Studies in Human-Thing Entanglement

This book, published only online, explores further the entanglements between humans and things. It contains theoretical and methodological developments including a redefinition of human-thing entanglement and the application of formal network analysis. The book also contains a series of case-studies regarding the formation of settled life in the Middle East, the adoption of agriculture, and the study of power and poverty, creativity and religion. The book ends with a critical dialogue regarding the issues raised by studies of entanglement.


Humans and Landscapes of Çatalhöyük: Reports From the 2000-2008 Seasons (Çatalhöyük Research Project Series, Volume 8)

The Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in Turkey has been world famous since the 1960s when excavations revealed the large size and dense occupation of the settlement, as well as the spectacular wall paintings and reliefs uncovered inside the houses. Since 1993 an international team of archaeologists, led by Ian Hodder, has been carrying out new excavations and research, in order to shed more light on the people who inhabited the site. The present volume reports on the results of excavations in 2000–2008 that have provided a wealth of new data on the ways in which the Çatalhöyük settlement and environment were dwelled in.

A first section explores how houses, open areas, and middens in the settlement were enmeshed in the daily lives of the inhabitants, integrating a wide range of different types of data at different scales. A second section examines subsistence practices of the site’s inhabitants and builds up a picture of how the overall landscape was exploited and lived within. A third section examines the evidence from the skeletons of those buried within the houses at Çatalhöyük in order to examine health, diet, lifestyle, and activity within the settlement and across the landscape. This final section also reports on the burial practices and associations in order to build hypotheses about the social organization of those inhabiting the settlement. A complex picture emerges of a relatively decentralized society, large in size but small-scale in terms of organization, dwelling within a mosaic patchwork of environments. Through time, however, substantial changes occur in the ways in which humans and landscapes interact.

Substantive Technologies at Çatalhöyük: Reports From the 2000-2008 Seasons (Çatalhöyük Research Project Series, Volume 9)

The Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in Turkey has been world famous since the 1960s when excavations revealed the large size and dense occupation of the settlement, as well as the spectacular wall paintings and reliefs uncovered inside the houses. Since 1993 an international team of archaeologists, led by Ian Hodder, has been carrying out new excavations and research, in order to shed more light on the people who inhabited the site. The present volume reports on the results of excavations in 2000–2008 that have provided a wealth of new data on the ways in which humans became increasingly engaged in their material environment such that ‘things’ came to play an active force in their lives.

A substantial and heavy involvement was with alluvial clays that surrounded the site. In the absence of large local stone, humans became increasingly involved in the extraction and manipulation of clay for a wide range of purposes—from bricks to ovens, pots and figurines. This heavy use of clays led to changes in the local environment that interacted with human activity, as indicated in the first section of the volume. In the second section, other examples of material technologies are considered, all of which in various ways engage humans in specific dependencies and relationships. For example, large-scale studies of obsidian trade have drawn a complex picture of changing interactions between humans over time. The volume concludes with an integrated account of the uses of materials at Çatalhöyük based on the analysis of heavy residue samples from all contexts at the site.

Çatalhöyük Excavations: The 2000-2008 Seasons (Çatalhöyük Research Project Series, Volume 7)

The Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in Turkey has been world famous since the 1960s when excavations revealed the large size and dense occupation of the settlement, as well as the spectacular wall paintings and reliefs uncovered inside the houses. Since 1993 an international team of archaeologists, led by Ian Hodder, has been carrying out new excavations and research, in order to shed more light on the people who inhabited the site. Çatalhöyük Excavations presents the results of the excavations that took place at the site from 2000 to 2008 when the main aim was to understand the social geography of the settlement, its layout, and social organization.

Excavation, recording, and sampling methodologies are discussed as well as dating, ‘levels,’ and the grouping of buildings into social sectors. The excavations in three areas of the East Mound at Çatalhöyük are described: the South Area, the 4040 Area in the northern part of the site, and the IST Area excavated by a team from Istanbul University. The description of excavated units, features, and buildings incorporates results from the analyses of animal bone, chipped stone, groundstone, shell, ceramics, phytoliths, micromorphology. The integration of such data within their context allows detailed accounts of the lives of the inhabitants of Çatalhöyük, their relationships and activities. The integration of different types of data in the excavation account mimics the process of collaborative interpretation that took place during the excavation and post-excavation process.

