A review of Bjørnar Olsen: In Defense of things. Archaeology and the ontology of objects. Lanham: Altamira Press, 2010.

During the last decade, three books have appeared that mark a turning point in the way archaeology is both thought and practiced. These three books are Theatre/Archaeology (Pearson and Shanks 2001), The Dark Abyss of Time (Olivier 2008) and the one reviewed here. I think that we can talk now of a real loss of…

The Complexity of Making within Disciplinary Traditions: Some Considerations of Ingold’s “The Textility of Making” in Archaeological Production Contexts

Elizabeth Murphy, Brown University In a recent article entitled “The Textility of Making,” Tim Ingold deconstructs what he describes as the hylomorphic model of creation (2010). This model views the material world according to conceptions of matter and form and tends to perceive material as static, finished products of preconceived human thought. In response to…

Narrowed Ego, Widened Identification: Un-fixing disciplinary relations. A review of “Archaeology and Anthropology: Understanding similarity, exploring difference”

edited by Duncan Garrow and Thomas Yarrow, 2010, Oxford: Oxbow Books (184 pp + index). For a while now archaeology has felt that ‘its time has come’. Growing with thoughtful practice, merging established methodologies with sophisticated and cosmopolitan theorizing, a disciplinary maturity urges making a mark in the academy. No need to repeat the by…

A Review of: Archaeologies of Placemaking: Monuments, memories and engagement in Native North America. Edited by Patricia Rubertone, One World Archaeology Series 59. Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press, 2009.

Archaeologies of Placemaking is the outcome of a WAC-5 session at Washington, D.C. in 2003. The following review of this volume is divided into two parts. The first part provides a summary of the nine chapters, and the second offers critical commentary on its content. Archaeologies of Placemaking contains an introduction and eight case studies…

Contemporary and Historical Archaeology in Theory Conference 2009

John M. Chenoweth (UC Berkeley) From October 16 to 18, participants met at Keble College, Oxford, for the 2009 CHAT conference. Over 30 papers engaged with the theme “Modern Materials: the archaeology of things from the early modern, modern, and contemporary world.” Both participants and subjects of discussion were wide ranging. While many came from…

Gardner, A. 2007. An Archaeology of Identity: Soldiers & Society in Late Roman Britain, Walnut Creek: Left Coast Press.

Robert Collins, University of Newcastle An Archaeology of Identity: Soldiers & Society in Late Roman Britain by Andrew Gardner (2007) is a work that strives to push forward the current understanding of the Roman Empire, accepting the challenge of incorporating social theory into Roman army studies (James 2002) and contextualizing the milites (soldiers) as social…