- Some of the pdf files of the weekly readings are stored in a closed forum. Please visit that page to download them. You will need your course wiki password to access this page. Readings.
Week 1: January 24.Introduction.
Basic definitions and preliminary discussion. Archaeology as a modern discipline. Archaeological practice between fieldwork and scholarly publication. The divided lives of archaeologists as acedemics. What is theorizing good for? How does archaeology construct its subject matter: the material past?
- Start reading on your own. Hodder and Hutson 2003. Reading the Past.
Week 2: January 31: Archaeology and theories of the past: a difficult relationship
What is theory? What is the relevance of theory in archaeology as a field practice, a scholarly practice? Categorization and knowledge production in archaeology. The ever-presence of the past in the present.
Archaeological theory and the all-times presence of the past: the stretch from the field to the armchair in the office.
- Lucas 2000: Chapter 1. “Introduction: archaeology and the field,” 1-17.
- Schnapp, Alain; 1997. “Archaeology and the presence of the past,” in The discovery of the past. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 11-37.
The past in the past
- Winter, Irene J.; 2000. “Babylonian archaeologists of the(ir) Mesopotamian past,” in Proceedings of the First International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East. P Matthiae et al (eds.); Università degli studi di Roma “La Sapienza”: Roma, 1785-9.
- Alcock, Susan E.; 2002. “Archaeologies of memory” in Archaeologies of the Greek Past: Landscape, Monuments, and Memories. Cambridge, 1-35.
From 60s to today: what has changed in the way we write about the archaeological past?
- Mellaart, James; 1967. Çatal Hüyük: a neolithic town in Anatolia. London: Thames & Hudson, (skim).
- Hodder, Ian; 2006. “The spectacle of daily performance at Çatalhöyük,” in Archaeology of performance: theaters of power, community and politics. T. Inomata and L. Coben (eds.). Altamira Press, 81-102.
Go to Readings
Week 3: February 7. Archaeology and modernity: Colonialism, nationalism and the presence of the past
Colonialism, antiquarianism and the birth of archaeology: mapping and inventing (not discovering!) ancient landscapes, co-opting ancestral geographies, controlling the past in the Near East. Classicizing paradigm of 19th century discourse: the case of Mesopotamia. Nationalism, nation state and the use of archaeology in ideologies of modern states. The museums, museum display and imaginary pasts. The case of Germany.
Archaeology and modernity: constructions of our ancient past
- Thomas, Julian; 2004. “The emergence of modernity and the constitution of archaeology,” Archaeology and modernity. London and New York: Routledge, 1-34.
- Witmore, Christopher; 2006. "Archaeology and modernity or archaeology and a modernist amnesia?" Norwegian Archaeology Review 39(1): 49-52.
- Shanks, Michael; David Platt and William L. Rathje; 2004. "The Perfume of Garbage: Modernity and the Archaeological," MODERNISM/modernity 11(1): 61–83.
Museum cultures: archaeology, nationalism and Germany
Go to Readings
Week 4: February 14. A meaningful world: cultural geography and culture-history
Short paper: "What Is...?" (archive, site, map, fieldwork, artifact, museum, thing, figurine...) due
Franz Boas and anthropogeography. Culture-history approaches in archaeology. The emergence of the “social” in archaeological theory. Post-world war archaeology in America. Gordon Willey: towards an ecological understanding of archaeological landscapes. The two big headaches: evolutionism and environmental determinism in archaeology.
Culture-history, anthropogeography and the evolutionary perspectives
- Trigger “Culture-historical archaeology” 148-206 (skim, use of reference). Available at Bookstore and also at Rock Reserve.
- Speth, William W.; 1999. "The anthropogeographic theory of Franz Boas," in How it came to be: Carl O. Sauer, Franz Boas and the meanings of anthropogeography. Ellensburg: Ephemera Press, 127-152.
