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Entangled: An Archaeology of the Relationships between Humans and Things Paperback – May 8 2012

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell (May 8 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470672129
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470672129
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 1.4 x 24.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 381 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #25,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Entangledmay be Ian Hodder’s most theoretically ecumenical book to date. The discussion of the various current approaches being used in archaeology, anthropology, and many other disciplines makes this an extremely valuable work . . . “Hodder has written a tremendously useful addition to the literature on the relationship of people and things that deserves close reading.”  (Current Anthropology, 1 August 2013)

“Ian Hodder has written an extremely interesting, rigorously argued and intellectually adventurous book about the nature of things. . . Readers working across the social sciences and humanities, and particularly those working at the intersection of the physical and human sciences, will find the messy openness of Hodder’s book vibrant and compelling.”  (Critical Quarterly, 2 July 2013)

“Summing Up: Recommended.  Graduate students, faculty, professionals.”  (Choice, 1 May 2013)


“The quantity and diversity of Hodder's readings are simply astonishing. His new conception of material entanglements is going to change the way archaeologists understand their field.”
- Norman Yoffee, University of Michigan

“Entangled is nothing less than a reframing of archaeological enquiry into things.  It is a fundamental, first-principles rethinking of how archaeologists should understand the world around them.”
- Matthew H. Johnson, Northwestern University

"This book is a provocative and exciting contribution to archaeological theory and beyond. Its central thesis is that entanglement is both a condition of being in the world and a process of linking entities together in networks or assemblages.  In charting a course across material, social, and evolutionary domains, it provides a novel way of bridging the Great Divide between the social and natural sciences."
- Bob Preucel, University of Pennsylvania

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hooder's book presents some interesting thoughts about things and the world that surrounds us, however his theories regarding entanglement tend to go on a tangent. As a scholar, I feel that this book is sometimes more about a personal point of view than on real ontology. Overall, this is a good book for those interested in the realm of material culture.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa63f451c) out of 5 stars 9 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa633dfa8) out of 5 stars A superb, charming, essential work for any social scientist June 30 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the best academic books I've ever read. Clear, charming, broad in scope and vision, with an amazing bibliography.

Hodder, an eminent archaeologist, presents a theory of the connections between humans and things which will become essential for any student of the social sciences. While his goal of "an archaeology of the relationships between humans and things" is to restore a respect for "thingness" outside of human networks, he presents a synthetic theory of those relationships which builds on, but avoids some notable shortcomings, of work in similar as well as widely diverse disciplines, including network theory, actor-network theory, and several flavors of contemporary evolutionary thinking.

Seriously, if you're a social scientist of any flavor, or just want to read academic work at its finest, pick this up right now. You're in for a mind-opening delight.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa607fa98) out of 5 stars Both Simple and Complex Jan. 8 2013
By William - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a student review. Hodder has a way of explaining complex ideas in the simplest of terms for students to grasp the concept. That is why I loved this book. While there isn't anything I could really disagree with, it begs the question of "what now?" Everything is entangled, and those entanglements are endless within the landscape of human activity. Knowing that, then how is this applied to the archaeological record? Another question is the apparent missing correlation between population size and degree of entanglement, which seems obvious. Overall a great book.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa607fcd8) out of 5 stars We are all entangled with our things! April 13 2013
By Rob Swigart - Published on
Format: Paperback
This theoretical book is a jargon-free and very readable account of an emerging approach to the complexity of human culture. Indeed, it contains passages of real poetry.

Entanglement is an approach to the ways humans and things are connected with and depend upon each other. A "tanglegram" shows how clay, bricks, food, wild animals, baskets, paints, weeds, storage rooms, ovens, and a myriad other "things" (including beliefs, ideologies, stories and other non-material objects) are connected through human manufacture, use, and disposal, and how they depend on one another. This is a promising approach to research, ripe for quantification and rigorous analysis, but for the lay reader the book offers a new way of thinking about the messy nature of our civilization, and offers a good explanation why we cannot go back to a simpler way of life. We are simply too entangled to back out, and have a tendency to try fixing things rather than get rid of them. Of course this just increases the entanglement.

Dr. Hodder directs a long-term archaeological project at Çatalhöyük, a UNESCO heritage site in central Turkey. Archaeology is the science (and art) of uncovering and examining the things people leave behind, and deducing from them how they lived and what they believed. Entanglement is a powerful addition to our understanding.
HASH(0xa6086798) out of 5 stars Excellent Analysis March 26 2014
By bonnie_blu - Published on
Format: Paperback
Hodder takes a complex subject and explains it in clear, easy-to-understand prose. However, I must admit that I was surprised that the concept of "thingness" and human entanglements was presented as a new concept in archeology. I thought the concepts presented here were obvious as they applied to archeology and am perplexed as to why archeologists are just now apprehending them. It just goes to show that the sciences, both social and hard, need more open lines of communication. Human society does not exist in one dimension, and neither should disciplines attempting to understand it, whether it be a past or present society.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6086e40) out of 5 stars very good book--excellent bibliography Sept. 16 2012
By CA - Published on
Format: Paperback
A very good book that shows the direction that archaeological theory has progressed since post-processual theory. The book covers very basic ideas of what I would call socio-objectivism that every archaeologist should consider when performing archaeological research. These basic ideas may easily be setting the stage for archaeological sustainability studies. Very good book with an excellent bibliography!!