Jun. 5th, 2017

pechkin: (Default)
Francis Pryor, "Britain BC", p. 41:

"...we often act in a symbolic way, which expresses what we want to believe rather than the reality which frames and colours the real world. Thus the aristocracy of England are traditionally buried without grave goods, symbolising the belief that all are equal in the eyes of God. A naive functionalist archaeologist might interpret English graves as indicating that British society was, and is, egalitarian - which is patently absurd, because it ignores the symbolism that objects and their contexts can express."
pechkin: (Default)
"... in times of social and economic tension the boundaries between different cultural groups became better defined and more closely guarded. A modern parallel would be the national boundaries of Europe in, say, 1935 compared with today. <...> In archaeological terms, Hodder reasoned that cultures with clearly defined edges - for example where one style of pottery stops abruptly, and another starts with equal abruptness - were possibly co-existing in a state of tension. In times of peace, people would be less worried about maintaining their own identities at the expense of much else. ..."

Ian Hodder, "Symbols in Action: Ethnoarchaeological Studies of Material Culture", Cambridge, 1982.

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