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Elements of Being: Mentalities, Identities and Movements

Daniela Hofmann, Jessica Mills and Andrew Cochrane


This volume is the product of a Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) conference session (held at Lampeter, Wales, in December 2003) entitled Mentalités and Identities in Motion. Included here are all the papers held there, and more besides. The session centred on the role of past ways of thinking, feeling and acting in social transformation, and exploring past worldviews as (instead of being relegated to the ‘fictional’ or anecdotal) an integral part of every aspect of human life, not just explicit contexts of power struggles and domination, but also approachable from the material evidence. The contributions are widely spread across space and time, ranging from Northern Ireland to Sicily, from France to Bulgaria and covering almost every period from the Mesolithic to the Thirty Years’ War. On top of this, they are also very different in methodology, in the ways they have interpreted the session title and approached their evidence. Before rushing headlong into this kaleidoscopic mix, then, it is worth briefly explaining the rationale behind the session title and the selection and arrangement of papers.