Light plays a crucial role in mediating relationships between people, things, and spaces, yet lightscapes have been largely neglected in archaeology study. This volume offers a full consideration of light in archaeology and beyond, exploring diverse aspects of illumination in different spatial and temporal contexts from prehistory to the present.
Light has a fundamental role to play in our perception of the world. Natural or artificial lightscapes orchestrate uses and experiences of space and, in turn, influence how people construct and negotiate their identities, form social relationships, and attribute meaning to (im)material practices. Archaeological practice seeks to analyse the material culture of past societies by examining the interaction between people, things, and spaces. As light is a crucial factor that mediates these relationships, understanding its principles and addressing illumination's impact on sensory experience and perception should be a fundamental pursuit in archaeology. However, in archaeological reasoning, studies of lightscapes have remained largely neglected and understudied. This volume provides a comprehensive and accessible consideration of light in archaeology and beyond by including dedicated and fully illustrated chapters covering diverse aspects of illumination in different spatial and temporal contexts, from prehistory to the present. Written by leading international scholars, it interrogates the qualities and affordances of light in different contexts and (im)material environments, explores its manipulation, and problematises its elusive properties. The result is a synthesis of invaluable insights into sensory experience and perception, demonstrating illumination's vital impact on social, cultural, and artistic contexts.
Building on the first Wild Things volume (Oxbow Books 2014), which aimed to showcase the research putting archaeologists researching the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic at the cutting edge of understanding humanity’s past, this collection of contributions presents recent research from an international group of both early career and established scientists. Covering aspects of both Palaeolithic and Mesolithic research in order to encourage dialogue between practitioners of archaeology of both periods, contributions are also geographically diverse, touching on British, European, North American, and Asian archaeology. Topics covered include transitional periods, deer and people, stone tool technologies, pottery, land-use, antler frontlets, and the development of prehistoric archaeology an 'age of wonder'.
Real understanding of past societies is not possible without including children, and yet they have been strangely invisible in the archaeological record. Compelling explanation about past societies cannot be achieved without including and investigating children and childhood. However marginal the traces of children's bodies and bricolage may seem compared to adults, archaeological evidence of children and childhood can be found in the most astonishing places and spaces. The archaeology of childhood is one of the most exciting and challenging areas for new discovery about past societies. Children are part of every human society, but childhood is a cultural construct. Each society develops its own idea about what a childhood should be, what children can or should do, and how they are trained to take their place in the world. Children also play a part in creating the archaeological record itself. In this volume, experts from around the world ask questions about childhood - thresholds of age and growth, childhood in the material culture, the death of children, and the intersection of the childhood and the social, economic, religious, and political worlds of societies in the past.
The Oxford Handbook of Historical Ecology and Applied Archaeology presents theoretical discussions, methodological outlines, and case-studies describing the field of overlap between historical ecology and the emerging sub-discipline of applied archaeology to highlight how modern environments and landscapes have been shaped by humans. Historical ecology is based on the recognition that humans are not only capable of modifying their environments, but that all environments on earth have already been directly or indirectly modified. This includes anthropogenic climate change, widespread deforestations, and species extinctions, but also very local alterations, the effects of which may last a few years, or may have legacies lasting centuries or more. With contributions from anthropologists, archaeologists, human geographers, and historians, this volume focuses not just on defining human impacts in the past, but on the ways that understanding these changes can help inform contemporary practices and development policies. Some chapters present examples of how ancient or current societies have modified their environments in sustainable ways, while others highlight practices that had unintended long-term consequences. The possibilities of learning from these practices are discussed, as is the potential of using the long history of human resource exploitation as a method for building or testing models of future change. The volume offers overviews for students, researchers, and professionals with an interest in conservation or development projects who want to understand what practical insights can be drawn from history, and who seek to apply their work to contemporary issues.
