Archaeology After Interpretation

From Back Danielsson's article:

Archaeology After Interpretation
Archaeology After Interpretation

In this paper I discuss Scandinavian gold foil figures – small human-like figures hammered or cut out of thin foil – from the early part of the Scandinavian Late Iron Age (AD 550--1050) from a relational perspective. Earlier interpretations largely approach them as symbols and representations, which downplays a practice or performative role, and results in static or embalmed objects. The affective dimensions of the figures are accounted for as well as some of the myriad rhizomatic relations that were generated through processes of making, manipulation and visual encounter. A focus on practice also highlights the importance of recognizing the human body, and the manipulations it has made and experienced, as a central device for relating to the ongoing nature of the world. It is further demonstrated that the processes of becoming, of which the figures were a part, do not involve transformations into easily identifiable Western categories such as, for instance, male and female. Garments, bodily characteristic and other paraphernalia instead invite other realms, for instance those connected to the animal and vegetal world but also to constant movement and transformation.

Excerpt from the publisher's description of the book:

A new generation of archaeologists has thrown down a challenge to post-processual theory, arguing that characterizing material symbols as arbitrary overlooks the material character and significance of artifacts. This volume showcases the significant departure from previous symbolic approaches that is underway in the discipline. It brings together key scholars advancing a variety of cutting edge approaches, each emphasizing an understanding of artifacts and materials not in terms of symbols but relationally, as a set of associations that compose people’s understanding of the world. Authors draw on a diversity of intellectual sources and case studies, paving a dynamic road ahead for archaeology as a discipline and theoretical approaches to material culture.

Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

From Back Danielsson's article:

Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology
Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

This entry presents a brief history of the emergence of feminism, gender, and queer in North American archaeology, which, along with the United Kingdom and Scandinavia to a lesser degree, represents the geographic origin and center of such work. The key concepts as used by archaeologists are defined; the relationship among them is explored and shown to be both problematic and productive. The place of feminism, gender, and queer within North American archaeology today is characterized and, finally, likely avenues of future research are suggested. The greatest impact of feminist, gender, and queer archaeologies has been on the authority of positivist approaches, the objectivity of interpretation, equity issues within the profession, collaborative knowledge making, and the understanding of key archaeological interpretive concepts. Co-author: Benjamin Alberti, USA.

Excerpt from the publisher's description of the book:

Archaeology – the study of human cultures through the analysis and interpretation of artefacts and material remains – continues to captivate and engage people on a local and global level. This multi-volume work provides a comprehensive and systematic coverage of archaeology that is unprecedented, not only in terms of the use of multi-media, but also in terms of content. It encompasses the breadth of the subject along with key aspects that are tapped from other disciplines. It includes all time periods and regions of the world and all stages of human development.  Mostly importantly, this encyclopedia includes the knowledge of leading scholars from around the world. 

The entries in this encyclopedia range from succinct summaries of specific sites and the scientific aspects of archaeological enquiry to detailed discussions of archaeological concepts, theories and methods, and from investigations into the social, ethical and political dimensions of archaeological practice to biographies of leading archaeologists from throughout the world. The different forms of archaeology are explored, along with the techniques used for each and the challenges, concerns and issues that face archaeologists today.