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Materiality in Archaeological Theory

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Introduction

Materiality is so enmeshed in our everyday existence that it has a kind of impenetrability. We are in touch with it so intimately that it vanishes. And yet of course it is always very much present. As I write, I sit on a Greek “kafeneio” chair, a simple wooden frame with crisscross rope that leaves its pattern on my legs, at least when I am wearing shorts. The wooden table is simple plywood on dexian. The table, the chair, the wooden floor, the computer, the ceiling fan, the dust, the coffee cups: together they are touched, seen, heard, smelled, and tasted, and somehow despite all these senses at work they go largely unnoticed. Writing brings them momentarily to the fore, though there are other ways too in which they can be made to appear. Many contemporary artists bring the artifacts of the everyday into presence by creating new kinds of encounter with them – from rendering them oversized, as in some of the work of Claes Oldenburg, or at miniature scale as in Slinkachu’s...

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Materiality in Archaeological Theory, Fig. 1
Materiality in Archaeological Theory, Fig. 2
Materiality in Archaeological Theory, Fig. 3

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Knappett, C. (2014). Materiality in Archaeological Theory. In: Smith, C. (eds) Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_292

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