical archaeology be an alternative voice?

  • `Trojan forebears', `peerless relics': the rhetoric of

    heritage claims

  • A sense of place: a role for cognitive mapping in the `postmodern' world?

4. Archaeology and history

  • The nature of history

  • The French historical revolution: the Annales school

  • The relations between human and natural history

    in the construction of archaeology

  • Material culture in time

  • Archaeology and the forms of history

  • Railroading epistemology: palaeoindians and women

5. Material culture

  • Interpreting material culture: the trouble with text

  • The

    visibility of the archaeological record and the interpretation of social reality

  • Tombs and territories: material culture and multiple interpretation

  • Reconciling symbolic significance with being-in-the-world

  • Questions not to ask of Malagasy carvings

  • Knowing

    about the past

Appendix:

Further comment on Interpretive Archaeologies

Glossary

Bibliography

Index

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