by Subject: Archaeology
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An Introduction to Archaeology in and of Video Games
Video games exemplify contemporary material objects, resources, and spaces that people use to define their culture. Video games also serve as archaeological sites in the traditional sense as a place, in which evidence of past activity is preserved and has been, or may be, investigated using the discipline of archaeology, and which represents a part of the archaeological record. This book serves as a general introduction to "archaeogaming"; it describes the intersection of archaeology and video games and applies archaeological method and theory into understanding game-spaces as both site and artifact.
Subjects: Archaeology General Anthropology
Archaeologies of Rules and Regulation
Between Text and Practice
Hausmair, B., Jervis, B., Nugent, R., & Williams, E. (eds)
How can we study the impact of rules on the lives of past people using archaeological evidence? To answer this question, Archaeologies of Rules and Regulation presents case studies drawn from across Europe and the United States. Covering areas as diverse as the use of space in a nineteenth-century U.S. Army camp, the deposition of waste in medieval towns, the experiences of Swedish migrants to North America, the relationship between people and animals in Anglo-Saxon England, these case studies explore the use of archaeological evidence in understanding the relationship between rules, lived experience, and social identity.
Subjects: Archaeology General History Sociology
At Home on the Waves
Human Habitation of the Sea from the Mesolithic to Today
King, T. J. & Robinson, G. (eds)
Contemporary public discourses about the ocean are routinely characterized by scientific and environmentalist narratives that imagine and idealize marine spaces in which humans are absent. In contrast, this collection explores the variety of ways in which people have long made themselves at home at sea, and continue to live intimately with it. In doing so, it brings together both ethnographic and archaeological research – much of it with an explicit Ingoldian approach – on a wide range of geographical areas and historical periods.
Civilizations Beyond Earth
Extraterrestrial Life and Society
Vakoch, D. A. & Harrison, A. A. (eds)
Astronomers around the world are pointing their telescopes toward the heavens, searching for signs of intelligent life. If they make contact with an advanced alien civilization, how will humankind respond? In thinking about first contact, the contributors to this volume present new empirical and theoretical research on the societal dimensions of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Archaeologists and astronomers explore the likelihood that extraterrestrial intelligence exists, using scientific insights to estimate such elusive factors as the longevity of technological societies. Sociologists present the latest findings of novel surveys, tapping into the public’s attitudes about life beyond Earth to show how religion and education influence beliefs about extraterrestrials. Scholars from such diverse disciplines as mathematics, chemistry, journalism, and religious studies offer innovative solutions for bridging the cultural gap between human and extraterrestrial civilizations, while recognizing the tremendous challenges of communicating at interstellar distances. At a time when new planets are being discovered around other stars at an unprecedented rate, this collection provides a much needed guide to the human impact of discovering we are not alone in the universe.
Subjects: General Anthropology Sociology Archaeology
Challenging Practices for 21st Century Museums
Were, G. & King, J. C. H. (eds)
By exploring the processes of collecting, which challenge the bounds of normally acceptable practice, this book debates the practice of collecting ‘difficult’ objects, from a historical and contemporary perspective; and discusses the acquisition of objects related to war and genocide, and those purchased from the internet, as well as considering human remains, mass produced objects and illicitly traded antiquities. The aim is to apply a critical approach to the rigidity of museums in maintaining essentially nineteenth-century ideas of collecting; and to move towards identifying priorities for collection policies in museums, which are inclusive of acquiring ‘difficult’ objects. Much of the book engages with the question of the limits to the practice of collecting as a means to think through the implementation of new strategies.
Subjects: Museum Studies Archaeology
House of the Waterlily
A Novel of the Ancient Maya World
Set in the Maya civilization’s Late Classic Period House of the Waterlily is a historical novel centered on Lady Winik, a young Maya royal. Through tribulations that mirror the political calamities of the Late Classic world, Winik’s personal story immerses the reader not only in her daily life, but also in the difficult decisions Maya men and women must have faced as they tried to navigate a rapidly changing world. Kelli Carmean’s novel brings to life a people and an era remote from our own, yet recognizably human all the same.
Human Diet and Nutrition in Biocultural Perspective
Past Meets Present
Moffat, T. & Prowse, T. (eds)
There are not many areas that are more rooted in both the biological and social-cultural aspects of humankind than diet and nutrition. Throughout human history nutrition has been shaped by political, economic, and cultural forces, and in turn, access to food and nutrition has altered the course and direction of human societies. Using a biocultural approach, the contributors to this volume investigate the ways in which food is both an essential resource fundamental to human health and an expression of human culture and society. The chapters deal with aspects of diet and human nutrition through space and time and span prehistoric, historic, and contemporary societies spread over various geographical regions, including Europe, North America, Africa, and Asia to highlight how biology and culture are inextricably linked.
Subjects: Food & Nutrition General Anthropology Archaeology
How Two Centuries of African American Families Transformed a Plantation into a College
Literal and metaphorical excavations at Sweet Briar College reveal how African American labor enabled the transformation of Sweet Briar Plantation into a private women’s college in 1906. This volume tells the story of the invisible founders of a college founded by and for white women. Despite being built and maintained by African American families, the college did not integrate its student body for sixty years after it opened. In the process, Invisible Founders challenges our ideas of what a college “founder” is, restoring African American narratives to their deserved and central place in the story of a single institution — one that serves as a microcosm of the American South.
