Archaeologists with attitude

Colin Renfrew in Stanford.

Here to join me and Bill Rathje in a conversation about archaeology, for our book Archaeologists with Attitude.

Gave a fascinating talk this evening – “The Sapient Paradox: cognitive archaeology from institutional facts to material realities”.

He sketched out his interest in what he called material engagements – how people get on with things, and how things are active in making people what they are. And, in sketching a cognitive evolution that stressed sedentary life as a moment of radical change in people’s dealings with things, he drew on contemporary art.

Antony Gormley’s interest in material corporeality and anthropometrics (see my blog from last year)

Richard Long’s work on place, human scale, practice, monumentality.

He is exploring what I am calling the archaeological – taking up exactly the kind of interest I was proposing in my book Experiencing the Past, back in 1991.