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A Companion to Archaeology

John Bintliff (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-470-99860-1
568 pages
April 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Archaeology (0470998601) cover image
A Companion to Archaeology features essays from 27 of the world’s leading authorities on different types of archaeology that aim to define the field and describe what it means to be an archaeologist.

  • Shows that contemporary archaeology is an astonishingly broad activity, with many contrasting specializations and ways of approaching the material record of past societies.
  • Includes essays by experts in reading the past through art, linguistics, or the built environment, and by professionals who present the past through heritage management and museums.
  • Introduces the reader to a range of archaeologists: those who devote themselves to the philosophy of archaeology, those who see archaeology as politics or anthropology, and those who contend that the essence of the discipline is a hard science.
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List of Figures.

List of Contributors.

Acknowledgments.

Introduction (John Bintliff).

Part I: Thinking About Archaeology.

1. Analytical Archaeology (Stephen Shennan).

2. The Great Dark Book: Archaeology, Experience and Interpretation (Julian Thomas).

Part II: Current Themes and Novel Departures.

3. Archaeology and the Genetic Revolution (Martin Jones).

4. Archaeology and Language: Methods and Issues (Roger Blench).

5. The Archaeology of Gender (M. L. S. Sørensen).

6. Archaeology and Social Theory (Matthew Johnson).

7. Materiality, Space, Time and Outcome (Roland Fletcher).

8. Archaeological Perspectives on Local Communities (Fokke Gerritsen).

9. Archaeology and Technology (Kevin Greene).

10. Time, Structure and Agency: the Annales, Emergent Complexity and Archaeology (John Bintliff).

Part III: Major Traditions in Archaeology in Contemporary Perspective.

11. Archaeological Dating (J.A.J. Gowlett).

12. Chronology of the Human Narrative (J.A.J. Gowlett).

13. Archaeology and Indigenous Peoples: Attitudes Towards Power in Ancient Oaxaca (Maarten Jansen).

14. Classical Archaeology (Ian Morris).

15. The Archaeologies of Recent History: Historical, Post-Medieval, and Modern World (Charles E. Orser, Jr.).

16. Animal Bones and Plant Remains (Peter Rowley-Conwy).

17. Ecology in Archaeology: From Cognition to Action (Fekri A. Hassan).

18. The Archaeology of Landscape (T.J. Wilkinson).

19. Archaeology and Art (Raymond Corbey, Robert Layton and Jeremy Tanner).

20. Putting Infinity up on Trial: A Consideration of the Role of Scientific Thinking in Future Archaeologies (A.M. Pollard).

21. Experiencing Archaeological Fieldwork (John Bintliff).

Part IV: Archaeology and the Public.

22. Public archaeology: A European Perspective (Timothy Darvill).

23. Persistent Dilemmas in American Cultural Resource Management (Joseph A. Tainter).

24. Museum Studies (Linda Ellis).

25. Relating Anthropology and Archaeology (Michael Rowlands).

26. Archaeology and Politics (Michael Shanks).

27. Archaeology and Green Issues (Martin Bell).

Index.

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John Bintliff is Professor of Classical and Mediterranean Archaeology at Leiden University.

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  • Shows that contemporary archaeology is an astonishingly broad activity, with many contrasting specializations and ways of approaching the material record of past societies.
  • Includes essays by experts in reading the past through art, linguistics, or the built environment, and by professionals who present the past through heritage management and museums.
  • Introduces the reader to a range of archaeologists: those who devote themselves to the philosophy of archaeology, those who see archaeology as politics or anthropology, and those who contend that the essence of the discipline is a hard science.
See More
"What distinguishes [this book] is its structure: instead of hundreds of entries discussing individual sites, a limited number of well-known authors take a thematic approach to presenting the subject.... The book will be read with pleasure by general readers and academic alike." (Ancient East and West, 2008)

"A stimulating source of ideas, and a conspectus of how broadly and deeply many archaeologists are thinking about the way their discipline relates to the modern world."  (Times Higher Education Supplement)

"The perspectives represented are broad and refreshing, accessible to a non-specialist, but authoritative ... This volume is very well suited as a teaching text for advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate students. However, I recommend it for any practioner having an interest in the recent trends and advances that are affecting what archaeology is and will be."  (Historical Archaeology)

"For those in search of a single volume that provides a series of state of the art portrayals of the diverse approaches dopted by archeologists in their endeavour to explore and understand the past, look no further." (Post-Medieval Archaeology)

"One of the best introductions to modern archaeology in all her guises that I have ever read"  (H-Net Reviews in the Humanities and Social Sciences)

"This is a large book, and as promised in the introduction it delivers in a sophisticated way emerging insights on a broad range of key archaeological themes ... I can strongly recommend this volume to the professional and student alike." (Australian Archaeology)

"This book is clearly organized and the material presented in a fair and often innovative manner."  (Bryn Mawr Classical Review)

"This important book offers a thought-provoking analysis of many of archaeology’s most pressing controversies. Both students and interested laypeople will find this a satisfying journey though the complexities of a rapidly changing, increasingly multidisciplinary archaeological world."  (Brian Fagan, University of California Santa Barbara)

"A refreshingly wide set of topics, covered by an impressive and authoritative array of authors."  (Ian Hodder, Stanford University)

"A stimulating source of ideas, and a conspectus of how broadly and deeply many archaeologists are thinking about the way their discipline relates to the modern world."
Times Higher Education Supplement <!--end-->

"The perspectives represented are broad and refreshing, accessible to a non-specialist, but authoritative ... This volume is very well suited as a teaching text for advanced undergraduate or beginning graduate students. However, I recommend it for any practioner having an interest in the recent trends and advances that are affecting what archaeology is and will be."
Historical Archaeology

"For those in search of a single volume that provides a series of state of the art portrayals of the diverse approaches dopted by archeologists in their endeavour to explore and understand the past, look no further."
Post-Medieval Archaeology

"One of the best introductions to modern archaeology in all her guises that I have ever read"
H-Net Reviews in the Humanities and Social Sciences

"This is a large book, and as promised in the introduction it delivers in a sophisticated way emerging insights on a broad range of key archaeological themes ... I can strongly recommend this volume to the professional and student alike."
Australian Archaeology

"This book is clearly organized and the material presented in a fair and often innovative manner."
Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"This important book offers a thought-provoking analysis of many of archaeology’s most pressing controversies. Both students and interested laypeople will find this a satisfying journey though the complexities of a rapidly changing, increasingly multidisciplinary archaeological world."
Brian Fagan, University of California Santa Barbara

"A refreshingly wide set of topics, covered by an impressive and authoritative array of authors."
Ian Hodder, Stanford University

See More
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