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Stone Worlds
Narrative and Reflexivity in Landscape Archaeology
Barbara Bender (Author); Sue Hamilton (Author); Christopher Tilley (Author)
464 pp. / 7.00 x 10.00 / Jan, 2008
Paperback (978-1-59874-219-0)
Hardback (978-1-59874-218-3)
eBook (978-1-61132-623-9)
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  - Archaeology

This book represents an innovative experiment in presenting the results of a large-scale, multidisciplinary archaeological project. The well-known authors and their team examined the Neolithic and
"Regardless of one's perspective, the entries provide interesting insights into the dynamic nature of interpersonal relations on an archaeological project and on the importance of context on relationships of power within the discipline…As archaeologists, we tend to forget that any landscape worthy of investigation is also home to people in the local community who, unlike the researchers, interact with the landscape today much as their predecessors interacted with the landscape of the past."

- Gerald A. Oetelaar, Canadian Journal of Archaeology

"The book can claim some notable success: the perspectives of the three main authors toward this complex archaeology are clear, and the voices of many of the excavating team are heard. There is also a fair degree of honesty displayed in presenting the problems that were confronted in the fieldwork."

- John C. Barrett, American Journal of Archaeology

" ...So it is here in Stone Worlds we find everything that has come to characterize Post-Processual landscape archaeology and more...Clearly, this well-designed and creatively presented volume contains much food for thought...Not a page fails to deliver thought-provoking statements, interesting assertions, or the seeds of new questions. "

- Timothy Darvill, Cambridge Archaeological Journal

"The directors …explored the archaeologists' multifaceted perceptions of the excavation landscape. This ethnographic component is a noteworthy advance. An ethnography of archaeology can play a significant role in teasing out our experiences of landscapes and discerning how these experiences shape our understanding and exploration of archaeological sites. These innovations represent important steps towards a more full disclosure of field practice and relationships. In conclusion, this volume…represents a significant movement towards a more reflexive methodology in archeology. The complete review may be read online at: http://wings.buffalo.edu/ARD/cgi/showme.cgi?keycode=3237


- Anna Boozer, Anthropology Review Database

"This is an innovative and creative book. These are its best qualities. The book is also ambitious…I think it important to underscore that being innovative and taking risks, even though you may be safely tenured scholars, should be commended. It creates discussion, fosters debate, stirs emotion, and motivates colleagues to work harder. It disrupts our insulated routines of scholarly production. It is, unfortunately, all too rare. Read the complete review at: http://traumwerk.stanford.edu/archaeolog/2008/12/ review_of_stone_worlds_narrati.html "

- Timothy Webmoor, Archaeolog

"Stone Worlds will become one of the defining texts for the phenomenological approach to prehistoric archaeology. It combines narrative, dialogue, diary entries and photo essays to present sometimes conflicting ideas about human engagement with the ancient landscape, and recent artists (Henry Moore, Andy Goldsworthy) who focus upon setting as central themes in their work. The authors conducted five seasons of fieldwork in Leskernick on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall, setting out to reinterpret the landscape in its contemporary setting. They depart from a singular authoritative definition of the landscape, instead offering it to observers for their own interpretation. Covering stones in cling-film and painting them, as well as having a site poet, they present a vivid re-creation of the Neolithic and Bronze Age settlement and ritual sites of the moor. "

- Richard Lee, British Archaeology

Bronze Age landscapes on Bodmin Moor of Southwest England, especially the site of Leskernick. The result is a multivocal, multidisciplinary telling of the stories of Bodmin Moor—both ancient and modern—using a large number of literary genres and academic disciplines. Dialogue, storytelling, poetry, photo essays and museum exhibits all appear in the volume, along with contributions from archaeologists, anthropologists, sociologists, geologists, ecologists, and museologists. The result is a major synthesis of the Bronze Age settlements and ritual sites of the Moor, contextualised against other Bronze Ages of southwestern and central Britain, and a tracing of the changing meaning of this landscape over the past five thousand years. Of obvious interest to those in British prehistory, this is a substantial presentation of a groundbreaking project which will also be of interest to many concerned with the interpretation of social landscapes and the public presentation of archaeology.

This title is sponsored by Institute of Archaeology, University College London.

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