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Title: Is it time for an elemental and humoral (re)turn in archaeology?
Authors: Jones, Richard
Miller, Holly
Sykes, Naomi
First Published: 2-Nov-2016
Publisher: Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Citation: Archaeological Dialogues, 2016, 23 (2), pp. 175-192
Abstract: This paper asks whether archaeologists might profitably re-engage with the pre-Enlightenment doctrines of elemental philosophy and humoral theory as paradigms more relevant for archaeological interpretation in certain contexts than much of current theoretical discourse. These ancient cosmologies are here reconceptualised to suggest ways in which archaeologists might provide fairer representations of past cultures, through the re-adoption of ideas that they understood rather than through the imposition of more recent and thus anachronistic frames of analytical reference. In four brief case-studies, the paper seeks to show how the foregrounding of elemental and humoral theories might lead to new ways of thinking about the study and interpretation of the landscape, material culture, consumption, and the senses. Through them, the paper looks to encourage reflection on whether elemental and humoral theories represent the intellectual paradigms that archaeologists have been striving to invent since the discipline’s creation.
DOI Link: 10.1017/S1380203816000210
ISSN: 1380-2038
eISSN: 1478-2294
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2016. This version of the article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License ( ), which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, School of Historical Studies

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