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Archaeological Theory Today [Paperback]

Ian Hodder

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Book Description

21 Feb 2012
Now in a revised and updated second edition, this volume provides an authoritative account of the current status of archaeological theory, as presented by some of its major exponents and innovators over recent decades. It summarizes the latest developments in the field and looks to its future, exploring some of the cutting–edge ideas at the forefront of the discipline. The volume captures the diversity of contemporary archaeological theory. Some authors argue for an approach close to the natural sciences, others for an engagement with cultural debate about representation of the past. Some minimize the relevance of culture to societal change, while others see it as central; some focus on the contingent and the local, others on long–term evolution. While few practitioners in theoretical archaeology would today argue for a unified disciplinary approach, the authors in this volume increasingly see links and convergences between their perspectives. The volume also reflects archaeology′s new openness to external influences, as well as the desire to contribute to wider debates. The contributors examine ways in which archaeological evidence contributes to theories of evolutionary psychology, as well as to the social sciences in general, where theories of social relationships, agency, landscape and identity are informed by the long–term perspective of archaeology. The new edition of Archaeological Theory Today will continue to be essential reading for students and scholars in archaeology and in the social sciences more generally.

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Archaeological Theory Today + Archaeological Theory: An Introduction (Wiley Desktop Editions) + A History of Archaeological Thought
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"A crucial addition to contemporary debates in social sciences. The way different methodological issues  are discussed, as well as the dialogue between different contributors serve as an exemplary way of promoting scholarship  of the highest standard." Social Anthropology "In Archaeological Theory Today , Ian Hodder has assembled a fine collection of papers that, taken together, present a vibrant and exciting overview of current theoretical trends. Reading this volume, one is struck not just by the diversity of archaeological theory today, but by its breadth, depth, and sheer intellectual vitality. This book is not just an overview of current thinking, but an eloquent statement of the importance of archaeology as a modern human science." Matthew Johnson, Northwestern University "Archaeology has changed dramatically since the early 1980s. It is more inclusive, more holistic, and more relevant to the modern world. These changes are the product of the interplay of internal debates about epistemology and external discussions regarding social and political factors in the context of knowledge production. This new edition interrogates standard assumptions underlying such oppositions as culture and agency, matter and materiality, individual and society, colonial power and indigenous resistance, and, in the process, offers exciting new ways forward." Robert W. Preucel, University of Pennsylvania "In this new edition, valuable chapters on cognition/symbolism, agency, landscape, and post–colonial archaeology are revised and carried on from the first edition. New chapters on materiality, behavioral ecology, complex systems, heritage, and indigenous knowledge (among others) are added. The new ATT admirably takes the pulse of major and progressive trends in social theory by leading archaeologists." Norman Yoffee, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

About the Author

Ian Hodder is Dunlevie Family Professor of Anthropology at Stanford University.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Examples but Requires advanced knowledge in theory 9 Jan 2013
By William - Published on
This is a student review. I give this three stars simply for the fact that it isn't for undergrad students who have never dabbled in arch theory (necessary in order to learn terms that are critical in navigating through this book). The book gives chapter examples of the various theories in Cultural History, Processual and Post-Processual Archaeology, which for my entire class was a tough read. Hodder's Community of Discourses model is something that is badly needed in a field that is fractured and often pitted against the other to the detriment of the archaeological record. If all theories are relevant and there is no single interpretation of the record then processualists will have a difficult time with this book.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book 20 April 2012
By Gary M. Estes - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Book is both informative and accurate, a book worth digesting for inter-value. Gives up to date techniques of finds. Good read for experienced to novice, very well written in language of today.
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