OIS 10. Household Studies in Complex Societies: (Micro) Archaeological and Textual Approaches

Edited by Miriam Müller

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Household Archaeology in Complex Societies coverThe volume is the result of the ninth annual University of Chicago Oriental Institute Postdoc Seminar, held on March 16-17, 2013. Twenty scholars specialized in the Old and New World from all over Europe and the U.S. came together to find new approaches in the study of households in complex societies. The papers in this volume present case studies from the Near East, Egypt and Nubia, the Classical World, and Mesoamerica, including three comparative responses from the perspective of the different disciplines. By combining the archaeology record, scientific data, and written documents, the papers examine and contextualize different approaches and techniques in uncovering household behavior from the material record and discuss their suitability for the respective region and site. Building on the methodological groundwork laid out in a number of recent publications on household archaeology, the volume contributes to the methodological and theoretical discussion, expands on the topics of society, identity, and ethnicity in household studies, and opens up new avenues of research such as the perception of space in this innovative field. At the same time the papers reveal problems and disparities with which household archaeology is still struggling. It is hoped that the variety of case studies presented in this volume will further inspire the interested reader to establish new research agendas and excavation strategies that contribute to the development of the field in the various regions covered in the different papers and beyond.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Household Studies in Complex Societies: (Micro) Archaeological and Textual Approaches. Miriam Müller
PART I: Method and Theory
1. Investigating Traces of Everyday Life in Ancient Households: Some Methodological Considerations. Lynn Rainville
2. Activity-area Analysis: A Comprehensive Theoretical Model. Peter Pfälzner
3. How to Reconstruct Daily Life in a Near Eastern Settlement: Possibilities and Constraints of a Combined Archaeological, Historical,
and Scientific Approach. Adelheid Otto
4. Ancient Egyptian Houses and Households: Architecture, Artifacts, Conceptualization, and Interpretation. Kate Spence
5. Artifact Assemblages in Classical Greek Domestic Contexts: Toward a New Approach. Lisa C. Nevett

PART II: Perception of Space
6. Interaction between Texts and Social Space in Mesopotamian Houses: A Movement and Sensory Approach. Paolo Brusasco
7. Clean and Unclean Space: Domestic Waste Management at Elephantine. Felix Arnold
8. Creating a Neighborhood within a Changing Town: Household and Other Agencies at Amara West in Nubia. Neal Spencer
9. Crucial Contexts: A Closer Reading of the Household of the Casa del Menandro at Pompeii. Jens-Arne Dickmann

PART III: Identity and Ethnicity
10. Private House or Temple? Decoding Patterns of the Old Babylonian Architecture. Peter A. Miglus
11. Hybrid Households: Institutional Affiliations and Household Identity in the Town of Wah-sut (South Abydos). Nicholas Picardo
12. Living in Households, Constructing Identities: Ethnicity, Boundaries, and Empire in Iron Ii Tell en-Nasbeh. Aaron J. Brody
13. Micro-archaeological Perspectives on the Philistine Household throughout the Iron Age and Their Implications. Aren M. Maeir

PART IV: Society
14. Property Title, Domestic Architecture, and Household Lifecycles in Egypt. Brian P. Muhs
15. Late Middle Kingdom Society in a Neighborhood of Tell el-Dabʿa/Avaris. Miriam Müller
16. Family Structure, Household Cycle, and the Social Use of Domestic Space in Urban Babylonia. Heather D. Baker
17. Reconstructing Houses and Archives in Early Islamic Jēme. Tasha Vorderstrasse

PART V: Responses
18. Social Conditions in the Ancient Near East: Houses and Households in Perspective. Elizabeth C. Stone
19. Multifunctionality and Hybrid Households: The Case of Ancient Egypt. Nadine Moeller
20. A Mesoamerican Perspective on Old World Household Studies in Complex Societies. Cynthia Robin

  • Oriental Institute Seminars 10
  • Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 2015
  • ISBN 978-1-61491-023-7
  • Pp. xlii + 470; 208 illustrations
  • $25.95