Integrating Çatalhöyük: Themes From the 2000-2008 Seasons (Çatalhöyük Research Project Series, Volume 10)

The Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in Turkey has been world famous since the 1960s when excavations revealed the large size and dense occupation of the settlement, as well as the spectacular wall paintings and reliefs uncovered inside the houses. Since 1993 an international team of archaeologists, led by Ian Hodder, has been carrying out new excavations and research, in order to shed more light on the people who inhabited the site. The present volume discusses general themes that have emerged in the analysis and interpretation of the results of excavations in 2000–2008. It synthesizes the results of research described in other volumes in the same series.

The volume commences with accounts of the recent work on community collaboration at the site, and with discussions of the methods used at the site. It then synthesizes the work on landscape use and mobility, integrating the work of subsistence analysis and the analysis of human remains. The storage and sharing of food is a related topic. The ways in which houses were constructed, lived in, and abandoned leads to a broad discussion of settlement and social organization at Çatalhöyük and of their change through time. For example, shifts in the themes that occur in paintings in houses change through time as part of a wider set of social, economic, and ritual changes in the upper levels. The social uses of materials and technologies are explored and the roles of materials in personal adornment. Finally, the discussion of variation through place and time is recognized as dependent on scales of analysis and social process.

Religion at Work in a Neolithic Society: Vital Matters

This book tackles the topic of religion, a broad subject exciting renewed interest across the social and historical sciences. The volume is tightly focused on the early farming village of Çatalhöyük, which has generated much interest both within and outside of archaeology, especially for its contributions to the understanding of early religion. The volume discusses contemporary themes such as materiality, animism, object vitality, and material dimensions of spirituality while at the same time exploring broad evolutionary changes in the ways in which religion has influenced society. The volume results from a unique collaboration between an archaeological team and a range of specialists in ritual and religion.

The Present Past: An Introduction to Anthropology for Archaeologists (2nd Revised Edition)

This is an updated edition of Ian Hodder's original and classic work on the role which anthropology must play in the interpretation of the archaeological record.

There has long been a need for archaeologists and anthropologists to correlate their ideas and methods for interpreting the material culture of past civilizations. Archaeological interpretation of the past is inevitably based on the ideas and experiences of the present and the use of such ethnographic analogy has been widely adapted—and criticized, not least in Britain. In this challenging study, Ian Hodder questions the assumptions, values, and methods, which have been too readily accepted. At the same time, he shows how anthropology can be applied to archaeology. He examines the criteria for the proper use of analogy and, in particular, emphasizes the need to consider the meaning and interpretation of material cultures within the total social and cultural contexts. He discusses anthropological models of refuse deposits, technology and production, subsistence, settlement, burial, trade exchange, art form and ritual; he then considers their application to comparable archaeological data. Throughout, Ian emphasizes the need for a truly scientific approach and a critical self-awareness by archaeologists, who should be prepared to study their own social and cultural context, not least their own attitudes to the present-day material world.

Entangled: An Archaeology of the Relationships between Humans and Things

A powerful and innovative argument that explores the complexity of the human relationship with material things, demonstrating how humans and societies are entrapped into the maintenance and sustaining of material worlds

  • Argues that the interrelationship of humans and things is a defining characteristic of human history and culture
  • Offers a nuanced argument that values the physical processes of things without succumbing to materialism
  • Discusses historical and modern examples, using evolutionary theory to show how long-standing entanglements are irreversible and increase in scale and complexity over time
  • Integrates aspects of a diverse array of contemporary theories in archaeology and related natural and biological sciences
  • Provides a critical review of many of the key contemporary perspectives from materiality, material culture studies and phenomenology to evolutionary theory, behavioral archaeology, cognitive archaeology, human behavioral ecology, Actor Network Theory, and complexity theory


The Leopard's Tale: Revealing the Mysteries of Çatalhöyük

The Neolithic mound of Çatalhöyük, in central Turkey, shot to international fame in the 1960s when an ancient ‘town’—at 9,000 years old one of the earliest in the world—was discovered there together with wonderful wall-paintings and sculptures, many featuring images of leopards.

