The Archaeology of Contextual Meanings

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Ian Hodder
Cambridge University Press, Aug 6, 1987 - Social Science - 144 pages
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This companion volume to Archaeology as Long-term History focuses on the symbolism of artefacts. It seeks at once to refine the theory and method relating to interpretation and show, with examples, how to conduct this sort of archaeological work. Some contributors work with the material culture of modern times or the historic period, areas in which the symbolism of mute artefacts has traditionally been thought most accessible. However, the book also contains a good number of applications in prehistory to demonstrate the feasibility of symbolic interpretation where good contextual data survive from the distant past. In relation to wider debates within the social sciences, the volume is characterised by a concern to place abstract symbolic codes within their historical context and within the contexts of social actions. In this respect, it develops further some of the ideas presented in Dr Hodder's Symbolic and Structural Archaeology, an earlier volume in this series.
 

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Contents

Contemporary archaeological studies
11
visions of
20
An archaelogy of Turkana beads
31
Historical archaeological studies
39
Purity and power at the Victorian dinner party
55
Material metaphor social interaction and historical
66
Prehistoric archaeological studies
79
the role
90
the evidence
111
icons and power in Thracian
117
Bibliography
133
Index
142
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About the author (1987)

Ian Hodder is Dunlevie Family Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University and Director of the Stanford Archaeology Center. He previously taught at Leeds University and Cambridge University. His main large-scale excavation projects have been at Haddenham in the east of England and at Catalhoyuk in Turkey, where he has worked since 1993. He has been awarded the Oscar Montelius Medal by the Swedish Society of Antiquaries and the Huxley Memorial Medal by the Royal Anthropological Institute, has been a Guggenheim Fellow, and has Honorary Doctorates from Bristol and Leiden Universities. His main books include Spatial Analysis in Archaeology (Cambridge University Press, 1976), Symbols in Action (Cambridge University Press, 1982), Reading the Past (Cambridge University Press, 1986), The Domestication of Europe (1990), The Archaeological Process (1999), The Leopard's Tale: Revealing the Mysteries of Catalhoyuk (2006) and Entangled: An Archaeology of the Relationships Between Humans and Things (2012).

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