Material Explorations in African Archaeology

Framsida
OUP Oxford, 22 okt. 2015 - 496 sidor
How people engaged with materials such as clay or stone, why people dug features such as pits, why they decorated their bodies, or treated their dead in certain ways, were all meaningful in the African past. However, these are subjects that have been generally neglected by archaeologists working in Africa until recently. Material Explorations in African Archaeology examines materiality in African archaeology by exploring concepts of material agency and material engagement and entanglement in relation to their manifest presence in persons, animals, objects, substances, and contexts. It investigates the magnificent and complex world of past African materiality by considering a range of case studies. These include, for example, why standing stones were erected, the potential meanings of bodily alteration practices such as scarification and dental modification, and why, recurrently, Africans in the past gave ritual importance to objects, materials, and locations thought of as exotic or different. Adopting a multidisciplinary focus, the volume draws not only on archaeology but also, among other areas, ethnography and history, discussing themes such as bodies, landscape, healing and medicine, and divination, as well as concepts such as memory and biography, transformation, and metaphor and metonym.
 

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Innehåll

Introduction Material Explorations in African Archaeology
1
Bodies and Persons
12
The Dead and the Ancestors
78
Animals
115
Stone
156
Earth and Clay
206
Shrines
250
Landscapes
294
Healing Medicine and Divination
339
Past Material Interrelations? Some Concluding Thoughts
387
References
395
Index
453
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Om författaren (2015)

Timothy Insoll is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Manchester.

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