"This handbook brings together work by leading scholars of the archaeology of early Christianity in the Mediterranean and surrounding regions. The 34 essays to this volume ground the history, culture, and society of the first seven centuries of Christianity in the latest currents of archaeological method, theory, and research."--
"Social networks fundamentally shape our lives. Networks channel the ways that information, emotions, and diseases flow through populations. Networks reflect differences in power and status in settings ranging from small peer groups to international relations across the globe. Network tools even provide insights into the ways that concepts, ideas and other socially generated contents shape culture and meaning. As such, the rich and diverse field of social network analysis has emerged as a central tool across the social sciences. This Handbook provides an overview of the theory, methods, and substantive contributions of this field. The thirty-three chapters move through the basics of social network analysis aimed at those seeking an introduction to advanced and novel approaches to modeling social networks statistically. The Handbook includes chapters on data collection and visualization, theoretical innovations, links between networks and computational social science, and how social network analysis has contributed substantively across numerous fields. As networks are everywhere in social life, the field is inherently interdisciplinary and this Handbook includes contributions from leading scholars in sociology, archaeology, economics, statistics, and information science among others"--
In this radical critique of his own academic specialty, biblical scholar Hector Avalos calls for an end to biblical studies as we know them. He outlines two main arguments for this surprising conclusion. First, academic biblical scholarship has clearly succeeded in showing that the ancient civilization that produced the Bible held beliefs about the origin, nature, and purpose of the world and humanity that are fundamentally opposed to the views of modern society. The Bible is thus largely irrelevant to the needs and concerns of contemporary human beings. Second, Avalos criticizes his colleagues for applying a variety of flawed and specious techniques aimed at maintaining the illusion that the Bible is still relevant in today's world. In effect, he accuses his profession of being more concerned about its self-preservation than about giving an honest account of its own findings to the general public and faith communities. Dividing his study into two parts, Avalos first examines the principal subdisciplines of biblical studies (textual criticism, archaeology, historical criticism, literary criticism, biblical theology, and translations) in order to show how these fields are still influenced by religiously motivated agendas despite claims to independence from religious premises. In the second part, he focuses on the infrastructure that supports academic biblical studies to maintain the value of the profession and the Bible. This infrastructure includes academia (public and private universities and colleges), churches, the media-publishing complex, and professional organizations such as the Society of Biblical Literature. In a controversial conclusion, Avalos argues that our world is best served by leaving the Bible as a relic of an ancient civilization instead of the "living" document most religionist scholars believe it should be. He urges his colleagues to concentrate on educating the broader society to recognize the irrelevance and even violent effects of the Bible in modern life.
This handbook examines film and new media in the light of their convergence. It draws on leading scholars in the field to discuss traditional areas of history and theory of film and digital media. Its focus, however, is on the cycle of technologically driven arts. Film was born of a number ofexperiments in reproducing motion, all of which culminated in the nineteenth-century projection of short films. The creation of digital media resulted from experiments in alternative forms of representation in the early 1960s. John Whitney began creating avant-garde films from digital graphicsaround 1960 (and some of his ideas and methods were incorporated by Stanley Kubrick in 2001: A Space Odyssey). By the early 1990s, commercial filmmakers began to employ digital effects in their work. By the late nineties, digital arts had come fully into their own, both in the form of stand-alone orinteractive artworks and films created with and for the computer. At the same time, digital effects had completely overtaken optical printing and matte painting in film. From special effects to creating "realistic" backgrounds and crowds, the digital is infiltrating all aspects of filmmaking. Theinfiltration is about to become a takeover, as celluloid is replaced by high definition digital recording and projection processes. Many aspects of film will change as this latest convergence takes place. Already, cultural response to film has changed as viewers begin to teach themselves about filmthrough supplementary material on DVDs and to make their own films on home computers. But this handbook is not a technical history or manual. Quite the contrary, it is a scholarly work discussing the aesthetics, economics, and cultural results of these changes and convergences. The book balancestraditional scholarship and analysis with essays addressing technological change and the concurrent changes in cultural responses to these changes, responses already acknowledged by the profession.
Where can I find an amateur archaeological society to join? How can I find out more about a particular aspect of archaeology? Which are the most useful available texts in this field? Which Universities run archaeology courses? If you have ever asked or been asked any of the above questions, then this is the book for you - a one-stop, truly comprehensive, dedicated and reliable sourcebook for archaeology. In one volume the Handbook offers an astonishingly wide range of up-to-date information, including: Lists of organisations, national societies and special interest groups within archaeology and contributory disciplines A catalogue of finding aids such as printed bibliographies, dictionaries, map lists and record office directories A guide to grant sources Lists of archaeological touring guides Bibliography of books offering starting points for almost any topic encountered in archaeology With a full subject and author index to help the reader navigate the information, this Handbookis the most comprehensive guide to sources and resources available in British and Irish Archaeology.
The complex multi-period archaeological landscape at Mucking provided the first opportunity, between 1965 and 1978, to excavate an Anglo-Saxon settlement and associated cemeteries simultaneously. With two cemeteries, at least 53 posthole buildings, and over 200 sunken huts (Grubenhäuser), Mucking remains the most extensive Anglo-Saxon settlement excavated to date, and one of the earliest. The distribution of finds and pottery suggests a gradually shifting settlement, beginning in the early fifth century as a relatively dense group of buildings at the southern end of the site, then gradually moving northwards in the course of the sixth and seventh centuries. The latest recognisable phase datable at least to the end of the seventh century, consisted of a number of widely dispersed farmsteads. This report concentrates on the structures and artefacts from the settlement, and gives special consideration to developments in the ceramic assemblage. Specialist contributions examine the environment and technological evidence, for example plant and animal resources and metalworking technology. The discussion focuses on changes in the size and layout of this community, which was situated at the interface of the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of Kent and Essex, its historical and geographical contexts, and its relationship to the preceding Romano-British landscape. This report inlcudes a full inventory of the finds and pottery in their contexts.