Religion, material culture, and archaeology

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Return to Book Page. Gender and Material Culture is the first complete study in the archaeology of gender, exploring the differences between the religious life of men and women. Gender in medieval monasticism influenced landscape contexts and strategies of economic management, the form and development of buildings and their symbolic and iconographic content. Women's religious experience was of Gender and Material Culture is the first complete study in the archaeology of gender, exploring the differences between the religious life of men and women.


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Women's religious experience was often poorly documented, but their archaeology indicates a shared tradition which was closely linked with, and valued by local communities. The distinctive patterns observed suggest that gender is essential to archaeological analysis. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published April 9th by Routledge first published December 2nd More Details Original Title.

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Gender and Material Culture: The Archaeology of Religious Women

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Sort order. Gender and Material Culture sets out to analyse the archaeological evidence of female religious, primarily in later medieval England, using a gender framework. Gilchrist uses spatial analysis of the geographical and topographical locations of women's nunneries, of their layout and architecture, and of surviving fragments of their material culture, to conclude that the religious experience of these women was very different from men—not, as traditional scholarship would have it, because these were Gender and Material Culture sets out to analyse the archaeological evidence of female religious, primarily in later medieval England, using a gender framework.

Gilchrist uses spatial analysis of the geographical and topographical locations of women's nunneries, of their layout and architecture, and of surviving fragments of their material culture, to conclude that the religious experience of these women was very different from men—not, as traditional scholarship would have it, because these were failed or lesser versions of male monasteries, but rather institutions established to fulfil a different social function. This is a solid work; the highlight for me was the first chapter, which outlines the development of gender theory in archaeology since the s in astonishingly lucid prose anything that can make Bourdieu clearer to me is deserving of the accolade 'astonishing'.


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There are some weaknesses, however. Structurally, it betrays its origins as a doctoral dissertation, and could have used some rearranging and judicious editing. For a book about women, the women themselves do not feature strongly—perhaps because there is so little detail on the activities which they performed.

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Apart from one brief and intriguing mention of nuns having possibly worked in the fields at harvest time in the fourteenth century, these women recede into the background. Still, this is a good demonstration of the fact that a gendered analysis of material culture is possible and highly informative. Debra Smetana rated it really liked it Sep 29, Lauren rated it really liked it Oct 07, Karoline rated it really liked it Apr 11, Elizabeth Day rated it it was amazing Feb 11, Jordan rated it it was ok Nov 29, Zoe rated it it was amazing Jul 28, Stacey Camp rated it it was amazing Jul 21, Lisa Vlieg rated it liked it Jan 27, Katie rated it it was amazing Jan 28, Kris rated it really liked it Feb 16, Mirry rated it really liked it Apr 13, Rebecca rated it really liked it Dec 30, Constance Berman.

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Configure custom resolver. Archaeological Theory: An Introduction. Matthew Johnson - - Blackwell. Gender and Archaeology: Contesting the Past.

Material Culture - Anthropology - Oxford Bibliographies

Roberta Gilchrist - - Routledge. Women and Cult Practices L.


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ISBN: X. Understanding the Archaeological Record. Gavin Lucas - - Cambridge University Press. Re-Constructing Archaeology: Theory and Practice. Michael Shanks - - Cambridge University Press. Christine Finn - - British Archaeological Reports.

Julian Droogan: Religion, Material Culture and Archaeology. London: Bloomsbury, 2013; pp. xi + 196.

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