Summary and Info
This book shows the reader how much archaeologists can learn from recent developments in cultural history. Cultural historians deal with many of the same issues as postprocessual archaeologists, but have developed much more sophisticated methods for thinking about change through time and the textuality of all forms of evidence. The author uses the particular case of Iron Age Greece (c. 1100-300 BC), to argue that text-aided archaeology, far from being merely a testing ground for prehistorians' models, is in fact in the best position to develop sophisticated models of the interpretation of material culture.The book begins by examining the history of the institutions within which archaeologists of Greece work, of the beliefs which guide them, and of their expectations about audiences. The second part of the book traces the history of equality in Iron Age Greece and its relationship to democracy, focusing on changing ideas about class, gender, ethnicity, and cosmology, as they were worked out through concerns with relationships to the past and the Near East. Ian Morris provides a new interpretation of the controversial site of Lefkandi, linking it to Greek mythology, and traces the emergence of radically new ideas of the free male citizen which made the Greek form of democracy a possibility.
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