The Archaeology of Social Boundaries (Smithsonian Series in Archaeological Inquiry) by Miriam T. Stark
Politics & Social Sciences | Social Sciences
The Archaeology of Social Boundaries (Smithsonian Series in Archaeological Inquiry)
Miriam T. Stark
Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press (March 17, 1998)
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Fourteen contributors examine an array of media -- from ceramics and personal ornaments to architecture and site structure -- in small-scale societies and apply methods from both sides of the Atlantic to explore how technical choices made in the creation of everyday objects can both reflect and define social boundaries. In chapters on pre-historic and historic societies that range from North America to Africa to Oceania, the authors suggest that variation in technical systems corresponds more closely than stylistic variation does to the boundaries between groups. They also address the question of whether modern concepts of ethnicity can be translated into archaeological terms.
The Archaeology of Social Boundaries demonstrates that the search for social boundaries in material culture patterning can benefit from the study of both technological and stylistic qualities. By uniting two disparate intellectual traditions, this book contributes to a growing archaeological theory of material culture.