Archaeology and the Modern World: Colonial Transcripts in South Africa and the Chesapeake

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Routledge, 2000 - History - 218 pages
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Starting with voyages of discovery in the 16th and 17th centuries and continuing through to the present - when the material world is represented on the Internet - the author of Archaeology and the Modern World reveals a dimension of historical archaeology that lies beyond words. The focus is on two areas - the Chesapeake (Virginia and Maryland, USA) and the Cape region of Africa. Past colonial societies of these areas relied heavily on slave labour and there was little if any direct contact between them. Yet, as Martin Hall observes, there were marked similarities in the ways the people created and used the material around them. It is these comparisons that the author uses as a measure for evaluating the major theoretical traditions in historical archaeology. Although structuralism, critical materialism and other theoretical perspectives have taken historical archaeology forward over the past 20 years, the author argues that such interpretations are not able to do justice to the complexities of the past 500 years.

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About the author (2000)

Martin Hall is Professor of Historical Archaeology in the Centre for African Studies and Dean of Higher Education Development at the University of Cape Town as well President of the World Archaeological Congress.

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