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Magical thinking, relational thinking, and the archaeology of the modern world

Author(s): Vesa-Pekka Herva

Year: 2013

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Summary

Relational and other alternative ontologies and epistemologies have recently been discussed in archaeology, but those discussions have had only a limited impact on historical archaeology. This paper discusses the relationship between relational being/knowing and magical thinking in the modern Western world. It will be proposed that various forms of magical thinking, from Renaissance hermeticism to contemporary popular beliefs, can provide useful insights into the significance of relational being and knowing in the (early) modern period, which in turn helps to elucidate and reassess the dynamic two-way relationships between people and the material world. It will also be suggested that magical and relational thinking have played a more important role in the modern Western world than recognized before. The implications of that view on the research and thinking in historical archaeology will be discussed.


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Magical thinking, relational thinking, and the archaeology of the modern world. Vesa-Pekka Herva. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428214)


Keywords

Temporal Keywords
1500-1900


Spatial Coverage

min long: 19.648; min lat: 59.807 ; max long: 31.582; max lat: 70.089 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 377

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America