Entangled: An Archaeology of the Relationships Between Humans and Things

Entangled: An Archaeology of the Relationships Between Humans and Things


By (author) Ian Hodder

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  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 264 pages
  • Dimensions: 172mm x 244mm x 16mm | 381g
  • Publication date: 8 May 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Chichester
  • ISBN 10: 0470672129
  • ISBN 13: 9780470672129
  • Illustrations note: black & white tables, figures
  • Sales rank: 89,125

Product description

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

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Author information

Ian Hodder is Dunlevie Family Professor in the Department ofAnthropology at Stanford University. Previously he was Professor ofArchaeology at Cambridge. His main large-scale excavation projectshave been at Haddenham in the east of England and atCatalhoyuk in Turkey. He has been awarded severalawards and honorary degrees. His books include TheLeopard s Tale: Revealing the Mysteries ofCatalhoyuk, The Archaeological Process(Blackwell), The Domestication of Europe (Blackwell), Symbols in Action and Reading the Past.

Review quote

Entangledmay be Ian Hodder s most theoreticallyecumenical book to date. The discussion of the various currentapproaches being used in archaeology, anthropology, and many otherdisciplines makes this an extremely valuable work ... Hodder has written a tremendously useful addition to theliterature on the relationship of people and things that deservesclose reading. (Current Anthropology, 1 August2013) Ian Hodder has written an extremely interesting,rigorously argued and intellectually adventurous book about thenature of things... Readers working across the social sciencesand humanities, and particularly those working at the intersectionof the physical and human sciences, will find the messy openness ofHodder s book vibrant and compelling. (Critical Quarterly, 2 July 2013) Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students,faculty, professionals. (Choice, 1 May2013)

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.

Table of contents

Epigraph ix List of Figures x Acknowledgments xii 1 Thinking About Things Differently 1 Approaches to Things 1 Themes About Things 3 Things are Not Isolated 3 Things are Not Inert 4 Things Endure over Different Temporalities 5 Things Often Appear as Non-things 5 The Forgetness of Things 6 What Is a Thing? 7 Humans and Things 9 Knowing Things 10 Conclusion: The Objectness of Things 13 2 Humans Depend on Things 15 Dependence: Some Introductory Concepts 17 Forms of Dependence 17 Reflective and Non-reflective Relationships with Things 18 Going Towards and Away From Things 21 Identification and Ownership 23 Approaches to the Human Dependence On Things 27 Being There with Things 27 Material Culture and Materiality 30 Cognition and the Extended Mind 34 Conclusion: Things R Us 38 3 Things Depend on Other Things 40 Forms of Connection between Things 42 Production and Reproduction 42 Exchange 43 Use 43 Consumption 43 Discard 43 Post-deposition 44 Affordances 48 From Affordance to Dependence 51 The French School Operational Chains 52 Behavioral Chains 54 Conclusion 58 4 Things Depend on Humans 64 Things Fall Apart 68 Behavioral Archaeology and Material Behavior 70 Behavioral Ecology 74 Human Behavioral Ecology 80 The Temporalities of Things 84 Conclusion: The Unruliness of Things 85 5 Entanglement 88 Other Approaches 89 Latour and Actor Network Theory 91 The Archaeology of Entanglement 94 The Physical Processes of Things 95 Temporalities 98 Forgetness 101 The Tautness of Entanglements 103 Types and Degrees of Entanglement 105 Cores and Peripheries of Entanglements 108 Contingency 109 Conclusion 111 6 Fittingness 113 Nested Fittingness 114 Return to Affordance 115 Coherence: Abstraction, Metaphor, Mimesis and Resonance 119 Abstraction, Metaphor and Mimesis 120 Synaesthesia 124 Resonance 125 Coherence and Resonance at Catalhoyuk 132 Conclusion 135 7 The Evolution and Persistence of Things 138 Evolutionary Approaches 139 Evolutionary Ecology (HBE) 141 Evolutionary Archaeology 142 Dual Inheritance Theory 144 Evolution and Entanglement 147 Niche Construction 149 Evolution at Catalhoyuk 151 Conclusion 156 8 Things happen 158 The Complexity of Entanglements 159 Open, Complex and Discontinuous Entanglements 159 Unruly Things: Contingency 159 Conjunction of Temporalities 160 Catalysis: Small Things and the Emergence of Big Effects 163 Is there a Directionality to Entanglements? 167 Some Neolithic Examples 171 Macro-evolutionary Approaches 173 Why Do Entanglements Increase the Rate of Change? 174 Conclusion 177 9 Tracing the Threads 179 Tanglegrams 180 Locating Entanglements 185 Sequencing Entanglements at Catalhoyuk189 Sequencing Entanglements the Origins of Agriculture in the Middle East 195 Causality and Directionality 200 Conclusion 204 10 Conclusions 206 The Object Nature of Things 207 Too Much Stuff ? 210 Temporality and Structure 212 Power and Agency 213 To and from Formulaic Reduction 216 Things Again 218 Some Ethical Considerations 220 The Last Thing on my Mind 221 Bibliography 223 Index 245