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date: 11 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Material culture is central to all aspects of archaeology and yet it continues to be argued that things have been under-theorized in archaeological theory. The focus on this chapter is on developments in the study of material culture since the ‘material culture turn’. A range of current approaches—material culture studies, materiality, symmetrical archaeology, material engagement theory, and entanglement—are examined. Three approaches that focus on the relations between people and things through the interconnectivity of their respective lives; the chaîne opératoire, object biography, and life history (behavioural archaeology) are also discussed. The convergence between different theoretical approaches and the challenge of integrating the richness and variety of theoretical insight into practice is addressed.

Keywords: material culture, things, materiality, human:thing relationships, convergence

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