Archaeology and the New Materialisms
Keywords:New Materialisms, things, participants, assemblages, ontology, wonder
This article revisits the object of archaeology in light of the New Materialisms. Orienting recent work around three propositions with respect to the reality and definition of things—that is, things are assemblages, things are participants, and things are things—it lays out the core features of the New Materialisms and goes on to address some compelling methodological issues. Ultimately, this article raises a challenge; that New Materialist perspectives reveal a self-definition for archaeology, not as the study of the human past through its material remains, but as the discipline of things, as an “ecology of practices” that approaches the world with care and in wonder.
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