Investigating the Ordinary: Everyday Matters in Southeast Archaeology
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This book’s title suggests a series of chapters on the archaeology of daily life, which, to some extent, is accurate. Each chapter uses data from a site or sites to examine “everyday matters” because “every day matters” when considering how people configured their lives (this play on words is repeated, in various permutations, throughout the book). But substantive archaeology is only part of what the book has to offer. More central to its purpose is the approach each author takes to enlighten themselves and others about the day-to-day activities of past peoples.
Geographically, the 13 chapters (plus an introduction and two discussion chapters) focus on the Southeast United States, while temporally they range from the Paleoindian period through the mid-19th century. The editors’ goal was “to do something different” by challenging the authors to think about their data at the scale of everyday life. By design, the theoretical perspectives of the 26 contributors run the gamut from...