Archaeological Theory in the New Millennium provides an account of the changing world of archaeological theory and a challenge to more traditional narratives of archaeological thought. It charts the emergence of the new emphasis on relations as well as engaging with other current theoretical trends and the thinkers archaeologists regularly employ. Bringing together different strands of global archaeological theory and placing them in dialogue, the book explores the similarities and differences between different contemporary trends in theory while also highlighting potential strengths and weaknesses of different approaches.
Written in a way to maximise its accessibility, in direct contrast to many of the sources on which it draws, Archaeological Theory in the New Millennium is an essential guide to cutting-edge theory for students and for professionals wishing to reacquaint themselves with this field.
1. An introduction to contemporary archaeological theory: confronting dualisms 2. Beyond paradigms: a potted history of archaeological thought 3. Between thoughts and things: theorising practice and agency 4. Situating things in society: identity and personhood 5. Secret lives of things: object agency and biography 6. Things make people? Considering materiality, phenomenology, experience and entanglement 7. Mediating the world: archaeological semiotics 8. Finding symmetry: Actor-Network-Theory and new materialism 9. Multi-species archaeology: people, plants and animals 10. ‘Others’: postcolonialism, the ontological turn and colonised things 11. On breaking walls and building relations: a conclusion
"If you believe that theory is something you can ignore; if you believe that it is hopelessly relativist, post-processualist or, worse, post-modernist; if you seek a relatively short, refreshingly clear, and historically insightful overview of archaeological theory—and by that I mean social theory—since the 1980s; or if you teach a course on archaeological theory, then you need to read, and have your students read, this book. I say this because Archaeological Theory in the New Millennium is an engaging, concise, and forward-looking survey of theory in the field today, written by Oliver J. T. Harris and Craig N. Cipolla, that correctly targets the upcoming generation of archaeologists."- Timothy R. Pauketat, Illinois State Archaeological Survey and Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.
"The manual is useful as it gathers the main set of fashionable ideas by which a section of the modern generation of archaeologists navigate their data, interpretations and thoughts. As such, it provides an excellent characterisation of the current state of this form of archaeological research, which deserves reflection." - Leo S. Klejn, Saint Petersburg State University, Russia
"Archaeological Theory in the New Millennium reads easily. It is clear and simple even when addressing complex issues. It is a slender book with generous referencing, thoughtful illustrations, boxed digests of seminal thinkers which act as handy aidememoires and thematic cartoons amplifying the theories being discussed. The simplicity of delivery is deceptive. It is a book that can serve either the new student or the advanced theorist." - Pamela Armstrong, Journal of Skyscape Archaeology