The excavations changed our understanding of the early farmers who started the road to complex civilization, but many questions were left unanswered until leading archaeologist Ian Hodder began a new campaign of research in the early 1990s. The Leopard’s Tale is the inside story of the remarkable advances made so far.

Archaeology Beyond Dialogue

How do global trends affect our view of the past?

World trends such as tourism, diaspora, and media globalization have led to new forms of relationship with the past. Yet these global processes also threaten to silence local or alternate claims to that past. How should archaeologists respond to this dispersal of archaeological knowledge and interest? Many have come to accept the need for dialogue. In Archaeology Beyond Dialogue, Ian Hodder argues that there is a need to do more than engage in dialogue with participating communities; archaeologists must consider the implications of globalizing trends for the way they excavate and analyze their data.

Over the last two decades, Ian Hodder has been a central figure in archaeological method and theory arguing for reflexive techniques that are more transparent, dialogical, and participatory. He explores these developments by examining the diversification of archaeology, the effect of a more global archaeology on archaeological methods and analysis, new theoretical trends in social archaeology, and new interpretations of prehistoric sites focusing on agency, power/knowledge, and subject position. Ian applies these concepts to the important site of Çatalhöyük in Turkey and the megaliths and monuments of the European Neolithic. He contrasts alternative approaches that claim, unsuccessfully in his view, to eschew meaning in the interpretation of the past.

This book should stir the archaeological community to a realization that it does not exist in a vacuum and that the part it plays affects many people: those with ancestral ties to the prehistoric inhabitants, those living in the general vicinity of the site, and the workers doing the excavation.

Reading the Past: Current Approaches to Interpretation in Archaeology (3rd Edition)

The third edition of this classic introduction to archaeological theory and method has been fully updated to address the rapid development of theoretical debate throughout the discipline. Ian Hodder and Scott Hutson argue that archaeologists must consider a variety of perspectives in the complex and uncertain task of "translating the meaning of past texts into their own contemporary language." While remaining centered on the importance of meaning, agency, and history, the authors explore the latest developments in post-structuralism, neo-evolutionary theory, and phenomenology.

Theory and Practice in Archaeology

In this latest collection of his articles, of which seven are written especially for this volume, Ian Hodder captures and continues the lively controversy of the 1980s over symbolic and structural approaches to archaeology. The book acts as an overview of the developments in the discipline over the last decade; yet Ian's brief is far wider. His aim is to break down the division between the intellectual and the "dirt" archaeologist to demonstrate that in this discipline more than any other, theory must be related to practice to save effectively our rapidly diminishing heritage.

The Domestication of Europe

The Neolithic saw the spread of the first farmers, and the formation of settled villages throughout Europe. Traditional archaeology has interpreted these changes in terms of population growth, economic pressures, and social competition, but in The Domestication of Europe Ian Hodder works from a new, controversial theory focusing instead on the enormous expansion of symbolic evidence from the homes, settlements, and burials of the period. Why do the figurines, decorated pottery, elaborate houses and burial rituals appear and what is their significance?

The author argues that the symbolism of the Neolithic must be interpreted if we are to understand adequately the associated social and economic changes. He suggests that both in Europe and the Near East a particular set of concepts was central to the origins of farming and a settled mode of life. These concepts relate to the house and home—termed `domus'—and they provided a metaphor and a mechanism for social and economic transformation. As the wild was brought in and domesticated through ideas and practices surrounding the domus, people were brought in and settled into the social and economic group of the village. Over the following millennia, cultural practices relating to the domus continued to change and develop, until finally overtaken by a new set of concepts which became socially central, based on the warrior, the hunter and the wild.

This book is an exercise in interpretive prehistory. Ian Hodder shows how a contextual reading of the evidence can allow symbolic structures to be cautiously but plausibly identified, and sets out his arguments for complex dialectical relationships between long-term symbolic structures and economic causes of cultural change.

