By Cynthia Robin

“Interesting, powerful, and well timed. Everyday existence Matters is obviously and sharply written, and through focusing on the archaeology of daily life as an rising box explicitly, it identifies and fills a true void within the field.”—John Robb, writer of The Early Mediterranean Village


“An absolute must-read. Robin’s thorough figuring out of commoners and the way they sometimes interacted with elites presents an outstanding origin for social reconstruction.”—Payson Sheets, coeditor of Surviving surprising Environmental Change


While the examine of old civilizations in most cases makes a speciality of temples and royal tombs,  a considerable a part of the archaeological checklist continues to be hidden within the understudied daily lives of artisans, farmers, hunters, and different usual humans of the traditional global. quite a few chores accomplished in the course of the process a person’s lifestyle, even though firstly look trivial, have a robust influence on society as a complete. Everyday existence Matters develops common equipment and theories for learning the functions of way of life in archaeology, anthropology, and a variety of similar disciplines.

Examining the two-thousand-year background (800 B.C.–A.D. 1200) of the traditional farming group of Chan in Belize, Cynthia Robin’s ground-breaking paintings explains why the typical individual may still topic to archaeologists learning greater societal styles. Robin argues that the impression of the mundane will be massive, lots in order that the learn of a polity with no regard to its citizenry is incomplete. Refocusing awareness clear of the Maya elite and providing serious research of way of life elucidated via anthropological concept, Robin engages us to think about the bigger implications of the general and to reconsider the structure of human societies via usual humans residing regimen lives.


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Additional resources for Everyday Life Matters: Maya Farmers at Chan

Sample text

From this high-up perspective the voyeur can see the whole of the city as a city planner, institution, government, or leader might see. But what the voyeur misses from this perch is the myriad goings-on and differences in everyday life on the street. This perspective, while allowing a total view of the city, puts the voyeur at a distance from and masks its actual operation. Walkers, in contrast, form the chorus of footsteps that give life and meaning to the concept of the city. While the spatial order constructed by planners, leaders, or institutions organizes what is possible, the walker actualizes some of these and also invents others.

There is a constant interplay between theoretical issues that develop from empirical studies and empirical problems that relate to theoretical arguments. This plays out across the book as chapter 4 interjects empirical evidence into the more broadly theoretical first part of the book and chapter 7 interjects theoretical issues into the more broadly empirical second part of the book. The interrelatedness of theoretical and empirical work is a central aspect of an everyday life approach. An academic understanding of people cannot be found at the abstract level but must be located in the practice of studying people’s everyday lives.

Aragon 1926; Braudel 1972; Breton 1924, 1928; Freud 1914; Goffman 1959). Lefebvre’s work on everyday life takes thinking in a new direction focusing on the critical power of everyday life. For Lefebvre, everyday life is not an impoverished domain of life from which humans must escape to reach higher levels of critical thinking. Everyday life is the means and medium through which people live higher and ordinary lives. , Aragon 1926; Breton 1924, 1928). In the mid-1920s, Lefebvre met with other writers and artists at the “Bureau of Surrealist Research” (15 Rue de Grenelle, Paris), and he had a lifelong, albeit at times lukewarm, engagement with surrealism (Gardiner 2000: 72–73).

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