Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 07 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Texts have been central to the generation of archaeological theory (whether in culture history, New Archaeology, or post-processual approaches). They have framed our understanding of the past. It is now clear that they also structured human action in the past—as both technologies of oppression and vehicles of enlightenment. Recent research suggests that the habit of reading and writing may have a direct impact on the brain, stimulating a restructuring of neural networks, and affecting the way people thought and acted. Given the socially restricted nature of literacy in pre-modern societies, this may have implications for intra-societal relationships. What is already clear, however, is that the power of the written word in the past owed as much to its supernatural connotations as to its semantic content.

Keywords: Words, Objects, ‘material turn’, agency, preserved speech, neural networks, magic

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.