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,…  See more details below

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.

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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

List of tables and figures
Contributors
Introduction1
1Processual, postprocessual and interpretive archaeologies3
2Interpretive archaeologies: some themes and questions30
3Interpretation in contemporary archaeology: some philosophical issues37
4Past realities45
5Interpretive anthropology48
6The problems of origins: poststructuralism and beyond51
7The origins of meaning57
8Cognitive and behavioural complexity in non-human primates68
9Language and thought in evolutionary perspective76
10Talking to each other: why hominids bothered81
11Interpretation in the Palaeolithic87
12Interpretation, writing and presenting the past95
13Writing on the countryside100
14Can an African-American historical archaeology be an alternative voice?110
15'Trojan forebears', 'peerless relics': the rhetoric of heritage claims125
16A sense of place: a role for cognitive mapping in the 'postmodern' world?131
17The nature of history141
18The French historical revolution: the Annales school158
19The relations between human and natural history in the construction of archaeology162
20Material culture in time164
21Archaeology and the forms of history169
22Railroading epistemology: Palaeoindians and women175
23Interpreting material culture: the trouble with text181
24The visibility of the archaeological record and the interpretation of social reality194
25Tombs and territories: material culture and multiple interpretation205
26Reconciling symbolic significance with being-in-the-world210
27Questions not to ask of Malagasy carvings212
28Knowing about the past216
Appendix: further comment on interpretive archaeologies220
Glossary232
Bibliography249
Index267

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