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Durham University

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Publication details

Chapman, J. C. & Gaydarska, B. I. (2007). Parts and wholes. Fragmentation in prehistoric context. Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

This is a highly original work that attempts to take fragmentation studies further towards integrating archaeology, social anthropology and material culture, and concerns the relationship between whole objects and broken ones. The authors construct a new fragmentation premise and examine its implications for the Balkans in the Neolithic, using case studies taken from the Balkans and Greece. Key issues covered include a biographical method of considering objects and their relation to the creation of personhood; methodological issues of site formation; a questioning of the assumption that excavated data is a more or less accurate reflection of the operation of past social practices; and a discussion of what happened to pieces missing from an assemblage. It concludes by seeking to put Balkan prehistory back together again by looking at variations in social practices and the construction of personhood at different socio-spatial levels.

Notes

A major advance on the first ‘Fragmentation’ book, this work provides strong support for the ‘fragmentation premise’ – a challenge for all archaeologists worldwide.