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ArchaeologyThe Discipline of Things$
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Bjørnar Olsen, Michael Shanks, Timothy Webmoor, and Christopher Witmore

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780520274167

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520274167.001.0001

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Making and the Design of Things

Making and the Design of Things

Human Being and the Shape of History

(p.157) Chapter 8 Making and the Design of Things

Bjørnar Olsen

Michael Shanks

Timothy Webmoor

Christopher Witmore

University of California Press

Without the dominant character of the freestanding, autonomous human agent to hold the spotlight at the center stage of history, what then becomes its subject? In addressing this question, chapter eight provides an alternative to both the homo-faber myth (thought proceeds action) and to the hylomorphic model of creation (form imposed upon matter) by taking a close look at the making of Fussell’s Lodge, an earthen long barrow, and the design of an ancient Greek perfume jar. Two slogans capture much of our argument: “we have always been cyborgs” and “making can belong to the most humble of things.” Therefore, no entity has a monopoly upon design. The chapter culminates in a presentation of nine archaeological theses on design.

Keywords:   homo-faber, hylomorphism, design, Fussell’s Lodge, aryballos, assemblage

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