Lookup NU author(s): Dr Chris Fowler
This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Cambridge University Press, 2017.
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This article argues that artefact types and typologies are kinds of assemblages, presenting an explicitly relational interpretation of typology grounded in a more-than-representational assemblage theory. In the process it evaluates recent approaches to typology, and the interpretations these typologies have supported, and compares these with approaches which emphasize materiality and experience. It then illustrates the benefit of drawing these two angles of analysis closer together within an approach grounded in a more-than-representational assemblage theory. Throughout, the discussion revolves around British Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age burials and types of artefacts commonly found within them. The core argument is that, if used appropriately, typologies are not constraints to the appreciation of distinctiveness, difference and relationality in the past, but can rather form an important tool in detecting those relations and making sense of different past ways of becoming.
Author(s): Fowler C
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Cambridge Archaeological Journal
Print publication date: 01/02/2017
Online publication date: 11/01/2017
Acceptance date: 20/10/2016
ISSN (print): 0959-7743
ISSN (electronic): 1474-0540
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Notes: This article brings recent formulations of assemblage theory to bear on one of the oldest methodological tools in archaeology: typology. Since typology is fundamental to the archaeology of all times and places it has the broadest possible potential archaeological audience. It focuses on Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Britain as an example, presenting a thorough analysis of recent trends in the use of typology to interpret artefacts and burials, including discussion of some results of my own recent primary research (both solo and collaborative), before setting out how assemblage theory provides an opportunity for a revised and enhanced appreciation of types and typology in archaeology.
The article is part of a special section that includes two commentaries by archaeologists which both reflect on my piece as part of their contribution.
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