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.Read more
- 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
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, BerkeleySee more reviews
'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
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- 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.
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