Associated postdoctoral fellow Artur Ribeiro, M.A.

Associated postdoctoral fellow

Artur Ribeiro (Portugal, 1980)

M.A. in Archaeology

PhD project
Archaeology and the Historical Understanding

The current project commends the view that the social condition of past populations are best understood in a historical and narratological perspective. This is based on the philosophical principle, defended by Charles Taylor (1964, 1995) and Vincent Descombes (1986, 2001, 2014), which views the 'social' as referring explicitly to actual social actions. To wit, social actions are those that are understood by a given community and are irreducible to the objects and people involved, and irreducible to sequences of cause-effect. Thus, social actions require a specific form of understanding, since these action are performed within institutions of meaning (Descombes 2014).

Institutions of meaning (banks, parties, hand-shakes, rock-art, feasting) are external to the human being which means they cannot be reduced to intrinsic properties of humans, e.g. mind, agency, etc., they can only be understood by reconstructing the history of an institution. A situation in which a person wants to go to the bank to deposit money, is only understandable if one knows how banks and the modern economy operates, and this in turn requires knowing the history of how banking institutions developed through time.

With this philosophical premise in mind, the project elaborates on how an archaeology predicated on institutions of meaning can be advanced. Here, it will be argued that Ian Hodder's archaeology of the long-term (1987) and John Bintliff's Annales Approach (1991) can be supplemented with an archaeology of the short-term (Ribeiro, forthcoming).

Finally, two case-studies will be presented to illustrate these ideas in practice. The first case-study focuses on how magic needs to be seen not as a manifestation of an underlying power or belief (Mauss 1972) but as an institution that developed historically. The second case-study will focus on my own work in Bronze Age sites in Southern Portugal, and how a careful analysis of spatial distribution and stratigraphic analysis allows the reconstruction of actual past actions, and how a short history of a site can be produced.

Research interests Protohistory, Roman archaeology, theoretical archaeology.

Since February 2013
Member of the Graduate School "Human Development in Landscapes" at Kiel University.

November 2012
Masters of Arts in Archaeology from University College London. Thesis: The Bronze Age pits of Southern Alentejo. Supervisor: Prof. Dr. Sue Hamilton.

September 2005
Degree in Archaeology and History from the University of Lisbon.

Work experience

May 2008 – September 2011
Employed as an archaeologist by Era-Arqueologia to work on 38 archaeological sites and as a site director on 11 archaeological sites, in the Algarve, Alentejo, Trás-os Montes, and Lisbon regions.

September 2008 – January 2009
Employed as an archaeologist by Palimpsesto Arqueologia services to work on one archaeological site and as a site director on one archaeological site in the Alentejo region.

February 2008 – April 2008
Employed as an archaeologist by Archaeological Development services to work on one archaeological site in Northern Ireland.

August 2007 – February 2008
Employed as an archaeologist by Headland Archaeology to work on three archaeological sites.

April 2007 – August 2007
Employed as an archaeologist by Archaeological Consultancy Services to work on two archaeological sites.

January 2007 – April 2007
Employed as an archaeologist by Irish Archaeological Consultancy to work on 3 archaeological sites.

July 2003 – December 2006
Employed as an archaeologist by Era-Arqueologia to work on 16 archaeological sites and as a site director on 4 archaeological sites, in the Algarve, Alentejo, and Lisbon regions.

September 2006
Employed as a Site Director by Omniknos Arqueologia to work on one archaeological site in the Beira Alta region.

Selected publications

Forthcoming (2016)
Against object agency: a counter-reaction to Sørensen's "Hammers and Nails". Archaeological Dialogues, 23(2), (accepted, in press).

* Death of the Passive Subject: Intentional Action and Narrative Explanations in Archaeological Studies. In Arponen, V. P. J. and Ribeiro, A. (eds.) Philosophy, Archaeology, and the Enlightenment Heritage. History of Human Science. Special issue (accepted, in press).

* Archaeology will be just fine. Archaeological Dialogues. Special issue (accepted, in press).

* Microhistory and Archaeology: Some Comments and Contributions. Papers of the Institute of Archaeology (in review).

Ritual Landscape. In Graduate School of Human Development in Landscapes: commemorative volume (accepted, in press). With V. P. J. Arponen.

* Using the Capability Approach to Conceptualise Inequality in Archaeology: the Case of the Late Neolithic Bosnian Site Okolište c. 5200-4600 BCE. Journal of Archaeological Theory and Method. With V. P. J. Arponen, Johannes Müller,Robert Hofmann, Martin Furholt, Christian Horn, and Martin Hinz.

* Understanding Rituals: a critique of representationalism. Norwegian Archaeological Review, 47(2), 161-179. With V. P. J. Arponen.

* Bronze Age Funerary Space in Outeiro Alto 2 (Brinches, Serpa, Portugal): The Hypogea Cemetery. Zephyrus, 71, 107-129. With Victor Filipe, Ricardo Godinho, Raquel Granja, and António Valera.

As Tabellae Defixionis da Península Ibérica: Caracteristicas e Propósitos. Revista Portuguesa de Arqueologia, 9(2), 239-258.

* denotes peer-review

Mobile Menu