Approaching the archaeology of value: a view from the modern world

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Abstract

The abundance of goods in the modern world has a tendency to prejudice interpretation of their value, but the way people value their goods is complex, relative and changeable — scarcity is just one factor. There is a long history of value theorization across the social sciences, but archaeological considerations of value remain uncommon and focused on prestige goods. In this paper, I review alternative conceptions of value through the lens of the modern world, with an example of Spode creamware used by a governor in the early decades of colonial Sydney. I argue that the process of devaluation, through discard and waste, offers a unique archaeological understanding of the shifting values people of the modern world placed on commodities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalPost-Medieval Archaeology
Volume53
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2019. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

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