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Archaeology and Memory (Paperback)

P&S History > Archaeology > Archaeological Method & Theory

Imprint: Oxbow Books
Pages: 216
ISBN: 9781785704581
Published: 15th October 2016
Casemate UK Academic

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Memory can be both a horrifying trauma and an empowering  resource. From the Ancient Greeks to Nietzsche and Derrida, the  dilemma about the relationship between history and memory has  filled many pages, with one important question singled out: is  the writing of history to memory a remedy or a poison? Recently,  a growing interest in and preoccupation with the issue of memory,  remembering and forgetting has resulted in a proliferation of  published works, in various disciplines, that have memory as  their focus. This trend, to which the present volume contributes,  has started to occupy the dominant discourses of disciplines such  as sociology, philosophy, history, anthropology and archaeology,  and has also disseminated into the wider public discourse of  society and culture today. Such a condition may perhaps echo the  phenomenon of a melancholic experience at the turn of the  millennium.

 

Archaeology and Memory  seeks to examine the diversity of mnemonic systems and their significance in different past  contexts as well as the epistemological and ontological  importance of archaeological practice and narratives in  constituting the human historical condition. The twelve  substantial contributions in this volume cover a diverse set of  regional examples and focus on a range of prehistoric and  classical case studies in Eurasian regional contexts as well as  on the predicaments of memory in examples of the archaeologies of  'contemporary past'. From the Mesolithic and Neolithic burial  chambers to the trenches of World War I and the role of  materiality in international criminal courts, a number of  contributors examine how people in the past have thought about  their own pasts, while others reflect on our own present-day  sensibilities in dealing with the material testimonies of recent  history. Both kinds of papers offer wider theoretical reflections  on materiality, archaeological methodologies and the ethical  responsibilities of archaeological narration about the past.

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