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Symbols in Action: Ethnoarchaeological Studies of Material Culture

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Overview

Material culture - the objects made by man - provides the primary data from which archaeologists have to infer the economies, technologies, social organization and ritual practices of extinct societies. The analysis and interpretation ofmaterial culture is therefore central to any concern with archaeological theory and methodology, and in order to understand better the relationship between material culture and human behaviour, archaeologists need to draw upon models derived from the study of ethnographic societies. First published in 1982, this book presents the results of a series of field investigations carried out in Kenya, Zambia and the Sudan into the 'archaeological' remains and material culture of contemporary small-scale societies, and demonstrates the way in which objects are used as symbols within social action and within particular world views and ideologies.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521105088
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 3/19/2009
  • Series: New Studies in Archaeology Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: the nature of material cultures; 2. Ethnicity and symbolism in Baringo; 3. Maintaining the boundaries; 4. Disrupting the boundaries; 5. Within the boundaries: age, sex and self-decoration; 6. Hunter-gatherers and pastoralists on the Leroghi plateau; 7. A state of symbiosis and conflict: the Lozi; 8. Dirt, women and men: a study in the Nuba Mountains, Sudan; 9. Implications for archaeology; 10. Conclusions and prospects.

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