Symbols in Action: Ethnoarchaeological Studies of Material Culture

Material culture—the objects made by man—provides the primary data from which archaeologists have to infer the economies, technologies, social organization, and ritual practices of extinct societies. The analysis and interpretation of material culture is therefore central to any concern with archaeological theory and methodology, and in order to understand better the relationship between material culture and human behaviour, archaeologists need to draw upon models derived from the study of ethnographic societies. First published in 1982, this book presents the results of a series of field investigations carried out in Kenya, Zambia, and the Sudan into the 'archaeological' remains and material culture of contemporary small-scale societies, and demonstrates the way in which objects are used as symbols within social action and within particular worldviews and ideologies.



Spatial Analysis in Archaeology (with Clive Orton)

This 1976 text is a pioneering study in the applications to archaeology of modern statistical and quantitative techniques. The authors show how these techniques, when sensitively employed, can dramatically extend and refine the information presented in distribution maps and other analyses of spatial relationships. Techniques of interpretation 'by inspection' can now be made more powerful and rigorous; at the same time, interest has turned from the examination of such sites and artifacts as 'things' to the spatial relationships between such things, their relationships to one another and to landscape features, soils, and other resources. This book was the first to apply the available techniques systematically to the special problems and interests of archaeologists. It also demonstrates to geographers and other social scientists who may be familiar with analogous applications in their own fields the exciting interdisciplinary developments this facilitates, for example in studies of exchange networks, trade and settlement patterns, and cultural history.

Archaeological Theory Today (2nd Edition)

Now in a revised and updated second edition, this volume provides an authoritative account of the current status of archaeological theory, as presented by some of its major exponents and innovators over recent decades. It summarizes the latest developments in the field and looks to its future, exploring some of the cutting-edge ideas at the forefront of the discipline.

The volume captures the diversity of contemporary archaeological theory. Some authors argue for an approach close to the natural sciences, others for an engagement with cultural debate about representation of the past. Some minimize the relevance of culture to societal change, while others see it as central; some focus on the contingent and the local, others on long-term evolution. While few practitioners in theoretical archaeology would today argue for a unified disciplinary approach, the authors in this volume increasingly see links and convergences between their perspectives.

The volume also reflects archaeology's new openness to external influences, as well as the desire to contribute to wider debates. The contributors examine ways in which archaeological evidence contributes to theories of evolutionary psychology, as well as to the social sciences in general, where theories of social relationships, agency, landscape, and identity are informed by the long-term perspective of archaeology.

The new edition of Archaeological Theory Today will continue to be essential reading for students and scholars in archaeology and in the social sciences more generally.

Religion in the Emergence of Civilization: Çatalhöyük as a Case Study

This book presents an interdisciplinary study of the role of spirituality and religious ritual in the emergence of complex societies. Involving an eminent group of natural scientists, archaeologists, anthropologists, philosophers, and theologians, this volume examines Çatalhöyük as a case study. A 9,000-year-old town in central Turkey, Çatalhöyük was first excavated in the 1960s and has since become integral to understanding the symbolic and ritual worlds of the early farmers and village-dwellers in the Middle East. It is thus an ideal location for exploring theories about the role of religion in early settled life. This book provides a unique overview of current debates concerning religion and its historical variations. Through exploration of themes including the integration of the spiritual and the material, the role of belief in religion, the cognitive bases for religion, and religion’s social roles, this book situates the results from Çatalhöyük within a broader understanding of the Neolithic in the Middle East.

Mediterranean Prehistoric Heritage: Training, Education and Management (with Louise Doughty)

Drawing on the experience of the Temper project (Training, Education, Management and Prehistory in the Mediterranean) and wider examples from the Mediterranean, this volume explores the issues inherent in managing, interpreting, and presenting prehistoric archaeological sites. The first section of the book contains thematic chapters on conservation, visitor management and interpretation, public participation, and issues of managing sites within their cultural landscape; the second section focuses on archaeology and education and the politics of national curricula, and presents detailed case studies. Written by academics and those working in the fields of archaeology, architecture, heritage management, and education, this volume will be invaluable to students and practitioners alike.