What is historical archaeology and why is it important? Well-known archaeologist Barbara Little addresses these key questions for introductory students in this concise, inexpensive, and well-written text. Little covers the goals of historical archaeological work, the kinds of questions it asks, and the ethical and political concerns it raises. She shows what historical archaeology can provide that neither of its parent disciplines can offer alone. Little offers brief snapshots of key American sites: Jamestown, Mission San Luis, West Oakland, the African American Burial Ground, and the Garbage Project, among others. And she shows how historical archaeology is inextricably linked to public education, justice issues, and our collective understanding of the past. As an introductory guide for historical archaeology and similar courses, or as thought-provoking reading for professionals, this volume is unmatched in quality and scope.
This book opens a window on our historical past. We find antiquity has drawn a blind over earlier and more humanitarian cultures, writing off their artistic and egalitarian practices – while antiquity’s social habits escalated stress. Psychologists have recently made us aware that stress has very negative results for community life. Simultaneously, archaeologists have uncovered information about Neolithic cultures and art that makes no sense seen beside ancient Greek descriptions. The more we learn about Old Europe, the more staggering and distorted the policies conveyed in ancient Greek myths, dramas, and epic poems become. Surprisingly, the Achaeans also show an intimate knowledge about their predecessor’s social values. Sadly, the Renaissance uncritically fell for the ancient Greek’s version of history, seeing it as the cradle of civilisation and our cultural heritage. They have even passed on these ideas to us today. Discovering A Humanitarian Past pitches us into an exciting and previously unexplored part of the human story.
This is the first volume specifically dedicated to the consolidation and clarification of Heritage Studies as a distinct field with its own means of investigation. It presents the range of methods that can be used and illustrates their application through case studies from different parts of the world, including the UK and USA. The challenge that the collection makes explicit is that Heritage Studies must develop a stronger recognition of the scope and nature of its data and a concise yet explorative understanding of its analytical methods. The methods considered fall within three broad categories: textual/discourse analysis, methods for investigating people’s attitudes and behaviour; and methods for exploring the material qualities of heritage. The methods discussed and illustrated range from techniques such as text analysis, interviews, participant observation, to semiotic analysis of heritage sites and the use of GIS. Each paper discusses the ways in which methods used in social analysis generally are explored and adapted to the specific demands that arise when applied to the investigation of heritage in its many forms. Heritage Studies is a seminal volume that will help to define the field. The global perspective and the shared focus upon the development of reflexive methodologies ensure that the volume explores these central issues in a manner that is simultaneously case-specific and of general relevance.
This brief, inexpensive introduction to the techniques, methods, and theoretical frameworks of contemporary archaeology follows the same organizing principle as the text Archaeology: Discovering Our Past but features less detail. Archaeological methods and theory are covered comprehensively--at a reasonable level of detail--in under 300 pages. Illustrative examples and case studies present a temporal and geographic balance of both Old and New World sites. Abundant student aids include maps of archaeological areas, extensive illustrations, chapter introductions and summaries, a guide to further reading at the end of each chapter, a glossary, a bibliography, and an index.