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Archaeology/Anthropology

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Edited by Robert H. Brill

If they share one common theme, these collected papers clearly indicate the directions of current research in archaeological chemistry—a term that, taken in a broad sense, includes techniques and methodologies of many areas of science other than chemistry. Dr. Brill, in fact, advocates use of the term "archaeometry" (coined by Dr. E. T. Hall of Oxford University) to describe more accurately the work of quite a few investigators in the field.

Twenty-one chapters by distinguished contributors are organized in three main categories according to research objectives. Part One contains investigations of individual objects or small groups of objects, describing how they were made and their places in the early history of technology or science. Studies in Part Two consist of analyses of such diverse materials as metals, pottery, obsidian, and amber to uncover patterns of chemical composition for the classification of fragments according to provenance or date. A number of chapters in this section deal with neutron-activation analysis. The book's final part describes four techniques used for dating archaeological objects.

The volume is generous in scope, ranging over a variety of approaches and motivations, research tools, and archaeological materials. Some of the more technically advanced studies cover up-to-date and complex instrumentation for analyzing samples more accurately, more rapidly, and with greater convenience than before, while others emphasize the detailed handling or "autopsy" of the objects themselves. The material in this book was originally prepared for the Fourth Symposium on Archaeological Chemistry, sponsored by the Division of the History of Chemistry of the American Chemical Society in 1968.

Dr. Brill cites several problems that should form the basis for further research: the criteria for selecting what is necessary and significant from increasingly unwieldy bodies of data; the means by which findings in this field can be used in a more than descriptive manner to reveal something new about early man; and the continued necessity for close cooperation between the archaeometrist and archaeologist. The former, Dr. Brill points out, must take a major part in interpreting his findings and not merely leave his tabulations and statistical correlations to the historian and archaeologist.

Architecture and Representation at the 1931 Colonial Exposition, Paris

The 1931 International Colonial Exposition in Paris was a demonstration of French colonial policy, colonial architecture and urban planning, and the scientific and philosophical theories that justified colonialism. The Exposition displayed the people, material culture, raw materials, manufactured goods, and arts of the global colonial empires. Yet the event gave a contradictory message of the colonies as the "Orient"—the site of rampant sensuality, decadence, and irrationality—and as the laboratory of Western rationality. In Hybrid Modernities, Patricia Morton shows how the Exposition failed to keep colonialism's two spheres separate, instead creating hybrids of French and native culture.

At the Exposition, French pavilions demonstrated Europe's sophistication in art deco style, while the colonial pavilions were "authentic" native environments for displaying indigenous peoples and artifacts from the colonies. The authenticity of these pavilions' exteriors was contradicted by vaguely exotic interiors filled with didactic exhibition stands and dioramas. Intended to maintain a segregation of colonized and colonizer, the colonial pavilions instead were mixtures of European and native architecture.

Anticolonial resistance erupted around the Exposition in the form of protests, anticolonial tracts, and a countercolonial exposition produced by the Surrealists. Thus the Exposition occupied a "middle region" of experience where the norms, rules, and systems of French colonialism both emerged and broke down, unsustainable because of their internal contradictions. As Morton shows, the effort to segregate France and her colonies failed, both at the Colonial Exposition and in greater France, because it was constantly undermined by the hybrids that modern colonialism itself produced.

The first sensory input in life comes from the sense of touch while a baby is still in the womb, and touch continues to be the primary means of learning about the world throughout infancy, well into childhood. Touch is critical for children's growth, development, and health, as well as for adults' physical and mental well-being. Yet American society, claims Tiffany Field, is dangerously touch-deprived.

Field, a leading authority on touch and touch therapy, begins this accessible book with an overview of the sociology and anthropology of touching and the basic psychophysical properties of touch. She then reports recent research results on the value of touch therapies, such as massage therapy, for various conditions, including asthma, cancer, autism, and eating disorders. She emphasizes the need for a change in societal attitudes toward touching, particularly among those who work with children.

When animals, including humans, communicate, they convey information and express their perceptions of the world. Because different organisms are able to produce and perceive different signals, the animal world contains a diversity of communication systems. Based on the approach laid out in the 1950s by Nobel laureate Nikolaas Tinbergen, this book looks at animal communication from the four perspectives of mechanisms, ontogeny, function, and phylogeny.

The book's great strength is its broad comparative perspective, which enables the reader to appreciate the diversity of solutions to particular problems of signal design and perception. For example, although the neural circuitry underlying the production of acoustic signals is different in frogs, songbirds, bats, and humans, each involves a set of dedicated pathways designed to solve particular problems of communicative efficiency. Such comparative findings form the basis of a conceptual framework for understanding the mechanisms underlying communication systems and their evolution.

An Archaeologist's Year in Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley, a small place with few identifiable geologic or geographic features, has achieved a mythical reputation in a very short time. The modern material culture of the Valley may be driven by technology, but it also encompasses architecture, transportation, food, clothing, entertainment, intercultural exchanges, and rituals.

