The Materiality of Individuality
Generally individuals in history are known for a particular reason - they somehow influenced history. Very little is known about the ordinary person who lived in the past. But historical archaeologists - through their interpretation of the material culture and historic record - can study the past on an individual level. This brings archaeological interpretation from a micro to a macro level - as opposed to the traditional level of society to community to individual interpretation. The cases presented in this volume engage material culture that is owned or used by a single person and is thus associated with an individual at some point in its uselife. The volume takes bodkins, shoes, beads, cloth, religious items, grave goods, as well as subassemblages from well-defined contexts from New England, the Chesapeake, New Orleans, Hawaii, Spanish colonial America, and London in the pursuit of the individual and the textured interpretation this analytical scale provides. This volume promises to present innovative approaches to a host of archaeological materials, drawing widely on the range of archaeological research for the historical period today. Capitalizing on several topics and research threads with great currency, such as the examination of material culture and interest in various and intersecting lines of identity construction, as well as presenting an international and multiregional approach to these topics, this volume will be of interest to archaeologists, anthropologists, material culture scholars, and social historians interested in a wide variety of time periods and subfields.
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