Parts in Wholes. Fragmentation in Prehistoric Context.

Chapman, J., B. Gaydarska.

Paperback. 252 pp. Illustrated. Oxbow Books 2007.

This is a highly original work that attempts to take fragmentation studies further towards integrating archaeology, social anthropology and material culture, and concerns the relationship between whole objects and broken ones. The authors construct a new fragmentation premise and examine its implications for the Balkans in the Neolithic, using case studies taken from the Balkans and Greece. Key issues covered include a biographical method of considering objects and their relation to the creation of personhood; methodological issues of site formation; a questioning of the assumption that excavated data is a more or less accurate reflection of the operation of past social practices; and a discussion of what happened to pieces missing from an assemblage. It concludes by seeking to put Balkan prehistory back together again by looking at variations in social practices and the construction of personhood at different socio-spatial levels.


List of figures
List of tables
Introduction to the life cycle of things: Categorisation, fragmentation and enchainment
What we can do with whole objects: The categorical analysis of pottery
Parts and wholes: Hamangia figurines
Schiffer visits the Balkans
Using objects after the break: Beyond re-fitting studies
The biographical approach: Fired clay figurines from the Late Eneolithic tell of Dolnoslav
Personhood and the life cycle of Spondylus rings
Re-fitting the narrative: Beyond fragments; Concluding pointers towards future research
Appendix 1
Appendix 2
Appendix 3
Appendix 4
Appendix 5
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