Archaeology - Essay Example

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Archaeological Culture Introduction: Culture is an umbrella term used for referring to a wide range of notions and conceptions associated with the human society in general. The culture of a particular society is considered as the identity of that society. When it comes to describing the culture of a particular society, it requires all the phases to be discussed and analyzed including its past and present along with perspectives of its future…
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Download file to see previous pages In order to witness the past culture of a particular society, especially its material culture, archaeological evidences are considered as one of the most significant elements. Archaeological evidence includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts, and cultural landscapes that are the archaeological records of the society. However, the definition of the term ‘culture’ is not free of ambiguity. It has a unique nature of contradictory features. On one hand, culture is a dynamic phenomenon in the sense that it keeps moving and changing through decades and centuries. On the other hand, culture stands tall as a strong static element for societies witnessing various changes through ages. That is to say, the culture of a particular society constructs its own unique identity through ages by being its common image of consistence. This ambiguous nature of culture plays an important role in depicting the cultural lifespan of a society. In the context of archaeological culture, the dynamic as well as static (or unique) nature of culture can be greatly influenced by cultural interaction of different societies. This paper briefly addresses the role of archaeological evidence with regard to describing the cultural life of past human societies. ...
That is to say, a holistic approach concept of culture is essentially required to understand and explain cultural relations in a society. Further, the concept of culture is also associated closely with that of identity, both of an individual as well as the collective identity of a society. A commonly defined relationship of culture, ethnicity and individual relates to the broader understanding and conceptualization of ‘identity’. In the context of archaeological culture study, it involves empirical speculation of all such identities. One of the significant aspects to address while speculating identities is the issue of cultural contact or acculturation or cultural fusion. A historically evident and remarkable element of this culture contact is colonialism the presence of which is inevitable in the study of archaeological culture. Colonialism is considered as one of the most significant causes as well as consequences of cultural contact between cities, states and empires. Archaeology has a special role to play in the study and colonialism, and vice versa. While talking about the varieties of colonialism and their similarities (Gosden, 2004, p. 22), he argues that modern colonialism strikingly differs from the ancient times in the context that the previous includes particular features like “the creation of fixed orders of racial and cultural difference which were not found in the same manner amongst the Romans or the Greeks for instance.” Further, the result of colonialism has been remarkable: it “created new worlds through the meeting, clash and sometimes merger of varying values.” (Gosden, 2004, p. 23) Nonetheless, ‘culture contact’ is a broader term that includes a variety of elements other than just colonialism. It ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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