Archaeology Matters

Author: Jeremy A Sabloff
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1315434032
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Archaeology is perceived to study the people of long ago and far away. How could archaeology matter in the modern world? Well-known archaeologist Jeremy Sabloff points to ways in which archaeology might be important to the understanding and amelioration of contemporary problems. Though archaeologists have commonly been associated with efforts to uncover cultural identity, to restore the past of underrepresented peoples, and to preserve historical sites, their knowledge and skills can be used in many other ways. Archaeologists help Peruvian farmers increase crop yields, aid city planners in reducing landfills, and guide local communities in tourism development and water management. This brief volume, aimed at students and other prospective archaeologists, challenges the field to go beyond merely understanding the past and actively engage in making a difference in the today’s world.

How Culture Makes Us Human

Author: Dwight W Read
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1315427249
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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What separates modern humans from our primate cousins—are we a mere blink in the march of evolution, or does human culture represent the definitive evolutionary turn? Dwight Read explores the dilemma in this engaging, thought-provoking book, taking readers through an evolutionary odyssey from our primate beginnings through the development of culture and social organization. He assesses the two major trends in this field: one that sees us as a logical culmination of primate evolution, arguing that the rudiments of culture exist in primates and even magpies, and another that views the human transition as so radical that the primate model provides no foundation for understanding human dynamics. Expertly synthesizing a wide body of evidence from the anthropological and life sciences in accessible prose, Read’s book will interest a broad readership from experts to undergraduate students and the general public.

The Origin of Cultures

Author: W Penn Handwerker
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1315417723
Format: PDF
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What makes a 17-year-old girl decide to wrap a bomb around her body, walk into a supermarket, and detonate it, killing herself and an 18-year old girl shopping there? In this provocative and important book, renowned anthropologist W. Penn Handwerker shows that individual choices, from the fatal to the mundane, are fundamentally questions of culture—what it is, where it comes from, and the complex ways it changes and evolves. In accessible and engaging prose, he walks readers through the process of how the human imagination produces new things, shaped by culture and experience but also constantly evolving in unpredictable ways. He shows how understanding cultural dynamics, which explain one girl’s decision to murder and another girl’s decision to shop, will help us address critical policy questions, from reducing the likelihood of terrorist attacks to responding to global epidemics and addressing climate change.

Metaarchaeology

Author: Lester Embree
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9401118264
Format: PDF, Docs
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An idea of the philosophy of archaeology can best be gained by showing what it is, what the issues are, who is working in the field, and how they proceed. Reading Lester Embree's Metaarchaeology provides the best possible introduction to the field, since in it several leading archaeologists show how accessible and interesting the current archeological literature is, and currently active philosophers of archaeology reveal something of the current state of discussion on the subject. Bibliographies have also been developed of the philosophy of archaeology as well as of selected parts of the component that can be called metaarchaeology. Finally, an historical introduction has been included to show the variety of metascientific as well as orientational standpoints that philosophers of archaeology have had recourse to for over two decades, followed by speculation about the future of the discipline within the philosophy of science.

Understanding Physical Anthropology and Archaeology

Author: William A. Turnbaugh
Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing Company
ISBN: 9780534581947
Format: PDF
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Introduces human biological and cultural development from an evolutionary perspective and explains the scientific methods by which such information is derived. Boxed readings address current scientific, methodological, and ethical controversies in the field. Four photo essays give students an idea o

Anthropological Perspectives on Technology

Author: Michael B. Schiffer
Publisher: UNM Press
ISBN: 9780826323699
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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These fourteen original essays accept a dual premise: technology pervades and is embedded in all human activities. By taking that approach, studies of technology address two questions central in anthropological and archaeological research today-accounting for variability and change. These diverse yet interrelated chapters show that to understand human lives, researchers must deal with the material world that all peoples create and inhabit. Therefore an anthropology of technology is not a separate, discrete inquiry; instead, it is a way to connect how people make and use things to any activity studied, ranging from religion, to enculturation, to communication, to art. Each contributor discusses theories and methods and also offers a substantial case study. These detailed inquiries span human societies from the Paleolithic to the computer age. By moving beyond the usual approach of examining ancient technologies, particularly chipped stone and low-fired ceramics, this volume probes for the construction of meaning in the material world across millennia. The authors of these essays find technology to be an inclusive and flexible topic that merges with studies of everything else in human activity. "A provocative and powerful discussion of the role of technology in human cultures. At a time when archaeology has become less focused on theory, and archaeology and social anthropology seem to fracture farther and farther apart, the book is a breath of fresh air."--Professor John Douglas, University of Montana