The Recovery of Meaning: Historical Archaeology in the Eastern United States, by Mark P. Leone and Parker B. Potter, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. 1992
Susanne M. Spencer-Wood
This volume contains some interesting chapters, including an introduction that presents useful critiques of the functionalist, symbolic and structural approaches. The introduction raises some important issues, particularly the political uses of historical archaeology, while acknowledging this issue is seldom addressed in the volume. For the unknowledgeable reader who assumes that the introduction provides an overview of an apparently comprehensive volume, this first chapter is very partial and at times misleading. For instance, the introductory overview of theoretical approaches in the volume appears complete and objective, but does not include the Marxian theoretical approaches that are either explicit or implicit in 9 of the 14 chapters (Brenner, Orser, Paynter, McGuire, Leone and Potter, Leone, Little Palkovich, Anderson and Moore). The dominant ideology thesis used in many of these chapters, and the critique of this approach, are not discussed, except by McGuire. The introduction doesn't state that most of the chapters focus on relationships between power, class structure and ideology, which are often related to underlying economic relationships.
How to Cite:
Spencer-Wood, S.M., 1993. The Recovery of Meaning: Historical Archaeology in the Eastern United States, by Mark P. Leone and Parker B. Potter, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C. 1992. Bulletin of the History of Archaeology, 3(1), pp.27–35. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/bha.03113
01 May 1993.