Archaeological Theory Today

Archaeological Theory Today

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This volume provides an authoritative account of the current status of archaeological theory, as presented by some of its major exponents and innovators over the last decade. It summarizes recent developments and looks to the future, exploring some of the cutting--edge ideas at the forefront of the discipline. While few practitioners in theoretical archaeology would still argue for a unified disciplinary approach, few volumes have explored the full range of emerging perspectives. This volume, however, captures the diversity of contemporary archaeological theory. Some authors argue for an approach close to the natural sciences, others for an engagement with cultural debate about representation of the past. Some minimize the relevance of culture to societal change, while others see it as central; some focus on the contingent and the local, others on long--term evolution. The volume also reflects archaeologya s new openness to external influences, as well as the desire to contribute to wider debates. The contributors examine ways in which archaeological evidence contributes to theories of evolutionary psychology, as well as to the social sciences in general, where theories of social relationships, agency, landscape and identity are informed by the long--term perspective of archaeology. Archaeological Theory Today will be essential reading for students and scholars in archaeology and in the social sciences more generally.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 328 pages
  • 158.5 x 237.2 x 29.2mm | 641.97g
  • Polity Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0
  • 0745622682
  • 9780745622682

Back cover copy

This volume provides an authoritative account of the current status of archaeological theory, as presented by some of its major exponents and innovators over the last decade. It summarizes recent developments and looks to the future, exploring some of the cutting-edge ideas at the forefront of the discipline. While few practitioners in theoretical archaeology would still argue for a unified disciplinary approach, few volumes have explored the full range of emerging perspectives. This volume, however, captures the diversity of contemporary archaeological theory. Some authors argue for an approach close to the natural sciences, others for an engagement with cultural debate about representation of the past. Some minimize the relevance of culture to societal change, while others see it as central; some focus on the contingent and the local, others on long-term evolution. The volume also reflects archaeology's new openness to external influences, as well as the desire to contribute to wider debates. The contributors examine ways in which archaeological evidence contributes to theories of evolutionary psychology, as well as to the social sciences in general, where theories of social relationships, agency, landscape and identity are informed by the long-term perspective of archaeology. "Archaeological Theory Today" will be essential reading for students and scholars in archaeology and in the social sciences more generally.show more

Review quote

This volume nicely plumbs the thinking of some of the best minds in the field.Journal of Anthropological Researchshow more

About Ian Hodder

Ian Hodder is Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Cultural and Social Anthropology at Stanford Universityshow more

Table of contents

List of Figures and Tables. List of Contributors. 1. Introduction: A Review of Contemporary Theorectical. Debates in Archaeology (Ian Hodder). 2. Behavioral Archaeology: Toward a New Synthesis (Vincent M. LaMotta and Michael B. Schiffer). 3. Evolutionary Archaeology (Robert D. Leonard). 4. Archaeological Theory and Theories of Cognitive Evolution. (Steven Mithen). 5. Symbol before Concept: Material Engagement and the Early. Development of Society (Colin Renfrew). 6. Agency, the Duality of Structure, and the Problem of the. Archaeological Record ( John C. Barrett). 7. Archaeologies of Place and Landscape (Julian Thomas). 8. Archaeologies of Identity (Lynn Meskell). 9. American Material Culture in Mind, Thought, and Deed. (Anne Yentsch and Mary C. Beaudry). 10. Postcolonial Archaeology: Issues of Culture, Identity, and. Knowledge (Chris Gosden). 11. Archaeological Representation: The Visual Conventions for. Constructing Knowledge about the Past (Stephanie Moser). 12. Culture/Archaeology: The Dispersion of a Discipline and. its Objects (Michael Shanks). Index.show more

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43 ratings
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