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Historical Archaeology

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 75–83 | Cite as

Contexts of meaning: Beer bottles and cans in contemporary burial practices in the Polynesian kingdom of Tonga

  • David V. Burley
Article

Abstract

Interpretations of symbolic meaning and nonverbal communication have gained a strong foothold in the field of historical archaeology as post-processual theory becomes more widely accepted. Through an examination of beer bottles and beer cans used as components of grave decoration in the Polynesian kingdom of Tonga, the potential pitfalls of this approach can be illustrated. In “recovering mind,” care must be taken to ensure cause, motivations, and rationalizations are not solely a product of one’s own cultural milieu.

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Copyright information

© Society for Historical Archaeology 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • David V. Burley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ArchaeologySimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

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