Interpreting Archaeology: Finding Meaning in the Past

Front Cover
Ian Hodder, Michael Shanks
Psychology Press, 1997 - Social Science - 275 pages
0 Reviews
There has been a profound shift in the direction of archaeological activity in the last fifteen years, a change reflected in this volume. While excavation remains a professional priority, the interpretation of archaeological evidence is now attracting increasing critical study. In part this is stemmed from the public demand for explanation of archaeological evidence, which moves beyond the more restricted academic debate among archaeologists. But it also follows from a desire among archaeologists to come to terms with their own subjective approaches to the material they study, and a recognition of how past researchers have also imposed their own value systems on the evidence which they presented.
This volume provides a forum for debate between varied approaches to the past from leading archaeologists in Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia. It addresses the philosophical issues involved in interpretation, and the origins of meaning in the evolution and emergence of 'mind' in early hominids. It covers the ways in which material culture is understood and presented in museums, and how the nature of history is itself in flux.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Figures
26
some themes and questions
30
some philosophical issues
37
Past realities
45
poststructuralism and beyond
51
The origins of meaning
57
The research cone
59
Cognitive and behavioural complexity in nonhuman primates
68
710 The BannekerDouglass Museum exhibit
118
the rhetoric of heritage claims
125
The nature of history
141
the Annales school
158
Hayden Whites metahistorical tropes
166
The tropes applied to the south Scandinavian Neolithic
167
An aryballos perfume jar produced in Korinth in the seventh century BC
169
Palaeoindians and women
175

Alliance structure and kinship in primates
71
Language and thought in evolutionary perspective
76
Hominid encephalisation quotients through time 4 Genetic diversity and linguistic diversity
79
The relationship between archaeology and evolutionary biology
81
Interpretation in the Palaeolithic
87
Interpretation writing and presenting the past
95
Can an AfricanAmerican historical archaeology be an alternative voice?
110
Steel comb excavated at Gotts Court
113
The visibility of the archaeological record and the interpretation
194
Reconciling symbolic significance with beingintheworld
210
Malagasy carvings
213
further comment on interpretive archaeologies
220
Bibliography
249
Index
267
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1997)

Ian Hodder is Dunlevie Family Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University. He was recently awarded the Huxley Medal by the Royal Anthropological Institute and is the author of various books, including, most recently, The Leopard's Tale: Revealing the Mysteries of Catalhoyuk (2006).

Bibliographic information