The Materiality of Individuality

Archaeological Studies of Individual Lives

  • Carolyn White

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vii
  2. Individuality in Collective Spaces

  3. The Lens of Personal Objects

  4. Personal Impacts: Seeing Sites through the Individual

  5. Back Matter
    Pages 221-227

About this book


The Materiality of Individuality: Archaeological Studies of Individual Lived

Edited by Carolyn L. White, University of Nevada - Reno The Materiality of Individuality explores the complex interactions between people and objects in the past, offering a fresh approach to the intricate relationships between material culture and individual lives. Gathering together the most recent thinking of both established and emerging scholars, it is one of the first volumes to inspect individuality and materiality from an archaeological perspective.  The case studies demonstrate the importance of the approach, linking materiality to the diverse realms of identity, embodiment and corporeality, daily practices, episodic events, and social networks;  at the same time, they consider the articulation of the individual with broader cultural patterns and structures.


The volume is organized into three themes:  the examination of individuality in collective spaces; the analysis of individual people through the lens of personal objects; and the impact of individuality on site-level analyses. The contributions deliver a combination of theoretical sophistication and rootedness in materials analysis; and their geographical scope ranges broadly, encompassing materials from North America, Europe, and the Pacific.   Beads, trench art, toothpicks, shoes, cilices, brooches, stoneware ginger beer bottles, ceramics, and lime plaster open up new avenues in the exploration of individual lives. The analyses tendered in this volume will not only inspire scholars and students of archaeology, but will also appeal to anthropologists, social historians, material culture specialists, museum curators, and art historians.



Collective Identity Colonialism Empire archaeology material culture

Editors and affiliations

  • Carolyn White
    • 1
  1. 1.Anthropology Dept.University of Nevada, RenoRenoU.S.A.

Bibliographic information