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Tower houses and waterways
Victoria L. McAlister

Tower houses created and sustained diverse economic networks. In particular, this was accomplished through siting on communication routes, especially water based, and interaction with transport networks. A significant proportion of transport and communication occurred via water in later medieval Ireland. Not only was this cheaper than land-based transport, but it helped navigate politically unstable territories, since protection and effort could focus on specific places. It was also a response to Ireland's topography, which in many

in The Irish tower house

The dynamic processes of knowledge production in archaeology and elsewhere in the humanities and social sciences are increasingly viewed within the context of negotiation, cooperation and exchange, as the collaborative effort of groups, clusters and communities of scholars. Shifting focus from the individual scholar to the wider social contexts of her work, this volume investigates the importance of informal networks and conversation in the creation of knowledge about the past, and takes a closer look at the dynamic interaction and exchange that takes place between individuals, groups and clusters of scholars in the wider social settings of scientific work. Various aspects of and mechanisms at work behind the interaction and exchange that takes place between the individual scholar and her community, and the creative processes that such encounters trigger, are critically examined in eleven chapters which draw on a wide spectrum of examples from Europe and North America: from early modern antiquarians to archaeological societies and practitioners at work during the formative years of the modern archaeological disciplines and more recent examples from the twentieth century. The individual chapters engage with theoretical approaches to scientific creativity, knowledge production and interaction such as sociology and geographies of science, and actor-network theory (ANT) in their examination of individual–collective interplay. The book caters to readers both from within and outside the archaeological disciplines; primarily intended for researchers, teachers and students in archaeology, anthropology, classics and the history of science, it will also be of interest to the general reader.

The case of Oscar Montelius and Italy
Anna Gustavsson

consists of five large volumes on the north and central Italian peninsula. During the nineteenth century, the means for travelling and communication changed drastically, at least for those who could afford them, owing to technical and infrastructural advances in Europe. Oscar Montelius went all over Europe to study collections and artefacts. He often travelled together with his wife Agda, who became very engaged in his work. He was involved in debates on Mediterranean research from an early stage. Adopting a comparative research method, Montelius tried to see as many

in Communities and knowledge production in archaeology
Abstract only
Audiences and objects
Samuel J.M.M. Alberti

.1 Who were these visitors? How did they engage with and respond to the collections? How did museum staff address them, seek to control them, and interact with them? To tackle these questions, this chapter draws from the established bodies of work in cultural theory, mass communication studies and book history that view the communication process from both sides. In museum studies, visitor theory and contemporary surveys are replacing the passive audience with active participants in the construction of meaning, but seldom has the historical visitor been awarded the

in Nature and culture
Society, economy and environment, c. 1300–1650

Tower houses are the ubiquitous building of pre-modern Ireland. A type of castle, the tower house was constructed c.1350–1650, and extant examples number in the thousands. This book examines the social role of the tower house in late medieval and early modern Ireland. It uses a multidisciplinary methodology to uncover the lived experience of a wide range of people. This enables exploration of the castle’s context, including how it was used as a social tool and in environmental exploitation for economic gain. By challenging traditional interpretations of the Middle Ages we find new evidence for the agency of previously overlooked individuals, and thus a new insight into the transition from medieval to modern. Each chapter in the book builds on the one preceding, to echo the movement of trade good from environmental exploitation to entry into global economic networks, keeping focus on the role of the tower house in facilitating each step. By progressively broadening the scope, the conclusion is reached that the tower house can be used as a medium for analysing the impact of global trends at the local level. It accomplishes this lofty goal by combining archival evidence with archaeological fieldwork and on-site survey to present a fresh perspective on one of the best-known manifestations of Irish archaeology.

Re-thinking Ludwik Fleck’s concept of the thought-collective according to the case of Serbian archaeology
Monika Milosavljević

’s objectives include a retooling of Fleck with corresponding and supporting theoretical sources so as to be able to solidify his theories into an applicable methodological strategy. This chapter draws on thought-style and (social) network analysis from the actor-network theory (ANT) of Bruno Latour to supplement Fleck in this regard. Because Latour relies on social and natural worlds existing within constantly shifting networks of relationship, the theory can complement the representation of communication between scholars reflecting real-world changes in flux. While ANT does

in Communities and knowledge production in archaeology
Was he more than just ‘Dr Took’?
Jonathan R. Trigg

seems to have been clearly someone who was subject to periods of intense activity that had great influence on the work of his contemporaries, as well as those antiquaries and academics that followed, and without which we would have far lesser understanding of the archaeological record of the Wessex region. Yet, unlike many fellow antiquarians, for example, he did not publish his own observations, favouring the communication of such to other contemporary scholars. There are, it seems to me, three forms of network to which Toope’s work contributes, and these might be

in Communities and knowledge production in archaeology
Art, process, archaeology

This book presents a study of material images and asks how an appreciation of the making and unfolding of images and art alters archaeological accounts of prehistoric and historic societies. With contributions focusing on case studies including prehistoric Britain, Scandinavia, Iberia, the Americas and Dynastic Egypt, and including contemporary reflections on material images, it makes a novel contribution to ongoing debates relating to archaeological art and images. The book offers a New Materialist analysis of archaeological imagery, with an emphasis on considering the material character of images and their making and unfolding. The book reassesses the predominantly representational paradigm of archaeological image analysis and argues for the importance of considering the ontology of images. It considers images as processes or events and introduces the verb ‘imaging’ to underline the point that images are conditions of possibility that draw together differing aspects of the world. The book is divided into three sections: ‘Emergent images’, which focuses on practices of making; ‘Images as process’, which examines the making and role of images in prehistoric societies; and ‘Unfolding images’, which focuses on how images change as they are made and circulated. The book features contributions from archaeologists, Egyptologists, anthropologists and artists. The contributors to the book highlight the multiple role of images in prehistoric and historic societies, demonstrating that archaeologists need to recognise the dynamic and changeable character of images.

James Breasted’s early scientific network
Kathleen Sheppard

This chapter examines the importance of place in building and maintaining scientific networks for the field scientist by using James Henry Breasted and his early network as a case study. There are a number of important factors that go into relationship dynamics among scientific practitioners, such as age, professional experience, and gender; however, each of these factors also affected where and how Breasted met these scholars. Examining Breasted’s relationships with Flinders Petrie and Gaston Maspero will reveal the nuances behind the varying sites of knowledge creation and the effect that the urban institution or the rural field site can have on the development of scientific networks, their means of communication, and the scholarship that results from these relationships.

in Communities and knowledge production in archaeology
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Clusters of knowledge
Julia Roberts and Kathleen Sheppard

its theoretical foundation the history and philosophy of science, in which there is a rich tradition of investigating the role of communication among practitioners using Ludwik Fleck’s theory of ‘thought collectives’, Bruno Latour’s actor-­ network theory, and the geography of knowledge (Fleck, 1979 [1935]; Livingstone, 2003; Latour, 2005; Shapin, 2010). Fleck (1979 [1935]) argued that the production of scientific knowledge is largely a social process which depends upon not only the actors themselves, but the cultural and historical contexts of their work. Related

in Communities and knowledge production in archaeology