1st Edition

Time and History in Prehistory

Edited By Stella Souvatzi, Adnan Baysal, Emma Baysal Copyright 2019
    306 Pages
    by Routledge

    306 Pages
    by Routledge

    Time and History in Prehistory explores the many processes through which time and history are conceptualized and constructed, challenging the perception of prehistoric societies as ahistorical. Drawing equally on contemporary theory and illustrative case studies, and firmly rooted in material evidence, this book rearticulates concepts of time and history, questions the kind of narratives to be written about the past and underlines the fundamentally historical nature of prehistory.

    From a range of multi-disciplinary perspectives, the authors of this volume address the scales at which archaeological evidence and narrative are interwoven, from a single day to deep history and from a solitary pot to a complete city. In doing so, they argue the need for a multi-scalar approach to prehistoric data that allows for the interplay between short and long term, and for analytical units that encourage us to move continuously between scales.

    The growing interest in time and history in archaeology and across a wide range of disciplines concerned with human action and the human past highlights that these are exceptionally active fields. By juxtaposing varied viewpoints, this volume bridges gaps in narrative, finds a place for inclusive histories and makes clear the benefit of integrative and interdisciplinary approaches, including different disciplines and types of data.

    1. Is there pre-history? STELLA SOUVATZI, ADNAN BAYSAL, EMMA L. BAYSAL

    Part 1: Perceptions of the past

    2. The Uexküll calibration: chronology and critical flicker fusion frequency DOUGLASS BAILEY

    3. Timescales and Telescopes. Optics in the Study of Prehistory. CRISTIAN SIMONETTI

    4. Ontology unveiled, serpents remembered, time reconfigured PETER R. SCHMIDT

    5. Periodization in Archaeology: starting in the ground GAVIN LUCAS

    Part 2: Narrative construction

    6. Locked in the Neolithic between Evolution and History TREVOR WATKINS

    7. Illustrating Waves of Time in Prehistory and the Annales’ Solution. JOHN BINTLIFF

    8 What kind of history in prehistory? ALEX BAYLISS and ALASDAIR WHITTLE

    9.  Concepts of time and history on Chalcolithic tell settlements and Trypillia mega-sites JOHN CHAPMAN and BISSERKA GAYDARSKA

    10. Prehistoric histories of Hohokam kin groups BRADLEY E. ENSOR

    Part 3: Objects and making history

    11. Hyperobjects and Prehistory GRAHAM HARMAN

    12. Time Matters: faces, externalised knowledge and transcendence BARBARA ADAM and SANDRA KEMP

    13. "I make this standing stone to be a sign": material presence and the temporality of the trace in highland Madagascar ZOË CROSSLAND

    14. Contested history-making as part of the building of social networks at Neolithic Çatalhöyük, Turkey IAN HODDER


    15. Primevalism: saluting a renamed prehistory PENELOPE J. CORFIELD




    Stella Souvatzi is Adjunct Professor of Archaeology at the Hellenic Open University. She received her PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2000 and her BA and MA degrees from the University of Athens. Her research focuses on the Neolithic archaeology of Greece and the eastern Mediterranean, the archaeology of household, theory of archaeology and anthropology, and cultural heritage and identity. She is the author of A Social Archaeology of Households in Neolithic Greece: An Anthropological Approach (2008) and co-editor of Space and Time in Mediterranean Prehistory (2014).

    Adnan Baysal is Associate Professor of Prehistory at Trakya University, Turkey. He received his PhD from the University of Liverpool in 2010. He specializes in the Anatolian Neolithic and has worked extensively on the social and economic implications of ground stone assemblages from Catalhoyuk and other contemporary Central Anatolia sites. He has edited volumes on networks and social organization (2015) and stone tools in Anatolian archaeology (forthcoming).

    Emma L. Baysal is Assistant Professor of Prehistory at Trakya University, Turkey. She works on material culture of the Epipalaeolithic to Early Bronze Age, with particular interest in the relationship between artefacts, the body and identity and the movements and networks of raw materials and small artefacts. She is co-editor of Bordered Places | Bounded Times (with L. Karakatsanis, 2017) and author of Personal Ornaments in Prehistory (forthcoming).

    "The idea of human prehistory, this volume argues, is ‘foggy and misleading’. What happened before written records deserves instead the unqualified status of history. With breathtaking conceptual verve, the wide-ranging papers in Time and History in Prehistory affirm that understanding time is central to archaeological endeavour. The editors must be congratulated on fashioning a global showcase for the last few millennia of deep human history."

    Clive Gamble, University of Southampton, UK