Lives in Fragments? Personhood and the European Neolithic
Journal of Social Archaeology, 5, (2), . (doi:10.1177/1469605305053367).
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The European Neolithic has often been figured in ideational terms. The transformations that gave rise to sedentism, agriculture and the construction of monuments have been explained either in terms of abstract symbolic schemes or as a change in worldview and cosmology. As an alternative, this article suggests that a greater emphasis needs to be placed on the constitution of the person during this period of transformation. Instead of focusing on the playing out of symbolic structures, it is instead important to consider the role that materiality plays in forming social relations. By focusing on the treatment of material culture, human remains and the use of architecture, we begin to understand in concrete terms not only how the European Neolithic was built, but also how people were transformed through this process.
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