Symbolic and Structural Archaeology New Directions in

Symbolic and Structural Archaeology New Directions in

Symbolic and Structural Archaeology New Directions in Archaeology [Download] ➽ Symbolic and Structural Archaeology New Directions in Archaeology ➺ Ian Hodder – This volume presents a searching critiue of the traditional archaeological methodologies and interpretation strategies and lays down a firm philosophical and theoretical basis for symbolist and struct This volume presents a searching critiue of the Structural Archaeology eBook ✓ traditional archaeological methodologies and interpretation strategies and lays down a firm philosophical and theoretical basis for symbolist and structuralist studies in archaeology A variety of procedures ranging from ethnoarchaeological studies and computing techniues to formal studies of artefact design variability are utilized to provide models for archaeologists within the proposed framework and the theory and models are then applied to a range of archaeological Symbolic and Epub / analyses This particular approach sees all human actions as being meaningfully constituted within a social and cultural framework Material culture is not simply an adaptive tool but is structured according to sets of underlying principles which give meaning to and derive meanings from the social world Thus structural regularities are shown to link seemingly disparate aspects of material culture from funerary monuments to artefact design from the use of space in settlements to and Structural Archaeology ePUB ✓ the form of economic practices.

  • Paperback
  • 200 pages
  • Symbolic and Structural Archaeology New Directions in Archaeology
  • Ian Hodder
  • English
  • 21 October 2015
  • 9780521035507

About the Author: Ian Hodder

Ian Hodder is Dunleavie Family Professor of Archaeology Structural Archaeology eBook ✓ at Stanford University A Fellow of the British Academy he has received numerous awards for his accomplishments including the Oscar Montelius Medal from the Swedish Society of Antiuaries the Huxley Memorial Medal by the Royal Anthropological Institute the Fyssen International Prize and the Gold Medal by the Archaeological Institute of A.

