Social Theory in Archaeology and Ancient History: The Present and Future of Counternarratives

Social Theory in Archaeology and Ancient History: The Present and Future of Counternarratives

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Cambridge University Press, 11/24/2015
EAN 9781107053335, ISBN10: 1107053331

Hardcover, 381 pages, 22.8 x 15.2 x 2.5 cm
Language: English

At a time when archaeology has turned away from questions of the long-term and large scale, this collection of essays reflects on some of the big questions in archaeology and ancient history - how and why societies have grown in scale and complexity, how they have maintained and discarded aspects of their own cultural heritage, and how they have collapsed. In addressing these long-standing questions of broad interest and importance, the authors develop counter-narratives - new ways of understanding what used to be termed 'cultural evolution'. Encompassing the Middle East and Egypt, India, Southeast Asia, Australia, the American Southwest and Mesoamerica, the fourteen essays offer perspectives on long-term cultural trajectories; on cities, states and empires; on collapse; and on the relationship between archaeology and history. The book concludes with a commentary by one of the major voices in archaeological theory, Norman Yoffee.

1. Counter-narratives
the archaeology of the long-term and the large-scale Geoff Emberling
2. Social evolutionary theory and the fifth continent
history without transformation? Tim Murray
3. Structures of authority
feasting and political practice in the earliest Mesopotamian states Geoff Emberling
4. Counter-narratives and counter-intuition
accommodating the unpredicted in the archaeology of complexity Steven E. Falconer
5. Inscribing legitimacy and building power in the Mekong Delta Miriam T. Stark
6. The city in the state Carla M. Sinopoli and Uthara Suvrathan
7. Cities and ideology
the case of Assur in the Neo-Assyrian period Peter Machinist
8. City and countryside, image and text
balancing rural and urban values in third millennium Egypt John Baines
9. Local courts in centralizing states
the case of Ur III Mesopotamia Laura Culbertson
10. Writing collapse Severin Fowles
11. Objects in crisis
curation, repair, and the historicity of things in the South Caucasus (1500–300 BC) Adam T. Smith and Lori Khatchadourian
12. Leaving classic Maya cities
agent-based modeling and the dynamics of diaspora Patricia A. McAnany, Jeremy A. Sabloff, Maxime Lamoureux St-Hilaire and Gyles Iannone
13. Settling on the ruins of Xia
archaeology of social memory in early China Li Min
14. Anti-history Shannon Lee Dawdy
15. The present and future of counter-narratives Norman Yoffee.