Archaeology and text
This book challenges traditional assumptions about the relationship between History and Archaeology by re-evaluating the role of artefacts and documents in the reconstruction of the historical past. Previous attempts to create a rapprochement between the disciplines have been undermined by a tendency to see artefacts and documents simply as sources of information about the past. The central argument of this concise and original book is that both must be seen in terms of their efficacy in the past, in particular as technologies of power and resistance.
Drawing upon recent work in theoretical archaeology, and on case studies from the prehistoric Near East, medieval Europe, early modern North America, and Mesoamerica, John Moreland challenges many of the assumptions which have hitherto underpinned archaeological research in historic periods, arguing that we will only fully understand these pasts when we begin to appreciate the historically specific ways in which both documents and artefacts were 'activated' in the reproduction and transformation of power and identity. A concluding chapter warns that any contribution these arguments may make to the better understanding of the historical past will be negated if we fail to appreciate the very real dangers posed, to all the peoples of the past, by the recent 'linguistic turn' in both disciplines.
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List of illustrations
Words and objects in the middle ages
The Word and the press
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Alboin American historical archaeology ancient Andren antiquarians archaeological record archaeology and history argued argument artifacts assertion Austin Bible Binford Bottero Bradbourne Bronze Age Camille Catholic Chapter Charles Orser cited claim Clanchy communication constructed context Contextual archaeology contributed created Deagan discourse Drucker early modern efficacy Eisenstein 1983 elite Evans example fact Goody Hawkesian ladder Hayden White Herrenschmidt historical archae historical archaeology historical past Hopkins identity illiterate inscriptions Jack Goody John landscape Leone Levine Lewis Binford literacy thesis lived logocentric material culture material world Mayan hieroglyphics meaning medieval memory Mesoamerica middle ages Moreland 1991a objects and texts ologists ology Orser and Fagan Piggott post-processual postmodernism postmodernist prehistory present presentist primacy production Protestantism recognise relationship Remensnyder Roman seventeenth century significant simply sixteenth social practice societies Sumeria Thomas Hearne tion transformed truth understanding University Press Voice Walsham Walter Ong Wigber Low Woolf writing written accounts written sources written word