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Crafting History: How the World Is Made. The Case of Islamic Archaeology

  • José Cristobal Carvajal López
Chapter

Abstract

In this paper an archaeological and theoretical perspective that builds a relationship between the concepts of craft and of identity is presented. Both of them are concepts very widely used in archaeological and anthropological theory nowadays, and they have often been linked in field studies. However, these concepts are usually contemplated from very different points of view and with many diverse implications in each case. One of the aims of this paper is to show that craft and identity can be inserted in a common theoretical framework which in turn can be used to understand cultural change or, in other words, history within culture. The paper will start with a necessary theoretical introduction to different concepts related to craft and identity, and then a discussion on how to link these different concepts will follow. In the last part of the paper, this theoretical perspective will be applied to a field which is familiar to the author, that of Islamic archaeology. A case example of the author’s research in the Vega of Granada (southeast Spain) will be brought to the fore. This part of the paper will show how the theoretical discussion developed above can contribute to solve one of the core questions of this field, that of the definition of an Islamic culture and its application to understand the daily life of people living within it.

Keywords

Craft Archaeological theory Cultural change Islamic archaeology Islamization 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The writing of this chapter has been made possible by the NPRP Grant 7-551-6-018 from the Qatar National Research Fund. The statements made herein are solely the responsibility of the author.

The author wishes to acknowledge the contributions and suggestions of the editors of this book and of Dr. Jessie Slater. Their advices have been sound, and they have helped him to address flaws and unclear elements of this paper. Responsibility for all mistakes and opinions remains solely the author’s, of course.

Dr. Roger Doonan suggested to the author the conceptual idea of human being vs. human doing in a pub conversation, and afterwards the author heard the starting quote of the text in the famous song of Scatman John. Once again, these phrases and concepts have been used in this text under the exclusive responsibility of the author.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • José Cristobal Carvajal López
    • 1
  1. 1.Archaeology and Ancient HistoryUniversity of Leicester, University RoadLeicesterUK

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