Re: Nancy Bowles' remarks--gender and archaeology

Nancy Bowles (nrb6@COLUMBIA.EDU)
Thu, 21 Apr 1994 00:16:31 -0400

On Wed, 20 Apr 1994, Alex Barker wrote:

> but human feces are
> a fairly reliable indicator of what at least someone ate in some set of
> circumstances.

But who cares what people ate? What we care about is reconstructing
cultural history, right? Not the history of a cultural material. Isn't
this NEW archaeology's whole critique? Trying to get away from shit for
shit sake? I want to know how what people ate tells us something about
their culture without the use of theoretical "leaps." I believe that we can
only do this through analogy which requires theoretical leaps of the same
magnitude regardless to whether you are trying to understand
subsistence or gender.

btw re: your comment about how my arguement:

> stands reality on its head.

I guess I assume that this is my job, because as anthropolgists we know
that "reality" is a social construct, right?

------ nancy bowles----