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Entangled: An Archaeology of the Relationships between Humans and Things

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Entangled: An Archaeology of the Relationships between Humans and Things Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

There has been a much-charted journey of the social sciences and humanities into the study of material culture in recent decades. In general these narratives continue a mostly human-centered perspective on history, and so have missed the importance of the ways in which material things draw us in, direct and define us.

In his new book, influential archaeologist Ian Hodder discusses our human “entanglements” with material things, and how archaeological evidence can help us to understand the direction of human social and technological change.

Using examples drawn from the early farming villages of the Middle East as well as from our daily lives in the modern world, Hodder shows how things can and do entrap humans and societies into the maintenance and sustaining of material worlds. The earliest agricultural innovations, the phenomena of population increase, settlement stability, domestication of plants and animals can all be seen as elaborations of a general process by which humans were drawn into the lives of things.

Using evolutionary theory, and ideas from archaeology and related disciplines, Hodder shows how the co-dependencies of humans and things are the hidden drivers of human progress.

Synopsis:

A powerful and innovative argument that explores the complexity of the human relationship with material things, demonstrating how humans and societies are entrapped into the maintenance and sustaining of material worlds
  • Argues that the interrelationship of humans and things is a defining characteristic of human history and culture
  • Offers a nuanced argument that values the physical processes of things without succumbing to materialism
  • Discusses historical and modern examples, using evolutionary theory to show how long-standing entanglements are irreversible and increase in scale and complexity over time
  • Integrates aspects of a diverse array of contemporary theories in archaeology and related natural and biological sciences
  • Provides a critical review of many of the key contemporary perspectives from materiality, material culture studies and phenomenology to evolutionary theory, behavioral archaeology, cognitive archaeology, human behavioral ecology, Actor Network Theory and complexity theory

About the Author

Ian Hodder is Dunlevie Family Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University. Previously he was Professor of Archaeology at Cambridge. His main large-scale excavation projects have been at Haddenham in the east of England and at Çatalhöyük in Turkey. He has been awarded several awards and honorary degrees. His books include The Leopard’s Tale: Revealing the Mysteries of Çatalhöyük, The Archaeological Process (Blackwell), The Domestication of Europe (Blackwell), Symbols in Action and Reading the Past.

Table of Contents

Epigraph ix

List of Figures x

Acknowledgments xii

1 Thinking About Things Differently 1

Approaches to Things 1

Themes About Things 3

Things are Not Isolated 3

Things are Not Inert 4

Things Endure over Different Temporalities 5

Things Often Appear as Non-things 5

The Forgetness of Things 6

What Is a Thing? 7

Humans and Things 9

Knowing Things 10

Conclusion: The Objectness of Things 13

2 Humans Depend on Things 15

Dependence: Some Introductory Concepts 17

Forms of Dependence 17

Reflective and Non-reflective Relationships with Things 18

Going Towards and Away From Things 21

Identification and Ownership 23

Approaches to the Human Dependence On Things 27

Being There with Things 27

Material Culture and Materiality 30

Cognition and the Extended Mind 34

Conclusion: Things R Us 38

3 Things Depend on Other Things 40

Forms of Connection between Things 42

Production and Reproduction 42

Exchange 43

Use 43

Consumption 43

Discard 43

Post-deposition 44

Affordances 48

From Affordance to Dependence 51

The French School – Operational Chains 52

Behavioral Chains 54

Conclusion 58

4 Things Depend on Humans 64

Things Fall Apart 68

Behavioral Archaeology and Material Behavior 70

Behavioral Ecology 74

Human Behavioral Ecology 80

The Temporalities of Things 84

Conclusion: The Unruliness of Things 85

5 Entanglement 88

Other Approaches 89

Latour and Actor Network Theory 91

The Archaeology of Entanglement 94

The Physical Processes of Things 95

Temporalities 98

Forgetness 101

The Tautness of Entanglements 103

Types and Degrees of Entanglement 105

Cores and Peripheries of Entanglements 108

Contingency 109

Conclusion 111

6 Fittingness 113

Nested Fittingness 114

Return to Affordance 115

Coherence: Abstraction, Metaphor, Mimesis and Resonance 119

Abstraction, Metaphor and Mimesis 120

Synaesthesia 124

Resonance 125

Coherence and Resonance at Çatalhöyük 132

Conclusion 135

7 The Evolution and Persistence of Things 138

Evolutionary Approaches 139

Evolutionary Ecology (HBE) 141

Evolutionary Archaeology 142

Dual Inheritance Theory 144

Evolution and Entanglement 147

Niche Construction 149

Evolution at Çatalhöyük 151

Conclusion 156

8 Things happen … 158

The Complexity of Entanglements 159

Open, Complex and Discontinuous Entanglements 159

Unruly Things: Contingency 159

Conjunction of Temporalities 160

Catalysis: Small Things and the Emergence of Big Effects 163

Is there a Directionality to Entanglements? 167

Some Neolithic Examples 171

Macro-evolutionary Approaches 173

Why Do Entanglements Increase the Rate of Change? 174

Conclusion 177

9 Tracing the Threads 179

Tanglegrams 180

Locating Entanglements 185

Sequencing Entanglements – at Çatalhöyük 189

Sequencing Entanglements – the Origins of Agriculture

in the Middle East 195

Causality and Directionality 200

Conclusion 204

10 Conclusions 206

The Object Nature of Things 207

Too Much Stuff ? 210

Temporality and Structure 212

Power and Agency 213

To and from Formulaic Reduction 216

Things Again 218

Some Ethical Considerations 220

The Last Thing on my Mind 221

Bibliography 223

Index 245

Product Details

ISBN:
9781118241899
Subtitle:
An Archaeology of the Relationships between Humans and Things
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell
Author:
Hodder, Ian
Subject:
Archaeology
Subject:
General & Introductory Archaeology
Subject:
Social archaeology
Subject:
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Subject:
Material, culture, materialism, theory, evolution, cognitive, behavioural, ecology, technology, Çatalhöyük
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Subject:
Material, culture, materialism, theory, evolution, cognitive, behavioural, ecology, technology, Catalhoyuk
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20120430
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Pages:
264

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History and Social Science » Archaeology » General

Entangled: An Archaeology of the Relationships between Humans and Things
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Product details 264 pages John Wiley & Sons - English 9781118241899 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A powerful and innovative argument that explores the complexity of the human relationship with material things, demonstrating how humans and societies are entrapped into the maintenance and sustaining of material worlds
  • Argues that the interrelationship of humans and things is a defining characteristic of human history and culture
  • Offers a nuanced argument that values the physical processes of things without succumbing to materialism
  • Discusses historical and modern examples, using evolutionary theory to show how long-standing entanglements are irreversible and increase in scale and complexity over time
  • Integrates aspects of a diverse array of contemporary theories in archaeology and related natural and biological sciences
  • Provides a critical review of many of the key contemporary perspectives from materiality, material culture studies and phenomenology to evolutionary theory, behavioral archaeology, cognitive archaeology, human behavioral ecology, Actor Network Theory and complexity theory
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