1 thoughts on “Symbolic and Structural Archaeology New Directions in Archaeology

  1. Cătălin Pavel Cătălin Pavel says:

    review by Catalin Pavel in Sehepunkte Rezensionsjournal für die Geschichtswissenschaften 9 78 15072009Vingt sept ans après The first brick in the edifice of today's dominant post processual archaeology Symbolic and Structural Archaeology SSA is one of the important archaeology books of modern times; as an acknowledgment of its contribution to the field this collection of 14 essays and a commentary issued in 1982 has been recently reprinted and honored with a jubilee assessment by its authors and other specialists in the prestigious Cambridge Archaeological Journal 172 2007 199 228 under the self celebratory title Revolution fulfilled? Symbolic and Structural Archaeology a Generation on I will sketch here a reappraisal of this well known work and of its impact on the evolution of archaeological theoryThe main merit of SSA is to have opened archaeology in an unprecedented way to the concert of human sciences and encouraging archaeology to respond in its own distinct voice It was a clarion call for interdisciplinarity that harnessed a sundry of humanistic disciplines to the chariot of fire or dirt cart of archaeology structuralism Lévi Strauss philosophy and philosophy of history Althusser Marx theory of practice Bourdieu sociology Giddens and gave back studies in agency gender style and material culture New Archaeology's penchant for anthropology was incorporated in the novel approach but applied now to societies generally Neolithic developed than hunter gatherer settlements Again SSA has not accomplished this singlehandedly it took a decade or two for its message to be fulfilled but where it lacked in substance it sure made up in its hats off pioneer bravadoThe years before the 1980 conference in Cambridge where the SSA articles were presented Hodder's mostly British team found themselves at an impasse as a result of the demise of positivism after Feyerabend's Against Method 1975 bracketed by Kuhn's and Lakatos's work and the growing dissatisfaction in Europe with New Archaeology's research designs 1 They felt they had to resort to a different epistemology However the ideas of Hodder Miller Shanks Tilley et al about how truth can be established in archaeology were at the beginning uite different; what they had in common was a brilliant mind than a scientific stance The solution I suggest was at hand and was called the inference to the best explanation an old tool of the pragmatic philosophers thoroughly described by Harman in 1965 However the authors of SSA hesitated to enlist help from this direction possibly because of the perceived failure of the joint venture between the new archaeologists and the author of the deductive nomological method Hempel Nevertheless Hodder had understood that new forms of explanation were reuired in archaeology He writes explanation is here not euated solely with the discovery of predictable law like relationships but with the interpretation of generative principles and their coordination within relevant contexts 13 14; also Moore 75 states the process of explanation is fundamentally one of translation ie rendering unfamiliar terms and concepts observation description and explanation are not a hierarchy of stages but simultaneous The attempt of forging new types of explanation is arguably SSA's most outstanding contribution to modern archaeology Incidentally I think von Wright's work could have offered here another basis of research; he had worked on intentional explanations which account for the action of agents by reference to their ideas and incentives 1 with additional later work being done by von Wright on understanding explanations which pleaded for intelligible and coherent reconstructions 2One of the goals of SSA was to use ShanksTilley words of a later date to reinscribe the past into the present 3 Ethnographic research studies of symbols and ideology were to be put to use by archaeology as a cultural SSA 9 s and social science 36 s and a historical discipline 13 to unveil the concealed patterning of beliefs and the structuration of the social reality of past human communities since there was no mathematical sword with which to cut the Gordian knot of uniue and complex cases Humans of past times were to be given back the individuality that had been divested from them by the statistical turbine of New Archaeology; a whole new concept of agency was behind this image of non reified creative people inside a living past capable of imposing their choices on the world A side effect of this humanistic magnanimity was the difficulty in SSA and in much of the ensuing post processual work to make cross cultural comparisons and study change since all evolutionary stages are perceived as uniue Another example of counterproductive stretching of the disciplines' boundaries in SSA is the definition of archaeology as the study of man Tilley 36; this is generous but can yield very unspecific results as the study of everything is dangerously close to the study of nothingThinking about how influent post processual archaeology and the authors of SSA have been in the past 30 years in the archaeological arena it is hard to believe the ruthlessness of some of the reviews that SSA received despite welcoming papers from Gosden and Trigger Thus Atkinson bluntly stated they treat jargon as a substitute for thought 4; Yengoyan denounced their wholesale borrowing of anthropological theory and explanation 5; Kohl felt SSA was pushing archaeology from the desert of positivist truth to the swamp of arbitrary Culture where all historical and social knowledge is uncertain 6 A reminder that when writing about heresies one must be careful since one does not know which of them will be turned by history into orthodoxyMore attention deserve perhaps the comments presented by the Cambridge Archaeological Journal in which Hodder himself with uiet overall satisfaction pointed out lucidly the drawbacks of SSA While Leone's criticism about the post processualists still not having an epistemology and therefore not being capable of becoming truly reflective is less poignant because it is applicable to any phenomenological approach in the humanities Renfrew's concern that with such a relativistic interpretive framework post processualists will be unable to refute the searchers of ley lines hunters and the Atlantis enthusiasts is serious 7SSA does not make a clean cut with the past research The work of Clark and Childe was used as a departure point Although Hodder was fighting New Archaeology as well as Lévi Strauss's structuralism as unable to explain particular historical contexts and the meaningful actions of individuals constructing social change 8 90 a lot of both is retained admittedly not the functionalism of the former not the free exercise of imagination of the latter immunized with massive doses of Bourdieu and Giddens and blended with Marxist overtones in a hyperclever discourse a treat Even so the deference towards structuralism is imbued in the book Wylie's anti structuralist essay on epistemology is strictly structuralist and Hodder diplomatically states that SSA is only an extension of New Archaeology 9 an asking of additional uestions vii Also ShanksTilley's influent chapter on Neolithic mortuary practices is obviously reverent to BinfordToday the larger portion of archaeological volumes with an explicit theoretical standpoint can be indexed under the label post processual sometimes called symbolic interpretive reflexive contextual processual plus and so on However this does not exhaust the scientific landscape since other archaeologists have gone on unabatedly to produce solid research under other regrouping labels This includes in particular syntheses across larger areas which were seen as outside the orbit of post processualism 8 together with other approaches like cognitive 9 and holistic archaeology 10; behavioral archaeology with Schiffer as its harbinger has also made major contributions to modern archaeology less in the field of theory and in the formation processes of the archaeological recordPost processual archaeology is highly theoretical and although this was somewhat remedied through Hodder's brilliant Archaeological Process 1999 11 there is still a marked discrepancy between the body of theoretical work and that directly addressing the archaeologist at work in the trench I cannot agree to see archaeology defined as only the study of humanity through material remains because archaeology is also the science of obtaining and recording those material remains turning them into texts that any other scientist or layman can work with The most simple blue collar of us field archaeologists reading some of the post processual texts have been reported to feel simultaneously compelled by the beauty and the inventiveness of the arguments and convinced that they are being somehow duped A rapprochement between practitioners and theoreticians should perhaps be the next step of post processual archaeologySome of SSA's articles do not have analytical depth nor do they claim to; but what they really have to give is the attitude If occasionally the tone is highfalutin and Nietzschean and if the theoretical apparatus summoned to interpret the archaeological evidence sometimes fails to make the problem easier it is because SSA's theoretic breakthrough was achieved with gusto and alacrity than rigour it took Hodder's acclaimed field project in Çatalhöyük 1993 ongoing to give the baptism of fire to post processual archaeology and to show that theoretical awareness always without exception enhances the scope of archaeological investigation But looking back the revolution was fulfilled archaeology is now well poised between the editing and the hermeneutics of archaeological recordNotes1 Feyerabend P Against Method London 1975; Kuhn TS The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Chicago 1962; Lakatos I Methodology of Scientific Research Programmes Cambridge 19782 Wright G H Explanation and Understanding London 1971; idem Replies in J Manninen R Tuomela Eds Essays on Explanation and Understanding Dordrecht 1976 371 4133 Wright G H Probleme des Erklärens und Verstehens von Handlungen in Conceptus 19 1985 3 194 Shanks M Tilley C Social Theory and Archaeology Cambridge 19875 Atkinson R Book Review Ian Hodder ed Symbolic and Structural Archaeology in Antiuity 58 1984 686 Yengoyan A Digging for Symbols the Archaeology of Everyday Material Life Review article in Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 51 1985 3297 Kohl PL Symbolic Cognitive Archaeology New Loss of Innocence in Dialectic Anthropology 9 1984 1118 Hodder I Looking back at Symbolic and Structural Archaeology p 201 Leone M Beginning for a Post modern Archaeology p 204 Renfrew C Where Did It All Go Wrong? p223 all in Cambridge Archaeological Journal 172 20079 Eg Renfrew C Archaeology Language The Puzzle of the Indo European Origins London 1987 but see on the post processualist side Hodder I Domestication of Europe Oxford 199010 Renfrew C Zubrow E Eds The Ancient Mind Elements of Cognitive Archeology Cambridge 199411 Marcus J Flannery KV Zapotec Civilization How Urban Society Evolved in Mexico's Oaxaca Valley New York 199612 Hodder I Archaeological Process Oxford 1999

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