- Webster, Gary; 2008. “Culture history: a culture-historical approach,” Handbook of archaeological theories. R. A. Bentley et al (eds.). Lanham: Altamira Press, 11-27.
Gordon Willey and the Virú valley Project in Peru:
- Willey, Gordon R.; 1953. Prehistoric settlement patterns in the Virú valley Peru. Washington DC. (flip through the pages, look at the maps- I pu this volume on our reading shelf at the Joukowsky Institute library 3rd floor)
- Willey, Gordon R.; 1974. "The Virú valley settlement pattern study," in Archaeological Researches in Retrospect. Gordon R. Willey (ed.). Cambridge MA: Winthrop Pub Inc, 149-176.
- Conrad, Geofferey W.; 1978. “Models of compromise in settlement pattern studies: an example from coastal Peru,” World Archaeology 9/3: 281-298.
- Flannery, Kent V.; 1972. “The cultural evolution of civilizations,” Annual review of ecology and systematics 3: 399-426.
Go to Readings
Week 5: February 21. Scientists in the field: Processual (New!) archaeologies
- Note: 5:30 pm. Talk by Laurel Bestock (Egyptian Archaeology job talk, we will all attend this). We could try to schedule our class to start a little early.
- Hodder and Hutson, “Processual and systems approaches” 20-44.
- Wylie, Allison; 2002. “Conceptual core of the New Archaeology” in Thinking from things: essays in the philosophy of archaeology. Berkeley: University of California Press, 57-77.
On Lewis Binford and his impact on archaeological theory:
- Sabloff, Paula L.W. and Lewis R. Binford; 1998. "An intellectual history of new archaeology" in Conversations With Lew Binford: Drafting the New Archaeology. Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, 3-38.
- Binford, Lewis R.; 1980. “Willow smoke and dogs’ tails: hunter-gatherer settlement systems and archaeological site formation,” American Antiquity 45: 4-20.
- Binford, Lewis R.; 1967. “Smudge pits and hide smoking: the use of analogy in archaeological reasoning,” American antiquity 32: 1-12.
Week 6: February 28. Frogs round the pond: Mediterranean landscapes, Annales school and landscape archaeology
Very Special Guest: John F. Cherry. Discussants: Tom and Brad.
The impact of the Annales school and Fernand Braudel: applications of a Braudelian approach to landscape archaeology. The Corrupting Sea: problem-oriented approaches. The ideas of cross-cultural and interregional interaction, interconnectivity and trade: various economic models. Bronze age world system of the Mediterranean.
Braudel, the Annales School and the archaeology of landscapes
- Braudel, Fernand; 1972. The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean world in the age of Philip II. Harper and Row: New York. Volume 1 “Mountains come first” pp 25-53 (skim).
- Bintliff, John; 1991. “The contribution of an Annaliste/structural history approach to archaeology,” in The Annales School and archaeology. John Bintliff (ed.); New York: New York University Press, 1-33.
- Knapp, A. Bernard; 1992. “Archaeology and the Annales: time, space and change,” in Archaeology, Annales, and ethnohistory. A. B. Knapp (ed.); Cambridge University Press: Cambridge: 1-21.
- Cherry, John F.; 1983. “'Frogs Round the Pond': Perspectives on current archaeological survey projects in the Mediterranean region” in Archaeological Survey in the Mediterranean Area. D. Keller and D. Rupp (eds.). Oxford: BAR International Series 155, 375-416.
Explorations: Landmark studies of landscapes using the Annales school approach
- Cherry, John F; J L Davis and E Mantzourani; 1991. Landscape Archaeology as Long-Term History: Northern Keos in the Cycladic Islands from Earliest Settlement to Modern Times. Monumenta Archaeologica 16. Los Angeles. (On the Joukowsky Institute Library Reserve Shelf for our course, please read 3-12 and 57-67, and familiarize yourself with the rest of the project volume)
- Barker, Graeme; 1995. A Mediterranean valley: landscape archaeology and Annales history in the Biferno valley. Continuum International. (On the Joukowsky Institute Library Reserve Shelf for our course, please read 1-16, and familiarize yourself with the rest of the project volume)
Week 7: March 6. Edge of the trovel: Postprocessual archaeologies
Discussants: Reem, Alex
Contextual archaeology: the multiple meanings of material culture in the post-structuralist discourse. The problem of meaning and symbolism in archaeology. Post-processual archaeologist goes to the field: towards a reflexive archaeology.
