Artifacts and Personal Identity


Although historical archaeologists have generally neglected to apprehend the potent meanings of personal possessions, the field is stirring. All too often, personal artifacts have been subsumed into broader categories of artifacts, their meanings blurred or diminished. Personal artifacts have been assessed as subgroups classified by material, resulting in a muting of the individual significance of particular artifacts and a preference on the part of analysts to deal with objects recovered in large quantities. Personal artifacts have occasioned individual assessment sporadically, and interest in these artifacts has begun to shift from limited interpretation to more interpretive contextual approaches.


Ethnic Identity Archaeological Site Material Culture Historical Archaeologist Voluntary Association 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of NevadaDepartment of AnthropologyRenoUSA
  2. 2.Boston UniversityDepartment of ArchaeologyBostonUSA

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