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Measuring time. Histories of chronology building in archaeology

Oddo, Maria Emanuela (2020) Measuring time. Histories of chronology building in archaeology. Advisor: Catoni, Prof. Maria Luisa. Coadvisor: Harari, Prof. Maurizio . pp. 538. [IMT PhD Thesis]

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Abstract

Histories of archaeology are usually either cultural histories (i.e. histories of archaeological thought) or histories of progress describing the advancement of the discipline in a specific field or geographical area (e.g. histories of archaeological discoveries). Only a small number of histories of archaeological methods have been written. They are normally ‘histories of progress’ and do not leave great space to the investigation of the intellectual context in which methods where conceived and applied, or the academic milieu, in which their results were used and interpreted. My dissertation uses the approach of intellectual history to examine the historical development of a field of archaeological research – chronology – that usually generates expectations of objectivity. Analysing it from the perspective of its cultural and historical conditions of possibility is an entirely novel endeavour. This topic is inspected through four case studies, two of which regard long-standing chronological controversies, and two of which concern the invention and early adoption of dating methods. The research presented studied the main publications and excavation/laboratory reports against the backdrop of contemporaneous politics, propaganda and intellectual disputes. The four case-studies show how ideologies, political conditions, sub-discipline mindsets and intellectual identities are relevant to the invention and adoption of dating methods, to the selection of variables deemed to be time-dependent, and to the reliability assigned to different methodologies in different contexts.

Item Type: IMT PhD Thesis
Subjects: N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
PhD Course: Analysis and Management of Cultural Heritage
Identification Number: 10.6092/imtlucca/e-theses/315
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2020 08:30
URI: http://e-theses.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/315

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