Anthropology and Archaeology: A Changing Relationship by Chris Gosden

By Chris Gosden

Anthropolgy and Archaeology offers a helpful and much-needed creation to the theories and strategies of those inter-related subjects.
This quantity covers the ancient dating and modern pursuits of archaeology and anthropology. It takes a wide historic process, environment the early background of the disciplines with the colonial interval within which the Europeans encountered and tried to make feel of many different peoples. It indicates how the topics are associated via their curiosity in kinship, economics and symbolism, and discusses what every one give a contribution to debates approximately gender, fabric tradition and globalism within the post-colonial world.

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It is possible to see these as projections of European fears about the world and when none of these things turned out to be true it caused a great deal of thought about the unity of humanity, both physically and psychologically. And it was not only Europeans who encountered these dilemmas. In order to find a thread through these complex histories I will use, as a device, a consideration of two collections of artefacts central to the development of anthropology and archaeology in Britain and representative of moves elsewhere to understand the new world.

So the discovery of prehistory was not due to the existence of specific analogies between stone tool using groups of the present and the past, although these were important, but rather the New Worlds of the present enabled people to imagine the Old Worlds of the past. It is obvious that anthropology has been brought about by colonial encounters, but this is equally true of prehistoric archaeology in which our imagination gropes in the wake of cross-cultural encounters. The first interest in prehistory coincided with the start of the colonial period, except that this was no real coincidence, but more of a causal connection.

Until the late eighteenth century the classical world really meant Rome to most, but from the end of the century there was a rediscovery of Greece, which quickly became central to notions of Europeanness. A crucial figure in the rediscovery of the Greeks was Winckelmann, who went to Rome as Librarian and President of Antiquities at the Vatican in the 1760s. He constructed the first chronological scheme for Greek statuary, although he never went to Greece. Of more general importance was his influence on a range of German thinkers such as Herder, Goethe, Fichte and Schiller whose writings introduced Germans and Europe as a whole to the idea that Greeks were central to European civilisation.

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