Cultural identity is a key area of debate in contemporary Europe. Despite widespread use of the past in the construction of ethnic, national and European identity, theories of cultural identity have been neglected in archaeology. Focusing on the interrelationships between concepts of cultural identity today and the interpretation of past cultural groups, Cultural Identity and Archaeology offers proactive archaeological perspectives in the debate surrounding European identities.
This fascinating and thought-provoking book covers three key areas. It considers how material remains are used in the interpretation of cultural identities, for example ‘pan-Celtic culture’ and ‘Bronze Age Europe’. Finally, it looks at archaeological evidence for the construction of cultural identities in the European past.
The authors are critical of monolithic constructions of Europe, and also of the ethnic and national groups within it. in place of such exclusive cultural, political and territorial entities the book argues for a consideration of the diverse, hybrid and multiple nature of European cultural identities.
Paul Graves-Brown is a Research Fellow in the Department of Psychology, University of Southampton. He researches in interdisciplinary areas, particularly human origins and the relationships between material culture and mental processes.
Siân Jones is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Archaeology, University of Southampton and has written and researched on ethnicity and archaeology.
Clive Gamble is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Southampton and has published extensively on the Palaeolithic.