Interpreting the Early Modern World: Transatlantic Perspectives / Edition 1

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Interpretive archaeology meaning the interpretation (social science as opposed to hard science) of archaeology and archaeological artifacts has predominantly been the realm of prehistoric archaeologists. Many historical archaeologists are participating in this disciplinary shift from processualism to post-processualism and interpretation, but to date few have called their work interpretive archaeology.

This volume is based on a session at the Society for Historical Archaeology meeting in 2005. The organizers now editors brought together historical archaeologists from both the UK and the US working in the same areas (industrial landscape, monuments, etc.) but because of their country-based training, their work arises out of differing intellectual traditions. The chapters in each section do not stand in isolation; rather, the authors exchange ideas about what each other has written. They construct dialogues about theories and practices that inform interpretive archaeology on either side of the Atlantic, ends with commentary by two well-known names in interpretive archaeology in the UK and in the States.

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Editorial Reviews

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[The volume] is concerned with the practice of interpretive archaeology on historical period sites, and how approaches differ between the Americas and the British Isles...the organization of this book, which presents one paper from either side of the Atlantic for each theme, allows for comparisons of approaches and ideas. Herein lies the strength of the volume: it is a composite piece, both self-reflective and critical....Together, these chapters demonstrate various challenges, in addition to the importance of developing a context-specific archaeological framework for site selection. This call for contextual research is furthered by Beaudry, who argues in her chapter that the experience of women cannot be wholly determined through the identification of 'female' objects, such as thimbles and bodkins. Her approach thereby challenges the use of norms when making archaeological interpretations...

Beaudry and Symonds' collection is a very readable, well-structured volume, and represents the potential of collaborative transnational research for understanding the recent past.
Katherine Fennelly, Post-Medieval Archaeology, 42/2, 2012

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Part I Country Estates/Landscapes

1 An American Landscape Conversation Lu Ann De Cunzo Nedda Moqtaderi 3

2 Estate Landscapes in England: Interpretive Archaeologies Tom Williamson 25

Part II Archaeology of Nineteenth-Century Cities and the Lives of Working People

3 Beyond Stories: A Quantitative Approach to the Archaeology of Households, Neighborhoods, and Cities Adrian Praetzellis and Mary Praetzellis 45

4 Stooping to Pick Up Stones: A Reflection on Urban Archaeology James Symonds 63

Part III Contesting Race, Constructing Memory

5 Passing for Black in Seventeenth-Century Maryland Julia A. King Edward E. Chaney 87

6 "Sorting Stones": Monuments, Memory and Resistance in the Scottish Highlands Siân Jones 113

Part IV Gender, Embodiment, Life Course, Materiality, and Identity

7 Stitching Women's Lives: Interpreting the Artifacts of Sewing and Needlework Mary C. Beaudry 143

8 The Intimacy of Death: Interpreting Gender and the Life Course in Medieval and Early Modern Burials Roberta Gilchrist 159

Part V Industrial Housing/Landscapes

9 Mrs. Perrin's "Tranklements": Community Life and Class Distinction in (Post) Industrial-Era Cheshire Sarah Whitehead Eleanor Conlin Casella 177

10 Attitudes to Religion, Education, and Status in Worker Settlements: The Architectural and Archaeological Evidence from Wales Stephen R. Hughes 197

Part VI Commentary

11 Revelations: Comments on Interpreting the Early Modern World Rebecca Yamin 229

Subject Index 235

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