Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Archaeology and the Senses
Human Experience, Memory, and Affect


  • Date Published: July 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521545990

£ 27.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • This book is an exciting new look at how archaeology has dealt with the bodily senses and offers an argument for how the discipline can offer a richer glimpse into the human sensory experience. Yannis Hamilakis shows how, despite its intensely physical engagement with the material traces of the past, archaeology has mostly neglected multi-sensory experience, instead prioritising isolated vision and relying on the Western hierarchy of the five senses. In place of this limited view of experience, Hamilakis proposes a sensorial archaeology that can unearth the lost, suppressed, and forgotten sensory and affective modalities of humans. Using Bronze Age Crete as a case study, Hamilakis shows how sensorial memory can help us rethink questions ranging from the production of ancestral heritage to large-scale social change, and the cultural significance of monuments. Hamilakis points the way to reconstituting archaeology as a sensorial and affective multi-temporal practice.

    • The first book to review and assess the emerging field of the archaeology of the senses and to offer a new methodology
    • A timely contribution to archaeological theory and methodology, with potentially paradigm-shifting effects
    • Uses a range of contemporary and archaeological examples from different geographical contexts, and includes a detailed case study on Bronze Age Crete and proposes a new explanation for the emergence of the Minoan palaces
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'This book goes far beyond a study of archaeology, the past, and the traditional senses of the modern Western world. It presents an innovative strategy that, through a broad approach to a sensorially inspired archaeology, enables the past to be written as a rich and affective palimpsest, while maintaining the standards and rigors of archaeological investigation.' Ruth Tringham, University of California, Berkeley

    'This is an extremely well-researched book which draws heavily on philosophical, historical, and anthropological thinking but embeds it excellently within the relevant archaeological literature. It should be attractive to all students and academics who wish to challenge the conventions of archaeological interpretation - it forms an important statement that future archaeologists may in time regard as a classic.' Paul Rainbird, University of Bristol

    'Richly evocative, theoretically innovative, and written by a leading figure in the field, Archaeology and the Senses opens up new terrain in the anthropology of the senses. The accessibility of this book will make it a touchstone for scholars and students interested in new approaches to the interpretation of material objects.' David Sutton, Southern Illinois University

    '… a valuable study of cultural thinking - and a very enjoyable one to read at the same time … [Hamilakis] produces a fact-based, culturally sensitive and theoretically subtle reading which, although at first might not seem groundbreaking, is in fact exactly that.' Dimitris Plantzos, Historein

    'Despite the complex philosophical and historical analysis in the first half of the book, it is an accessible work that does not require specialist knowledge to decipher, something the author should be proud of.' Kay Armstrong, Antike Welt

    'Anyone familiar with Hamilakis' output will recognise recurrent themes in this book: memory, personhood, commensality, reflexivity, politics and, of course, the senses. Pulling these topics together, the book represents a significant statement by one of the leading thinkers within archaeology.' Jo Day, Antiquity

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521545990
    • length: 270 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.36kg
    • contains: 26 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Demolishing the museum of sensory ab/sense
    2. Archaeology, modernity, and the senses
    3. Recapturing sensorial and affective experience
    4. Senses, materiality, time: a new ontology
    5. Sensorial necro-politics: the mortuary mnemoscapes of Bronze Age Crete
    6. Why 'palaces'? Senses, memory, and the 'palatial' phenomenon in Bronze Age Crete
    7. From corporeality to sensoriality, from things to flows.

  • Author

    Yannis Hamilakis, University of Southampton
    Yannis Hamilakis is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Southampton. His research focuses on the archaeology of the bodily senses, the politics of the past, archaeological ethnography, social zooarchaeology, and the archaeology of Greece. He has been a member of the School of Advanced Study at Princeton, a scholar at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles, a Margo Tytus Fellow at the University of Cincinnati, and a visiting scholar at Princeton University. He serves on the editorial board of many journals including the Annual Review of Anthropology, the Journal of Contemporary Archaeology, Archaeologies: The Journal of the World Archaeological Congress, the Journal of Mediterranean Archaeology, and the Annual of the British School at Athens. He also co-directs the Koutroulou Magoula Archaeology and Archaeological Ethnography Project, focusing on the excavation of the tell site of Koutroulou Magoula in central Greece. He is the author of more than 130 articles and has authored, edited, or co-edited eleven books, including The Nation and its Ruins: Antiquity, Archaeology, and National Imagination in Greece (2007), which won the Edmund Keeley Prize and was shortlisted for the Runciman Prize.

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.