Download e-book for iPad: Archaeological Semiotics by Robert W. Preucel

By Robert W. Preucel

ISBN-10: 1557866570

ISBN-13: 9781557866578

This publication explores the a number of ways that archaeologists provide intending to the previous, highlighting debates over the ontological and epistemological prestige of the self-discipline and comparing present responses to those concerns.

  • Explains why absolute foundations in archaeology are insufficient and appears on the choices.
  • Highlights debates over the ontological and epistemological prestige of the self-discipline and evaluates present responses to those concerns.
  • Defines a brand new house for archaeological discourse and dialogue.

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Although Peter Ucko (1989:xiv) observed that many of the contributors regarded semiotics as the most important technique for decoding the rules and grammars of material culture expression, only a few explicitly addressed semiotic issues by name. Tilley, (1989a) for example, reviewed structuralism and poststructuralism in terms of the move from language to text. He holds that “each act of material culture production and use has to be regarded as a contextualized social act involving the relocation of signs along axes defining the relationship between signs and other signs which reach out beyond themselves and towards others becoming amplified or subdued in specific contexts” (Tilley 1989a:188–189).

Michael Herzfeld (1992) examined the constraints on archaeological inference. He suggests that interpretation is predicated on typological relationships based upon iconicity, or selective resemblance and spatial forms of indexicality that can be translated into temporal sequences. He then recommends that archaeology develop models that allow the archaeological record to be read through plausible indexical and iconic relations and accept that symbolic meanings may be inaccessible. Gardin’s (1992) review of semiotic trends in archaeology is of particular interest.

Similarly, Ian Hodder’s characterization of postprocessual archaeology (Chapter 5) was important in Colin Renfrew’s development of cognitive archaeology (Chapter 7). Richard Parmentier’s discussion of temporal modalities in Belau (Chapter 4) is significant in my own Pueblo Revolt case study (Chapter 9). At the end of this book, I hope the reader will have developed some familiarity with a series of questions about the interrelationships between semiotics and archaeology. What is modern semiotics and what are its historical roots in linguistics and philosophy?

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Archaeological Semiotics by Robert W. Preucel


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