Ontology, World Archaeology, and the Recent Past

Here’s the final draft of my review essay for the American Journal of Archaeology. In it, I review the books listed below in just over 4000 words. Needless to say, it was a super fun and very challenging project and I think the final draft of the review essay walks the perfect line between unsatisfying and incomplete and “Thank God! It’s done.”

Enjoy as I try to get my feet under me for the first week of classes! 

Alberti, Benjamin, Andrew Meirion Jones, and Joshua Pollard, eds. Archaeology After Interpretation: Returning Materials to Archaeological Theory. Pp. 417, figs. 74, tables 2. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, Calif. 2013. $94. ISBN 978-1-61132-341-2 (cloth).

Graves-Brown, Paul, Rodney Harrison, and Angela Piccini, The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Contemporary World. Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology. Pp. 864 pages + figs. 140. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2013. $195. ISBN 978-0-19-960200-1 (Hardback)

Martin, Andrew M. Archaeology Beyond Postmodernity: A Science of the Social (Archaeology in Society Series). Pp. x + 247, figs. 6, table 1. AltaMira Press, Lanham, Maryland 2013. $85. ISBN 978-0-7591-2357-1 (cloth).

Olsen, Bjørnar, and Þóra Pétursdóttir, eds. Ruin Memories: Materials, Aesthetics and the Archaeology of the Recent Past (Archaeological Orientations). Pp. xviii + 492, figs. 173. Routledge, New York 2014. $205. ISBN 978-0-415-52362-2 (cloth).

Rathje, William L., Michael Shanks, and Christopher Witmore, eds. Archaeology in the Making: Conversations Through a Discipline. Pp. xii + 436, figs. 28. Routledge, London and New York 2013. $220. ISBN 978-0-415-634809 (Hardback)

Fowler, Chris. The Emergent Past: A Relational Realist Archaeology of Early Bronze Age Mortuary Practices. Pp. xii + 333, figs. 24, charts 6, tables 25, maps. 14. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2013. $135. ISBN 978-0-19-965637-0 (cloth).

Errata: Chris Wittmore pointed out the POW camp that he and Bjørnar Olsen documented was in Norway, not Sweden. You’d think I could keep Norway and Sweden straight after a decade on the Northern Plains…

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