Subjects: Archaeology General History
Magical House Protection
The Archaeology of Counter-Witchcraft
Belief in magic and particularly the power of witchcraft was once a deep and enduring presence in popular culture; people created and concealed many objects to protect themselves from harmful magic. Detailed are the principal forms of magical house protection in Britain and beyond from the fourteenth century to the present day. Witch-bottles, dried cats, horse skulls, written charms, protection marks and concealed shoes were all used widely as methods of repelling, diverting or trapping negative energies. Many of these practices and symbols can be found around the globe, demonstrating the universal nature of efforts by people to protect themselves from witchcraft.
Subjects: Archaeology General History Religion
The Man Who Invented Aztec Crystal Skulls
The Adventures of Eugène Boban
MacLaren Walsh, J. & Topping, B.
Eugène Boban began life in humble circumstances in Paris, traveled to the California Gold Rush, and later became a recognized authority on pre-Columbian cultures. He also invented an entire category of archaeological artifact: the Aztec crystal skull. By his own admission, he successfully “palmed off” a number of these crystal skulls on the curators of Europe’s leading museums. How could that happen, and who was this man? Detailed are the travels, self-education, and archaeological explorations of Eugène Boban; this book also explores the circumstances that allowed him to sell fakes to museums that would remain undetected for over a century.
Subjects: Museum Studies Archaeology
The Mirror of the Medieval
An Anthropology of the Western Historical Imagination
Fazioli, K. P.
Since its invention by Renaissance humanists, the myth of the “Middle Ages” has held a uniquely important place in the Western historical imagination. Whether envisioned as an era of lost simplicity or a barbaric nightmare, the medieval past has always served as a mirror for modernity. This book gives an eye-opening account of the ways various political and intellectual projects—from nationalism to the discipline of anthropology—have appropriated the Middle Ages for their own ends. Deploying an interdisciplinary toolkit, author K. Patrick Fazioli grounds his analysis in contemporary struggles over power and identity in the Eastern Alps, while also considering the broader implications for scholarly research and public memory.
Public Engagement and Education
Developing and Fostering Stewardship for an Archaeological Future
Erdman, K. M. (ed)
The world’s collective archaeological heritage is threatened by war, development, poverty, climate change, and ignorance. To protect our collective past, archaeologists must involve the general public through interpersonal experiences that develop an interest in the field at a young age and foster that interest throughout a person’s life. Contributors to this volume share effective approaches for engaging and educating learners of all ages about archaeology and how one can encourage them to become stewards of the past. They offer applied examples that are not bound to specific geographies or cultures, but rather, are approaches that can be implemented almost anywhere.
Subjects: Archaeology Educational Studies
Rethinking Our Evolutionary Past
Martin, M. K.
What set our ancestors off on a separate evolutionary trajectory was the ability to flex their reproductive and social strategies in response to changing environmental conditions. Exploring new cross-disciplinary research that links this capacity to critical changes in the organization of the primate brain, Social DNA presents a new synthesis of ideas on human social origins – challenging models that trace our beginnings to traits shaped by ancient hunting economies, or to genetic platforms shared with contemporary apes.
Subjects: General Anthropology Archaeology
The Southeast Asia Connection
Trade and Polities in the Eurasian World Economy, 500 BC–AD 500
Chew, S. C.
The contribution of Southeast Asia to the world economy (during the late prehistoric and early historic periods) has not received much attention. It has often been viewed as a region of peripheral entrepôts, especially in the early centuries of the current era. Recent archaeological evidence revealed the existence of established and productive polities in Southeast Asia in the early parts of the historic period and earlier. This book recalibrates these interactions of Southeast Asia with other parts of the world economy, and gives the region its due instead of treating it as little more than of marginal interest.
Subjects: Archaeology General History
World Heritage Craze in China
Universal Discourse, National Culture, and Local Memory
There is a World Heritage Craze in China. China claims to have the longest continuous civilization in the world and is seeking recognition from UNESCO. This book explores three dimensions of the UNESCO World Heritage initiative with particular relevance for China: the universal agenda, the national practices, and the local responses. With a sociological lens, this book offers comprehensive insights into World Heritage, as well as China’s deep social, cultural, and political structures.
Subjects: Archaeology Sociology General Cultural Studies
World Heritage on the Ground
Brumann, C. & Berliner, D. (eds)
The UNESCO World Heritage Convention of 1972 set the contemporary standard for cultural and natural conservation. Today, a place on the World Heritage List is much sought after for tourism promotion, development funding, and national prestige. Presenting case studies from across the globe, particularly from Africa and Asia, anthropologists with situated expertise in specific World Heritage sites explore the consequences of the World Heritage framework and the global spread of the UNESCO heritage regime. This book shows how local and national circumstances interact with the global institutional framework in complex and unexpected ways. Often, the communities around World Heritage sites are constrained by these heritage regimes rather than empowered by them.