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Outsiders and Strangers. An Archaeology of Liminality in West Africa . By Anne Haour . Oxford University Press, Oxford 2013, xii + 206 pp. ISBN 9780199697748. £ 53.00 (Hardcover).

Outsiders and Strangers. An Archaeology of Liminality in West Africa . By Anne Haour . Oxford... Earlier efforts to grapple with the problem of how groups and individuals can be recognized in archeological contexts have been concerned with trying to determine how particular sets of material features might be correlated with particular identities. In this book Anne Haour proposes an additional strategy of recognition focusing on people who occupied the margins of society, i.e. those who were excluded, or who excluded themselves. Acknowledging that the notion of the outsider is ambiguous, `both socially and in scholarly terms', Haour commences her study with the argument that `this very ambiguity, resulting from the outsider's position betwixt and between society, offers an insight into identity'. Her stated goal is to develop a theoretical methodology for wide ranging comparisons, using `the notion' of strangers as a common denominator (p. 2), so she courageously embarks on a determined survey of a large collection of secondary sources. Dense with theme and theory as the resulting volume is, the author confronts what was clearly a formidable organizational challenge by including supplementary introductions and summaries in each section, and a final chapter for overall conclusions. Wide-ranging themes explored include archaeological and anthropological studies of styles and technology, concepts of liminality among various http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of African Archaeology Brill

Outsiders and Strangers. An Archaeology of Liminality in West Africa . By Anne Haour . Oxford University Press, Oxford 2013, xii + 206 pp. ISBN 9780199697748. £ 53.00 (Hardcover).

Journal of African Archaeology , Volume 12 (2): 241 – Nov 1, 2014

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2014 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1612-1651
eISSN
2191-5784
DOI
10.3213/2191-5784-10259
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Earlier efforts to grapple with the problem of how groups and individuals can be recognized in archeological contexts have been concerned with trying to determine how particular sets of material features might be correlated with particular identities. In this book Anne Haour proposes an additional strategy of recognition focusing on people who occupied the margins of society, i.e. those who were excluded, or who excluded themselves. Acknowledging that the notion of the outsider is ambiguous, `both socially and in scholarly terms', Haour commences her study with the argument that `this very ambiguity, resulting from the outsider's position betwixt and between society, offers an insight into identity'. Her stated goal is to develop a theoretical methodology for wide ranging comparisons, using `the notion' of strangers as a common denominator (p. 2), so she courageously embarks on a determined survey of a large collection of secondary sources. Dense with theme and theory as the resulting volume is, the author confronts what was clearly a formidable organizational challenge by including supplementary introductions and summaries in each section, and a final chapter for overall conclusions. Wide-ranging themes explored include archaeological and anthropological studies of styles and technology, concepts of liminality among various

Journal

Journal of African ArchaeologyBrill

Published: Nov 1, 2014

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