Mataeriel Culture: The Archaeology of 20th Century Conflict

By John Schofield; William Gray Johnson et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

1

Introduction: matériel culture in the modern world

JOHN SCHOFIELD, WILLIAM GRAY JOHNSON AND COLLEEN M. BECK

As we contemplate this end-of-century world […] may war atlast be recognised as having lost its usefulness and deep attractiveness? War in our time has been not merely a means of resolving inter-state disputes but also a vehicle through which the embittered, the dispossessed, the naked of the earth, the hungry masses yearning to breathe free, express their anger, jealousies and pent up urge to violence. There are grounds for believing that at last, after five thousand years of recorded war making, cultural and material changes may be working to inhibit man's proclivity to take up arms.

(Keegan 1993:56)


SCOPE AND DEFINITIONS

This is a book about warfare, and arguably the first book to draw together from around the globe insights into and examples of the materiality of conflicts, wars, battles, skirmishes and civil unrest that have dominated lives and experience over the past century. It is a critical archaeology of conflict, examining what survives, why that material record is important and what mechanisms exist for retaining it in a form that can benefit this and future generations, accepting the point that we can learn a great deal about culture and the manner in which it develops from how people fight (Howard 1994:1; Carman 1997). It also examines different perceptions of warfare: cultural, social and personal. How do we feel about our troubled pasts, about a 'heritage that hurts'? How do former combatants and warriors react to a heritage they helped create? And how will the retention of objects, structures and sites of conflict contribute to a more peaceful and tolerant society? To address this, a variety of approaches and examples are presented. Some of the contributions are detached, objective, 'cold'; others are more immediate, intimate, hot and engaging. There is a place for both, we argue.

For all these reasons the volume is necessarily wide-ranging, encompassing the full spectrum of what we refer to here as matériel culture: the physical remains of human conflict - military and civil - broadly defined to embrace sites and monuments, artefacts and militaria, vehicles, vessels and craft, and human remains. It also

-1-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Mataeriel Culture: The Archaeology of 20th Century Conflict
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 328

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?