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Though autobiography was first named as such in 1797, and defined in the modern sense by Robert Southey in 1809 (OED), its history goes back to antiquity. The two principal models of “self-writing” handed down to the Romantics by the eighteenth century were Rousseau’s Confessions (1782) and Sterne’s Tristram Shandy (1759–67). Rousseau’s model of autobiography sets “before my fellows the likeness of a man in all the truth of nature,” that man being the author, who shows himself “as [he] was,” “unveil[ing his] innermost self” and revealing “the secrets of [his] heart” – “mean and contemptible, good, high-minded and sublime” as these might be. The Shandyean model of autobiography, offered through the novel’s eponymous fictional autobiographer, explores and reflects on the complexities thrown up by any attempt to form, narrativize or communicate a coherent self and its history; with “fifty things to let you know,” a “hundred difficulties” to “clear up,” a “thousand distresses and domestic adventures crowding in,” “thick and threefold, one upon the neck of the other,” the “sport of small accidents, Tristram Shandy” repeatedly finds “I am lost myself.” Revealing the intimacies of the self and/or reflecting on selfhood per se (though not generally in Sterne’s humorous mode) were to become key tropes of Romantic autobiography from Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria (1817) to de Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium Eater (1821), William Hazlitt’s Liber Amoris (1823) and Wordsworth’s 1850 Prelude.
Chapter 5 discusses how the study of ancient genetics has contributed specifically to our understanding economic issues through the sequencing of human, plant and animal DNA. It discusses the next generation sequencing and whole genome revolutions, the study of domestication events, migration and health, as well as some of the precautions needed to avoid pitfalls encountered in some earlier studies.
Chapter 2 addresses the divisive issue of ‘environmental determinism’ and provides a critical consideration of models and approaches such as site catchment analysis, behavioural ecology, carrying capacity and niche construction theory. It considers when determinism is and is not valid and how to use models as an effective framework in both economic and cultural contexts.
Chapter 7 is an integrated case study showing how the full range of established and novel techniques have been integrated to understand the early farming economies of Central Europe, with particular focus on the LBK culture. This case study shows how such approaches are invaluable in understanding not only diet and subsistence, but also social issues of identity and inheritance.
Chapter 1 considers the origins and development of economic approaches to archaeology paying particular attention to the Cambridge ‘palaeoeconomy’ school of the 1960s and 70s. It draws out the key achievements and legacies of that time as well addressing post-processual criticism.
Chapter 4 is about the organic residue analysis, both of lipids and proteins, concentrating particularly on the identification of foods and other substances absorbed into pottery vessels, but also considers dental calculus. The chapter considers the middle range theory behind reaching conclusions regarding diet from the reconstructing the past contents of a particular class of material culture.
Chapter 8 presents another integrated case study addressing the origins of domestic horses and pastoralism in Central Asia, focussing on modern day Kazakhstan during the Eneolithic and Bronze Age. As well as discussing issues of animal domestication it also considers questions of mobility and aspects of social zooarchaeology amongst pastoralists.
Chapter 9 concludes by revisiting the key ideas of the palaeoeconomy school to evaluate their continued relevance and also discusses how to strike the best balance in theoretical approach between economic, environmental, social and cultural factors. The volume ends with a discussion of up and coming challenges and opportunities in the field.
Chapter 6 deals with how the microscopic study of phytoliths starch grains has revolutionised our understanding of archaeobotany in (sub)tropical regions as well has how these techniques might add further to research in other environments.
Chapter 3 deals with the stable isotope revolution and considers how isotopic approaches can best be integrated with more established forms of zooarchaeological and archaeobotanical evidence. This chapter also considers latest developments in this field and how they might further revolutionise our understanding.
It has frequently been observed that the techniques that Purcell employed in his trio sonatas found a new outlet in his orchestral symphonies and overtures of the 1690s. Giovanni Battista Draghi’s 1687 Cecilian ode had shown how a large-scale work could begin with an Italianate orchestral sinfonia rather than the more conventional English take on the French overture, and in their odes and theatre music of the 1690s Purcell and Blow embraced this feature with enthusiasm. What is not often acknowledged is that, Draghi’s example aside, Purcell was effectively forced to invent this genre for himself, adapting the chamber sonata to the larger orchestral resources available at performances of court odes and in the theatre.