The Archaeology of Islands (Topics in Contemporary Archaeology)

The Archaeology of Islands (Topics in Contemporary Archaeology)

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Paul Rainbird
Cambridge University Press, 7/9/2007
EAN 9780521619615, ISBN10: 0521619610

Paperback, 216 pages, 22.8 x 15.2 x 1 cm
Language: English

Archaeologists have traditionally considered islands as distinct physical and social entities. In this book, Paul Rainbird discusses the historical construction of this characterization and questions the basis for such an understanding of island archaeology. Through a series of case studies of prehistoric archaeology in the Mediterranean, Pacific, Baltic, and Atlantic seas and oceans, he argues for a decentering of the land in favor of an emphasis on the archaeology of the sea and, ultimately, a new perspective on the making of maritime communities. The archaeology of islands is thus unshackled from approaches that highlight boundedness and isolation, and replaced with a new set of principles - that boundaries are fuzzy, islanders are distinctive in their expectation of contacts with people from over the seas, and that island life can tell us much about maritime communities. Debating islands, thus, brings to the fore issues of identity and community and a concern with Western construction of other peoples.

1. 'A consciousness of the earth and ocean'
the creation of islands
2. Seas of islands
anthropology, biogeography, archaeology and postcolonialism
3. An archaeology of the sea
4. The Mediterranean
5. Oceania
Pohnpei and the eastern Carolines
6. The Baltic
7. Atlantic Archipelago
the western seaways of Europe
8. Conclusion - islands and histories of the sea.