Archaeology and Apprenticeship: Body Knowledge, Identity, and Communities of Practice

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Willeke Wendrich
University of Arizona Press, Jan 1, 2013 - Social Science - 264 pages
Archaeologists study a wide array of material remains to propose conclusions about non-material aspects of culture. The intricacies of these findings have increased over recent decades, but only limited attention has been paid to what the archaeological record can tell us about the transfer of cultural knowledge through apprenticeship.

Apprenticeship is broadly defined as the transmission of culture through a formal or informal teacher–pupil relationship. This collection invites a wide discussion, citing case studies from all over the world and yet focuses the scholarship into a concise set of contributions. The chapters in this volume demonstrate how archaeology can benefit greatly from the understanding of the social dimensions of knowledge transfer. This book also examines apprenticeship in archaeology against a backdrop of sociological and cognitive psychology literature, to enrich the understanding of the relationship between material remains and enculturation.

Each of the authors in this collection looks specifically at how material remains can reveal several specific aspects of ancient cultures: What is the human potential for learning? How do people learn? Who is teaching? Why are they learning? What are the results of such learning? How do we recognize knowledge transfer in the archaeological record? These fundamental questions are featured in various forms in all chapters of the book. With case studies from the American Southwest, Alaska, Egypt, Ancient Greece, and Mesopotamia, this book will have broad appeal for scholars—particularly those concerned with cultural transmission and traditions of learning and education—all over the world.

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Body Knowledge Identity and Communities of Practice Willeke Wendrich
2 Apprenticeship and the Confirmation of Social Boundaries Hélène Wallaert
3 Social Contexts of Learning and Individual Motor Performance John L Creese
The Craftmens Abstraction Harald Bentz Høgseth
Practical and Ritual Training among the Australian Aborigines Simon Holdaway and Harry Allen
HunterGatherers and Landscape Learning Marcy Rockman
7 Lithic Raw Material Availability and PalaeoEskimo Novice Flintknapping S Brooke Milne
8 Apprenticeship and Figured Ostraca from the Ancient Egyptian Village of Deir elMedina Kathlyn M Cooney
Reaching beyond the Masters Eleni Hasaki
The Case of Ancient Urkesh Marilyn Kelly Buccellati
11 Types of Learning in Apprenticeship Heather M L Miller
12 Writing Craftsmanship? Vocabularies and Notation Systems in the Transmission of Craft Knowledge Lise Bender Jørgensen
13 Recognizing Knowledge Transfer in the Archaeological Record Willeke Wendrich
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About the author (2013)

Willeke Wendrich is a professor of Egyptian archaeology in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is the editor of Egyptian Archaeology and the online resource UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology.

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