Synopses & Reviews
History from Things
explores the many ways objects—defined broadly to range from Chippendale tables and Italian Renaissance pottery to seventeenth-century parks and a New England cemetery—can reconstruct and help reinterpret the past. Eighteen essays describe how to “read” artifacts, how to “listen to” landscapes and locations, and how to apply methods and theories to historical inquiry that have previously belonged solely to archaeologists, anthropologists, art historians, and conservation scientists.
Spanning vast time periods, geographical locations, and academic disciplines, History from Things leaps the boundaries between fields that use material evidence to understand the past. The book expands and redirects the study of material culture—an emerging field now building a common base of theory and a shared intellectual agenda.
This title explores the emerging field of material culture and demonstrates that the study of artifacts can disclose important facts about past cultures. Eighteen essays describe how to "read" artifacts, how to "listen" to landscapes and locations, and how to apply methods and theories to historical inquiry to reconstruct and reinterpret the past.
About the Author
is curator of engineering and industry at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.
W. David Kingery is Regents Professor of Anthropology and Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Arizona.