Artifacts and Ideas

Artifacts and Ideas : Essays in Archaeology

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Prehistoric archaeologists cannot observe their human subjects nor can they directly access their subjects' ideas. Both must be inferred from the remnants of the material objects they made and used. In recent decades this incontrovertible fact has encouraged partisan approaches to the history and method of archaeology. An empirical discipline emphasizing data, classifi cation, and chronology has given way to a behaviorist approach that interprets fi nds as products of ecologically adaptive strategies, and to a postmodern alternative that relies on an idealist, cultural-relativist epistemology based on belief and cultural traditions. In Artifacts and Ideas, now in paperback, Bruce G. Trigger challenges all partisan versions of recent developments in archaeology, while remaining committed to understanding the past from a social science perspective.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 152.4 x 220.98 x 12.7mm | 385.55g
  • Transaction Publishers
  • Somerset, NJ, United States
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • black & white illustrations
  • 141280650X
  • 9781412806503
  • 2,062,301

Review quote

"This collection is a fine narrative of the development of Trigger's metaphysics in his archaeological and historical research. It is accessible, clearly written, and worth close reading." --Christopher S. Peebles, Journal of Field Archaeology "Trigger is a brilliant essayist, and Artifacts and Ideas brings together a number of the most incisive and keenly observed essays he has written in the course of a long and productive career." --Alison Wylie, Washington University "Eloquent, subtly nuanced, and thoroughly grounded in the contemporary world, Trigger's essays are an essential guide to the multifaceted archeology of today." --Brian Fagan, University of California, Santa Barbara

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