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6 - Ian Hodder and the Neolithic

from PART I - PREHISTORIC RELIGIONS

Lisbeth Bredholt Christensen
Affiliation:
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
David A. Warburton
Affiliation:
American University
Lisbeth Bredholt Christensen
Affiliation:
University of Freiburg, Germany
Olav Hammer
Affiliation:
University of Southern Denmark
David A. Warburton
Affiliation:
Aarhus University, Denmark
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Summary

HODDER'S PLACE IN ARCHAEOLOGY

Ian Hodder is an important archaeological voice on the cognitive thought processes of Neolithic humans, processes that can be compared to religious thought – or at least as contributing to its formation. Hodder himself has refused requests to write contributions on the specific subject of religion for more than a decade (including for this volume), and has until recently never taken a clear stand on religion as such. However, more recently (2010), a volume appeared with religion as the focus. In this section we try to identify what we consider to be the relevant aspects of his thought from previously published sources but have also added in some bits on Hodder (2010a).

Hodder studied at the Institute of Archaeology in London before going to Cambridge where he completed his studies and taught, eventually ending up in Stanford where he is now Professor. Since 1993 he has directed the resumed archaeological excavations at Çatal Höyük (an Anatolian village in the eighth–sixth millennia BCE), begun by James Mellaart in the 1960s. The finds from Çatal Höyük were neglected in the era when archaeology was dominated by approaches stressing “systems” and “functionality” whereas Mellaart had declared at the time that the discoveries were clearly incompatible with that paradigm. It was only later – with the support and influence of Hodder – that broader interpretations became acceptable.

Hodder's original base was the European Neolithic.

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Publisher: Acumen Publishing
Print publication year: 2013

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