An Archaeology of Choice


Hi! I’m properly citing this borrowed idea (Brughmans 2016) of taking hang-out photos with something I wrote that was just published.

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The book is called Foreign Objects: Rethinking Indigenous Consumption in American Archaeology. It’s edited by Craig Cipolla. It’s full of a lot of great work by archaeologists using and expanding consumption theory.

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The chapter I wrote with Barbara Mills is about using consumption theory to analyze the archaeological record as a record of human choices. As we say in the chapter, pots are not people, but they are choices.

“An archaeology of choice revealed through consumption patterns recognizes that decisions are involved at every step along the consumption continuum. In an archaeology of choice, ceramics, for example, are liminal objects that transition the archaeological record from one of things to one of acts, decisions, and experiences. Ceramics are evidence of historical choices. Each pot moves beyond the corporeal field of the material and into the incorporeal field of human history” (Borck and Mills 2017:30).

Anyways, the book is available through the University of Arizona Press and you can read our chapter here.

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