9781560988830

Learning from Things : Methods and Theory of Material Culture Studies

by
  • ISBN13:

    9781560988830

  • ISBN10:

    1560988835

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 1998-03-01
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Inst Pr
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Summary

Learning from Things presents the methods and theories underlying the many ways in which material objects can reconstruct and interpret lifeways of the past. Thirteen contributors examine processes from microwear analysis of Paleolithic stone tool surfaces to mechanized metal cutting in nineteenth-century gun production to show how such processes influence, and even distort, conclusions made by scholars. The book also discusses the role of optical and electron microscopy, radiocarbon dating, and other tools of materials science in material culture studies. Bringing together the approaches of both "hard" systematic scholars and "soft" humanists, the contributors argue the importance of multidisciplinary participation for accurately analyzing objects.

Table of Contents

Preface ix
I. Introduction
1(18)
W. DAVID KINGERY
Part One. Paradigms for Material Culture Studies 19(12)
2. Material/Culture: Can the Farmer and the Cowman Still Be Friends?
19(12)
JULES D. PROWN
Part Two. Material Culture in the History of Technology 31(42)
3. Learning from Technological Things
31(4)
STEVEN LUBAR
4. Object Lessons/Object Myths? What Historians of Technology Learn from Things
35(20)
JOSEPH J. CORN
5. Object/ions: Technology, Culture, and Gender
55(18)
RUTH OLDENZIEL
Part Three. Formation Processes 73(102)
6. Formation Processes of the Historical and Archaeological Records
73(8)
MICHAEL BRIAN SCHIFFER
7. Pathways to the Present: In Search of Shirt-Pocket Radios with Subminiature Tubes
81(8)
MICHAEL BRIAN SCHIFFER
8. The Destruction of the Archaeological Heritage and the Formation of Museum Collections: The Case of Denmark
89(13)
KRISTIAN KRISTIANSEN
9. Passionate Possession: The Formation of Private Collections
102(27)
MARJORIE AKIN
10. Formation Processes of Ethnographic Collections: Examples from the Great Basin of Western North America
129(16)
CATHERINE S. FOWLER
DON D. FOWLER
11. The Formation of Anthropological Archival Records
145(30)
NANCY J. PAREZO
Part Four. Materials Science in Material Culture Studies 175(86)
12. A Role for Materials Science
175(6)
W. DAVID KINGERY
13. Materials Science and Material Culture
181(23)
W. DAVID KINGERY
14. Optical and Electron Microscopy in Material Culture Studies
204(27)
DAVID KILLICK
15. Dating, Provenance, and Usage in Material Culture Studies
231(30)
MICHAEL S. TITE
Contributors 261

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