- The Oxford Handbook of Material Culture Studies
- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- List of Contributors
- Introduction: Material Culture Studies: a Reactionary View
- The Material‐Cultural Turn: Event and Effect
- Material Geographies
- Material Culture in Folklife Studies
- Material Histories
- The Materials of STS
- Material Culture and the Dance of Agency
- Fieldwork and Collecting
- Gifts and Exchange
- Art as Action, Art as Evidence
- Archaeological Assemblages and Practices of Deposition
- Technology and Material Life
- The Malice of Inanimate Objects: Material Agency
- From Identity and Material Culture to Personhood and Materiality
- Materiality and Embodiment
- Material Culture in Primates
- Cultural Landscapes
- Ecological landscapes
- Urban materialities: meaning, magnitude, friction, and outcomes
- Architecture and cultural history
- Households and ‘Home Cultures’
- Stone Tools
- The Landscape Garden as Material Culture: Lessons from France
- Built Objects
- Ceramics (As Containers)
- Magical Things: on Fetishes, Commodities, and Computers
- Afterword: <i>Fings Ain't Wot they Used t' be</i>: Thinking Through Material Thinking as Placing and Arrangement
Abstract and Keywords
This article focuses on the importance of ceramics in material cultural studies. It proceeds to say that ceramics are considered a key feature of human material culture because of what they are taken to represent in economic, technological, and evolutionary terms. The innovation of taking the plastic medium of clay and marrying it with pyrotechnology to create irreversibly a resilient object — usually in the form of a container, has frequently been assumed to mark a revolutionary stage in the development of modern human thought and practice, forming with agriculture and sedentism a trinity of epoch-changing innovations. This article talks about the idea of the body as being used as a container. It says that ‘Containment’ may well be the ‘function’ offering archaeology one of the most important sources of archaeological data and windows into society, and culture; but very little is known about the cognitive, experiential, and evolutionary grounding of the concepts embodied in each and every container.
Carl Knappett is Walter Graham/Homer Thompson Chair in Aegean Prehistory, Department of Art, University of Toronto.
Lambros Malafouris is Balzan Post‐Doctoral Research Fellow in Cognitive Archaeology, University of Cambridge.
Peter Tomkins teaches Archaeology at the Catholic University of Leuven.
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