EntangledAn Archaeology of the Relationships between Humans and Things
A powerful and innovative argument that explores the complexity of the human relationship with material things, demonstrating how humans and societies are entrapped into the maintenance and sustaining of material worlds Argues that the interrelationship of humans and things is a defining characteristic of human history and culture Offers a nuanced argument that values the physical processes of things without succumbing to materialism Discusses historical and modern examples, using evolutionary theory to show how long-standing entanglements are irreversible and increase in scale and complexity over time Integrates aspects of a diverse array of contemporary theories in archaeology and related natural and biological sciences Provides a critical review of many of the key contemporary perspectives from materiality, material culture studies and phenomenology to evolutionary theory, behavioral archaeology, cognitive archaeology, human behavioral ecology, Actor Network Theory and complexity theory
Epigraph ix List of Figures x Acknowledgments xii 1 Thinking About Things Differently 1 Approaches to Things 1 Themes About Things 3 Things are Not Isolated 3 Things are Not Inert 4 Things Endure over Different Temporalities 5 Things Often Appear as Non-things 5 The Forgetness of Things 6 What Is a Thing? 7 Humans and Things 9 Knowing Things 10 Conclusion: The Objectness of Things 13 2 Humans Depend on Things 15 Dependence: Some Introductory Concepts 17 Forms of Dependence 17 Reflective and Non-reflective Relationships with Things 18 Going Towards and Away From Things 21 Identification and Ownership 23 Approaches to the Human Dependence On Things 27 Being There with Things 27 Material Culture and Materiality 30 Cognition and the Extended Mind 34 Conclusion: Things R Us 38 3 Things Depend on Other Things 40 Forms of Connection between Things 42 Production and Reproduction 42 Exchange 43 Use 43 Consumption 43 Discard 43 Post-deposition 44 Affordances 48 From Affordance to Dependence 51 The French School – Operational Chains 52 Behavioral Chains 54 Conclusion 58 4 Things Depend on Humans 64 Things Fall Apart 68 Behavioral Archaeology and Material Behavior 70 Behavioral Ecology 74 Human Behavioral Ecology 80 The Temporalities of Things 84 Conclusion: The Unruliness of Things 85 5 Entanglement 88 Other Approaches 89 Latour and Actor Network Theory 91 The Archaeology of Entanglement 94 The Physical Processes of Things 95 Temporalities 98 Forgetness 101 The Tautness of Entanglements 103 Types and Degrees of Entanglement 105 Cores and Peripheries of Entanglements 108 Contingency 109 Conclusion 111 6 Fittingness 113 Nested Fittingness 114 Return to Affordance 115 Coherence: Abstraction, Metaphor, Mimesis and Resonance 119 Abstraction, Metaphor and Mimesis 120 Synaesthesia 124 Resonance 125 Coherence and Resonance at Çatalhöyük 132 Conclusion 135 7 The Evolution and Persistence of Things 138 Evolutionary Approaches 139 Evolutionary Ecology (HBE) 141 Evolutionary Archaeology 142 Dual Inheritance Theory 144 Evolution and Entanglement 147 Niche Construction 149 Evolution at Çatalhöyük 151 Conclusion 156 8 Things happen … 158 The Complexity of Entanglements 159 Open, Complex and Discontinuous Entanglements 159 Unruly Things: Contingency 159 Conjunction of Temporalities 160 Catalysis: Small Things and the Emergence of Big Effects 163 Is there a Directionality to Entanglements? 167 Some Neolithic Examples 171 Macro-evolutionary Approaches 173 Why Do Entanglements Increase the Rate of Change? 174 Conclusion 177 9 Tracing the Threads 179 Tanglegrams 180 Locating Entanglements 185 Sequencing Entanglements – at Çatalhöyük 189 Sequencing Entanglements – the Origins of Agriculture in the Middle East 195 Causality and Directionality 200 Conclusion 204 10 Conclusions 206 The Object Nature of Things 207 Too Much Stuff ? 210 Temporality and Structure 212 Power and Agency 213 To and from Formulaic Reduction 216 Things Again 218 Some Ethical Considerations 220 The Last Thing on my Mind 221 Bibliography 223 Index 245
“Entangledmay be Ian Hodder’s most theoretically ecumenical book to date. The discussion of the various current approaches being used in archaeology, anthropology, and many other disciplines makes this an extremely valuable work . . . “Hodder has written a tremendously useful addition to the literature on the relationship of people and things that deserves close reading.” (Current Anthropology, 1 August 2013) “Ian Hodder has written an extremely interesting, rigorously argued and intellectually adventurous book about the nature of things. . . Readers working across the social sciences and humanities, and particularly those working at the intersection of the physical and human sciences, will find the messy openness of Hodder’s book vibrant and compelling.” (Critical Quarterly, 2 July 2013) “Summing Up: Recommended. Graduate students, faculty, professionals.” (Choice, 1 May 2013)
Ian Hodder is Dunlevie Family Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University. Previously he was Professor of Archaeology at Cambridge. His main large-scale excavation projects have been at Haddenham in the east of England and at Çatalhöyük in Turkey. He has been awarded several awards and honorary degrees. His books include The Leopard’s Tale: Revealing the Mysteries of Çatalhöyük, The Archaeological Process (Blackwell), The Domestication of Europe (Blackwell), Symbols in Action and Reading the Past.
There has been a much-charted journey of the social sciences and humanities into the study of material culture in recent decades. In general these narratives continue a mostly human-centered perspective on history, and so have missed the importance of the ways in which material things draw us in, direct and define us. In his new book, influential archaeologist Ian Hodder discusses our human “entanglements” with material things, and how archaeological evidence can help us to understand the direction of human social and technological change. Using examples drawn from the early farming villages of the Middle East as well as from our daily lives in the modern world, Hodder shows how things can and do entrap humans and societies into the maintenance and sustaining of material worlds. The earliest agricultural innovations, the phenomena of population increase, settlement stability, domestication of plants and animals can all be seen as elaborations of a general process by which humans were drawn into the lives of things. Using evolutionary theory, and ideas from archaeology and related disciplines, Hodder shows how the co-dependencies of humans and things are the hidden drivers of human progress.
“The quantity and diversity of Hodder's readings are simply astonishing. His new conception of material entanglements is going to change the way archaeologists understand their field.” - Norman Yoffee, University of Michigan “Entangled is nothing less than a reframing of archaeological enquiry into things. It is a fundamental, first-principles rethinking of how archaeologists should understand the world around them.” - Matthew H. Johnson, Northwestern University "This book is a provocative and exciting contribution to archaeological theory and beyond. Its central thesis is that entanglement is both a condition of being in the world and a process of linking entities together in networks or assemblages. In charting a course across material, social, and evolutionary domains, it provides a novel way of bridging the Great Divide between the social and natural sciences." - Bob Preucel, University of Pennsylvania
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