- Hodder and Hutson, Reading the past.
- Chapter 9. “Postprocessual archaeology” (206-235).
- Tilley, Christopher and Michael Shanks; 1987. Reconstructing archaeology: theory and practice. Cambridge University Press; Cambridge.
- Wylie, Allison; 2002. “Heavily decomposing red herrings: middle ground in the anti-/postprocessualism wars” in Thinking from things: essays in the philosophy of archaeology. Berkeley: University of California Press, 171-178.
The past as passion and play: Çatalhöyük (a Neolithic site in Turkey)
- Review Catalhoyuk website.
- Hodder, Ian; 2003. “The past as passion and play: Çatalhöyük as a site of conflict in the construction of multiple pasts,” Archaeology beyond dialogue. Salt Lake City: the University of Utah Press, 11-22.
- Hamilakis, Yannis; 1999. “La trahison des archéologues? Archaeological practice as intellectual activity in postmodernity” Journal of Mediterranean archaeology 12.1: 60-79.
Week 8: March 13. Boys will be boys: issues of gender and sexuality
Discussants: Katherine, Ashley
Archaeologies of gender and sexuality: Social distribution of labor and domestic contexts. Women in prehistory, ritual contexts, domestic spaces. The use and abuse of the representation of sexuality, gender and sex in modern scholarly literature.
Gender and sexuality in archaeology
- Joyce, Rosemary; 2004. “Embodied subjectivity: gender, femininity, masculinty, sexuality,” in A companion to social archaeology. L Meskell and R W. Preucel (eds.). Malden, MA: Blackwell, 82-95.
- Gero, John M. and Margaret Conkey; 1991. “Tensions, pluralities and engendering archaeology: an introduction to women and prehistory,” in Engendering archaeology: women and prehistory. John M Gero and Margaret Conkey (eds.), Blackwell: Malden MA, 3-30.
- Knapp, A. Bernard; 1998. “Boys will be Boys: Masculinist Approaches to a Gendered Archaeology” in Reader in archaeological theory : post-processual and cognitive approaches. D. S. Whitley (ed.). London: Routledge, 241-256.
Sexuality, women and representation in Western Asian domestic contexts
- Bahrani, Zainab; 2001. “Metaphorics of the body: nudity, the goddess and the gaze,” in Women of Babylon: gender and representation in Mesopotamia. London: Routledge, 40-69.
- Meskell, Lynn; 2000. “Re-em(bed)ding sex: domesticity, sexuality, and ritual in New Kingdom Egypt,” in Archaeologies of sexuality. Schmidt, Robert A. and Barbara L. Voss (eds.)London and New York: Routledge, 253-262.
Week 9: March 20. Magic, craftsmen and the enchanted object: technology, agency and material culture studies.
Discussants: Keffie, Marguerite
Agency and technology in archaeology. Various social and individual agencies in the sphere of material culture; social practices and the making of artifacts. New definitions of the material world and its meanings, through a critical approach to technologies of production of artifacts.
Agency in archaeology?
- Dobres, Marcia-Anne and John E. Robb; 2000. “Agency in archaeology: paradigm or platitude?” in Agency in archaeology. Marcia-Anne Dobres and John E. Robb (eds.). London and New York: Routledge, 3-17.
- Dornan, Jennifer L.; 2002. "Agency and Archaeology: Past, Present, and Future Directions," Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 9/4: 303-329.
