Books

Making Journeys

Despite notable explorations of past dynamics, much of the archaeological literature on mobility remains dominated by accounts of earlier prehistoric gatherer-hunters, or the long-distance exchange of materials. Refinements of scientific dating techniques, isotope, trace element and aDNA analyses, in conjunction with phenomenological investigation, computer-aided landscape modeling and GIS-style approaches to large data sets, allow us to follow the movement of people, animals and objects in the past with greater precision and conviction. One route into exploring mobility in the past may be through exploring the movements and biographies of artifacts. Challenges lie not only in tracing the origins and final destinations of objects but in the less tangible ‘in between’ journeys and the hands they passed through. Biographical approaches to artifacts include the recognition that culture contact and hybridity affect material culture in meaningful ways. Furthermore, discrete and bounded ‘sites’ still dominate archaeological inquiry, leaving the spaces and connectivities between features and settlements unmapped. These are linked to an under-explored middle-spectrum of mobility, a range nestled between everyday movements and one-off ambitious voyages. We wish to explore how these travels involved entangled meshworks of people, animals, objects, knowledge sets and identities. By crossing and re-crossing cultural, contextual and tenurial boundaries, such journeys could create diasporic and novel communities, ideas and materialities.
527 printed pages
Original publication
2021
Publisher
Oxbow Books

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