Entangled : An Archaeology of the Relationships Between Humans and Things

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A powerful and innovative argument that explores the complexity of the human relationship with material things, demonstrating how humans and societies are entrapped into the maintenance and sustaining of material worlds * Argues that the interrelationship of humans and things is a defining characteristic of human history and culture * Offers a nuanced argument that values the physical processes of things without succumbing to materialism * Discusses historical and modern examples, using evolutionary theory to show how long-standing entanglements are irreversible and increase in scale and complexity over time * Integrates aspects of a diverse array of contemporary theories in archaeology and related natural and biological sciences * Provides a critical review of many of the key contemporary perspectives from materiality, material culture studies and phenomenology to evolutionary theory, behavioral archaeology, cognitive archaeology, human behavioral ecology, Actor Network Theory and complexity theory

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Product details

  • Paperback | 264 pages
  • 172 x 244 x 16mm | 381.02g
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • John Wiley & Sons Ltd
  • Chichester, United Kingdom
  • English
  • black & white tables, figures
  • 0470672129
  • 9780470672129
  • 86,000

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Review quote

"Entangledmay be Ian Hodder's most theoretically ecumenical book to date. The discussion of the various current approaches being used in archaeology, anthropology, and many other disciplines makes this an extremely valuable work ... "Hodder has written a tremendously useful addition to the literature on the relationship of people and things that deserves close reading." (Current Anthropology, 1 August 2013) "Ian Hodder has written an extremely interesting, rigorously argued and intellectually adventurous book about the nature of things... Readers working across the social sciences and humanities, and particularly those working at the intersection of the physical and human sciences, will find the messy openness of Hodder's book vibrant and compelling." (Critical Quarterly, 2 July 2013) "Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, faculty, professionals." (Choice, 1 May 2013)

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Back cover copy

There has been a much-charted journey of the social sciences and humanities into the study of material culture in recent decades. In general these narratives continue a mostly human-centered perspective on history, and so have missed the importance of the ways in which material things draw us in, direct and define us. In his new book, influential archaeologist Ian Hodder discusses our human "entanglements" with material things, and how archaeological evidence can help us to understand the direction of human social and technological change. Using examples drawn from the early farming villages of the Middle East as well as from our daily lives in the modern world, Hodder shows how things can and do entrap humans and societies into the maintenance and sustaining of material worlds. The earliest agricultural innovations, the phenomena of population increase, settlement stability, domestication of plants and animals can all be seen as elaborations of a general process by which humans were drawn into the lives of things. Using evolutionary theory, and ideas from archaeology and related disciplines, Hodder shows how the co-dependencies of humans and things are the hidden drivers of human progress.

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About Ian Hodder

Ian Hodder is Dunlevie Family Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University. Previously he was Professor of Archaeology at Cambridge. His main large-scale excavation projects have been at Haddenham in the east of England and at Catalhoyuk in Turkey. He has been awarded several awards and honorary degrees. His books include The Leopard's Tale: Revealing the Mysteries of Catalhoyuk, The Archaeological Process (Blackwell), The Domestication of Europe (Blackwell), Symbols in Action and Reading the Past.

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