Combining a reporter's instinct for a good interview with traditional archaeological training, Christine Finn brings the perspectives of the past and the future to the story of Silicon Valley's present material culture. She traveled the area in 2000, a period when people's fortunes could change overnight. She describes a computer's rapid trajectory from useful tool to machine to be junked to collector's item. She explores the sense that whatever one has is instantly superseded by the next new thing—and the effect this has on economic and social values. She tells stories from a place where fruit-pickers now recycle silicon chips and where more money can be made babysitting for post-IPO couples than working in a factory. The ways that people are working and adapting, are becoming wealthy or barely getting by, are visible in the cultural landscape of the fifteen cities that make up the area called "Silicon Valley."

The Anthropology of Incest

The sharing of a sexual partner between relatives has always been taboo. In this stunning work, anthropologist Françoise Héritier charts the incest prohibition throughout history, from the strict decrees of Leviticus to modern civil codes, and finds a secondary type of incest, which she calls the incest of two sisters. The term refers not to incest between two sisters, or between two sisters and their mother, but to a love triangle of sorts in which the transfer of bodily fluids among sexual partners, two of whom are related to each other, creates undeniable bonds. Drawing on her field work in West African societies where the bans against two sisters are particularly stringent and on various cultural practices (such as milk kinship), Héritier fashions a complex "mechanics of fluids" in which blood, milk, and semen form the basis for kinship and prohibition. The intricate connections among the social, the natural, and the bodily emerge, fully apparent, and kinship studies are seen in a new light, one that illuminates the primacy of the symbolic.

Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion

In this controversial book, Randy Thornhill and Craig Palmer use evolutionary biology to explain the causes of rape and to recommend new approaches to its prevention. According to Thornhill and Palmer, evolved adaptation of some sort gives rise to rape; the main evolutionary question is whether rape is an adaptation itself or a by-product of other adaptations. Thornhill and Palmer address, and claim to demolish scientifically, many myths about rape bred by social science theory over the past 25 years. The popular contention that rapists are not motivated by sexual desire is, they argue, scientifically inaccurate. The book also includes a useful summary of evolutionary theory and a comparison of evolutionary biology's and social science's explanations of human behavior.

"I was determined not to let the slightest detail escape me."
Pierre Clastres

Pierre Clastres was one of the most respected political anthropologists of our time. Chronicle of the Guayaki Indians is an account of his first fieldwork in the early 1960s—an encounter with a small, unique, and now vanished Paraguayan tribe. From "Birth" to "The End," Clastres follows the Guayakis in their everyday lives, determined to record every detail of their history, ritual, myths, and culture in order to answer the many questions prompted by his personal experiences. Now available for the first time in English in a beautiful translation by the novelist Paul Auster, Chronicle of the Guayaki Indians will alter radically not only the Western academic conventions in which other cultures are thought but also the discipline of political anthropology itself.


The term "folkbiology" refers to people's everyday understanding of the biological world—how they perceive, categorize, and reason about living kinds. The study of folkbiology not only sheds light on human nature, it may ultimately help us make the transition to a global economy without irreparably damaging the environment or destroying local cultures.

This book takes an interdisciplinary approach, bringing together the work of researchers in anthropology, cognitive and developmental psychology, biology, and philosophy of science. The issues covered include: Are folk taxonomies a first-order approximation to classical scientific taxonomies, or are they driven more directly by utilitarian concerns? How are these category schemes linked to reasoning about natural kinds? Is there any nontrivial sense in which folk-taxonomic structures are universal? What impact does science have on folk taxonomy? Together, the chapters present the current foundations of folkbiology and indicate new directions in research.

Contributors: Scott Atran, Terry Kit-fong Au, Brent Berlin, K. David Bishop, John D. Coley, Jared Diamond, John Dupré, Roy Ellen, Susan A. Gelman, Michael T. Ghiselin, Grant Gutheil, Giyoo Hatano, Lawrence A. Hirschfeld, David L. Hull, Eugene Hunn, Kayoko Inagaki, Frank C. Keil, Daniel T. Levin, Elizabeth Lynch, Douglas L. Medin, Julia Beth Proffitt, Bethany A. Richman, Laura F. Romo, Sandra R. Waxman.


Cognition, Culture, and the Child's Construction of Human Kinds


Race in the Making provides a new understanding of how people conceptualize social categories and shows why this knowledge is so readily recruited to create and maintain systems of unequal power.

Hirschfeld argues that knowledge of race is not derived from observations of physical difference nor does it develop in the same way as knowledge of other social categories. Instead, his central claim is that racial thinking is the product of a special-purpose cognitive competence for understanding and representing human kinds. The book also challenges the conventional wisdom that race is purely a social construction by demonstrating that a common set of abstract principles underlies all systems of racial thinking, whatever other historical and cultural specificities may be associated with them.

Starting from the commonplace observation that race is a category of both power and the mind, Race in the Making directly tackles this issue. Through a sustained exploration of continuity and change in the child's notion of race and across historical variations in the race concept, Hirschfeld shows that a singular commonsense theory about human kinds constrains the way racial thinking changes, whether in historical time or during childhood.

After surveying the literature on the development of a cultural psychology of race, Hirschfeld presents original studies that examine children's (and occasionally adults') representations of race. He sketches how a jointly cultural and psychological approach to race might proceed, showing how this approach yields new insights into the emergence and elaboration of racial thinking.


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