Material Evidence: Learning from Archaeological Practice by Robert Chapman, Alison Wylie

By Robert Chapman, Alison Wylie

How do archaeologists make powerful use of actual strains and fabric tradition as repositories of evidence?

Material Evidence takes a resolutely case-based method of this question, exploring situations of exemplary perform, key demanding situations, instructive disasters, and leading edge advancements within the use of archaeological facts as proof. The objective is to deliver to the skin the knowledge of perform, teasing out norms of archaeological reasoning from proof.

Archaeologists make compelling use of an tremendously varied diversity of fabric facts, from rubbish dumps to monuments, from finely crafted artifacts wealthy with cultural importance to the detritus of daily life and the inadvertent transformation of landscapes over the long run. every one contributor to Material Evidence identifies a selected form of proof with which they grapple and considers, almost about concrete examples, how archaeologists build evidential claims, seriously check them, and convey them to endure on pivotal questions on the cultural earlier.

Historians, cultural anthropologists, philosophers, and technology reviews students are more and more drawn to operating with fabric issues as gadgets of inquiry and as facts – and so they recognize on each side simply how demanding this can be. one of many primary messages of the publication is that shut research of archaeological top perform can yield optimistic instructions for perform that experience a lot to supply archaeologists and people in comparable fields.

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Piggott said much less about theoretical questions, but his stance was deceptive. His enormous personal library contained books on philosophy and anthropology and, like a number of his colleagues, his approach to archaeology was influenced by Robin Collingwood (1889–1943), whose best-known book is The Idea of History (Collingwood 1946). Like Collingwood, Piggott believed that archaeological research should be governed by a process of working through questions and answers, and he put that method into practice.

They could be arranged in series to show how variations in material culture proceeded extremely slowly. This was the lesson he wanted to teach the public. He arranged his collections to illustrate the principle of gradual development, but there was a weakness in his approach, for these displays consisted of material Repeating the unrepeatable experiment 27 made and collected during the nineteenth century. The ‘sequences’ he sought to illustrate were largely hypothetical and were based on the idea that societies living in different parts of the world could be treated as representative of different stages of social evolution.

2007) “Honoring Ambiguity/Problematizing Certitude,” Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 14: 311–327. Gilchrist, R. (1999) Gender and Archaeology: Contesting the Past, London: Routledge. Glassie (1977) “Archaeology and Folklore: Common Anxieties, Common Hopes,” in L. ) Historical Archaeology and the Importance of Material Things, Special Publication Series No. 2, Winnipeg, Manitoba: Society for Historical Archaeology, 23–35. Haraway, D. (1991) “A Cyborg Manifesto: Science, Technology, and Socialist-feminism in the Late Twentieth Century,” in D.

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