Sentient Archaeologies: Global Perspectives on Places, Objects, and Practice [Hardback]

Courtney Nimura (Editor); Rebecca O’Sullivan (Editor); Richard Bradley (Editor)

ISBN: 9781789259322 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2023 | Language: English 280p, H280 x W216 (mm) B/w and colour

Sentient Archaeologies


Archaeology in the past century has seen a major shift from theoretical frameworks that treat the remains of past societies as static snapshots of particular moments in time to interpretations that prioritise change and variability. Though established analytical concepts, such as typology, remain key parts of the archaeologist’s investigative toolkit, data-gathering strategies and interpretative frameworks have become infused progressively with the concept that archaeology is living, in the sense of both the objects of study and the discipline as a whole. The significance for the field is that researchers across the world are integrating ideas informed by relational epistemologies and mutually constructive ontologies into their work from the initial stage of project design all the way down to post-excavation interpretation.

This volume showcases examples of such work, highlighting the utility of these ideas to exploring material both old and new. The illuminating research and novel explanations presented contribute to resolving long-standing problems in regional archaeologies across Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and Oceania. In this way, this volume reinvigorates approaches taken towards older material but also acts as a springboard for future innovative discussions of theory in archaeology and related disciplines.

Table of Contents

List of figures and tables
1. Living Archaeology
Rebecca O’Sullivan, Courtney Nimura & Richard Bradley
2. Reflections on Populating the Western Pacific
Glenn Summerhayes
3. Diversity and Difference in New Britain, Papua New Guinea: Seeking Indigenous Communities in the Archaeological Record
Jim Specht & Robin Torrence
4. Why the Concept of Near and Remote Oceania Fails Island Melanesian Prehistory
Christopher Sand & Jim Allen
5. Storied Landscapes in the Palaeolithic? The View from the Cave
Graeme Barker & Chris O. Hunt
6. A Circular Tomb with ‘Stones’ of Clay: The Tomb of Lord Bai of Zhongli, Anhui Province, Central China, Early 6th Century BC
Jessica Rawson
7. Agricultural Places as Processes
Amy Bogaard
8. A viereckschanze in Oxfordshire, England? Enclosure and Memory at Marcham
Gary Lock & Sheila Raven
9. A Landscape’s Memory: The Long-term Impact of Proto-industrial Salt Extraction in the Seille Valley in France
Laurent Olivier
10. Taking, Using, and Giving Back Again: The Deposition of Living Matter in Ancient Europe
Richard Bradley
11. Rock Art: A Marker of Concepts and Practices
Courtney Nimura, Rebecca O’Sullivan & Peter Hommel
12. Celtic Art Beyond Metal: Material Matters in Iron Age and Early Roman Southern England
Sarah Downum & Duncan Garrow
13. Jet and Gender in Late Roman Britain
Cameron Moffett
14. Using Coinage and Die-Studies to Obtain Evidence about Society in the Late Iron Age
John Talbot
15. ‘Keep on Truckin’ – Thoughts from the Back of a Bus
A. M. Pollard
16. Biography and Technology: A Bronze Ding Vessel of the Early Iron Age in China
Xiuzhen Li
17. Rewriting Global Histories of Human–Material Relations in Different Cultural Contexts
Shadreck Chirikure
18. Collections of Aboriginal Ground Stone Tools from the Murray Darling Basin: Function, Temporality, and Social Context
Richard Fullagar, Elspeth Hayes & Colin Pardoe
19. Cultural and Landscape Change in Australia’s World Heritage Wet Tropics Bioregion, Northeast Queensland
Richard Cosgrove
20. What’s Involved in Technological Change? Aboriginal Marine Hunting in Tropical North Australia
Harry Allen
21. The Yolŋu System as a Regional Polity
Howard Morphy with Frances Morphy
22. Anthropology and Archaeology: A Necessary Unity
Lambros Malafouris
23. On Ontological Impurity: Conceptualising Time in Archaeology
John Robb
24. Archaeology, Heritage, and the Heritage of Archaeology
Ian Lilley
25. Selling Photographs: Collecting Archaeology
Elizabeth Edwards
26. On the Origins of Khami: Evidence from the Henry Balfour Collection, Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford
Innocent Pikirayi
27. In Dreams the Heart: Impermanence at the Museum
Chantal Knowles
28. A Civil Servant Walks onto a Neolithic barrow…: Sir Lindsay Scott and the Whiteleaf Oval Barrow
Gill Hey
29. Redirecting the Field – Total Archaeologies, Flagships, and Sample Design
Christopher Evans
30. Oxford Intelligence
Lynn Meskell

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