Ideologies in Archaeology
Contributors to this volume focus on elements of life in past societies that “went without saying” and that concealed different forms of power as obvious and unquestionable. From the use of burial rites as political theater in Iron Age Germany to the intersection of economics and elite power in Mississippian mound building, the contributors uncover complex manipulations of power that have often gone unrecognized. They show that Occam’s razor—the tendency to favor simpler explanations—is sometimes just an excuse to avoid dealing with the historical world in its full complexity.
Jean-Paul Demoule’s concluding chapter echoes this sentiment and moreover brings a continental European perspective to the preceding case studies. In addition to situating this volume in a wider history of archaeological currents, Demoule identifies the institutional and cultural factors that may account for the current direction in North American archaeology. He also offers a defense of archaeology in an era of scientific relativism, which leads him to reflect on the responsibilities of archaeologists.
Includes contributions by: Susan M. Alt, Bettina Arnold, Uzi Baram, Reinhard Bernbeck, Matthew David Cochran, Jean-Paul Demoule, Kurt A. Jordan, Susan Kus, Vicente Lull, Christopher N. Matthews, Randall H. McGuire, Rafael Micó, Cristina Rihuete Herrada, Paul Mullins, Sue Novinger, Susan Pollock, Victor Raharijaona, Roberto Risch, Kathleen Sterling, Ruth M. Van Dyke, and LouAnn Wurst
“Ideologies in Archaeology is an incredibly important book if you want to understand the inherent but understated inner struggle that is part and parcel of studying and writing about the past.”—About.com