Enchanted technologies and the Mesopotamian artifact: magic, ritual, power
- Ancient Text: Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta.
- Gell, Alfred; 1992. “The technology of enchantment and the enchantment of technology,” in Anthropology, art and aesthetics. Jeremy Coote and Anthony Shelton (eds.). Oxford: Clarendon Press, 40-63.
- Winter, Irene J.; 2007. “Agency marked, agency ascribed: the effective object in ancient Mesopotamia” in Art’s agency and art history. R Osborne and J Tanner (eds.) Malden MA: Blackwell, 42-69.
- Hoskins, Janet; “Agency, biography and objects” in Handbook of material culture. C. Y. Tilley (ed.). Sage, 74-84.
- Nakamura, Carolyn; 2005. “Mastering matters: magical sense and apotropaic figurine worlds of Neo-Assyria” in Archaeologies of materiality. Lynn Meskell (ed.). Malden MA: Blackwell, 18-45.
Spring break March 22-30
Week 10: April 3. Place, space, landscape: phenomenology of the body in this world
Discussants: Katherine, Keffie
Bodies and places: the making of locality
- Appadurai, Arjun; 1996. "The production of locality," Modernity at large: cultural dimensions of globalization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 178-199.
Ethnography of landscape in Methana, Greece
- Forbes, Hamish; 2007. Meaning and Identity in a Greek Landscape: An Archaeological Ethnography. Cambridge University Press, 9-49.
Friday 5 pm Final paper proposals and preliminary bibliographies due, to be posted here
Week 11: April 10. Class postponed due to Prof Behnam Abu Al-Soof's Conversation with Christopher Lydon.
Week 11: April 17. Improvising theory, performing the site: Fieldwork experiments and archaeological ethnographies
Discussants: Tom, Brad.
The changing nature of fieldwork in archaeology: multi-sited archaeology, archaeological fieldwork as a site-specific performance.
New directions in ethnographic fieldwork: possibilities for the archaeological
- Marcus, George E.; 1995. “Ethnography in/of the World System: The Emergence of Multi-Sited Ethnography,” Annual Review of Anthropology 24: 95-117.
- Castaneda, Quetzil A.; 2008. "The ethnographic turn in archaeology: research positioning and reflexivity in ethnographic archaeologies," in Ethnographic Archaeologies: Reflections on Stakeholders and Archaeological Practices. Quetzil E. Castaneda and Christopher N. Matthews (eds.) Altamira Press, 25-61.
- Yarrow, Thomas; 2006. “Sites of knowledge: different ways of knowing an archaeological excavation,” in Ethnographies of archaeological practice: cultural encounters, material transformations.Matt Edgeworth (ed.). Lanham: Altamira Press, 20-32.
- Cerwonka, Allaine and Liisa H. Malkki; 2007. “Nervous conditions: the stakes in interdisciplinary research” in Improvising theory: process and temporality in ethnographic fieldwork. The University of Chicago Press, 1-40.
Towards a multi-sited archaeology
- Witmore, Christopher; 2004. “On multiple fields. Between the material world and media: Two cases from the Peloponnesus, Greece” Archaeological Dialogues 11(2), 133-164.
Week 12: April 24. Politics of cultural heritage: archaeological practice and ethics
Discussants: Evie, Reem
Industrial Ruins Group Projects Mock-up Posters due, to be collectively discussed
Politics of the past: archaeology in Israel
- Kramer, Jane; 2008. "The Petition: Israel, Palestine and a tenure battle at Barnard" The New Yorker April 14, 2008: 50-59.
- Abu El-Haj, Nadia; 1998. "Translating truths: nationalism, the practice of archaeology, and the remaking of past and present in contemporary Jerusalem" American Ethnologist 25(2): 166-188.
Week 12: May 1. Presentation of Student projects. (Final paper drafts due)
May 8. Industrial Ruins posters due.
May 15. Final papers due.