M. Parker Pearson's research while affiliated with The University of Sheffield and other places

Publications (3)

Article
We have identified a structuring principle of hardening in the passage from life to ancestorhood which can be found in contemporary Madagascar, Neolithic and Bronze Age Britain and, for that matter, contemporary Britain. The use of analogy that we have preferred is not the formal ethnographic parallel, nor is it crosscultural generalization, but a...
Article
It is the best of times and it is the worst of times. On one hand, there are more resources and people involved in archaeology than ever before; there is considerable public and media interest in the subject; and there have been exciting developments in archaeologists’ uses of social theory. On the other, competition is intense for locally scarce f...
Article
ANTIQUITY has had a long tradition of publishing pieces on Stonehenge, represented in our cover design. Here we present an intriguing and thought-provoking paper, which draws an analogy with Madagascar to help explain the meaning of the enigmatic monument.

Citations

... Second, using code to 'stand for' or represent the research process will likely increase our awareness of how archaeology itself 'stands for' the human experience in the past, and how it is a representation of the past (cf. Pearson 1998). Third, the code has to be successfully executed to generate a useful result, just as claims about the past have to be successfully engaged with archaeological evidence to count as plausible. ...
... This contrasts with their use in the formal mode, in which the analogy is used simply as a means of raising new questions or clarifying some concepts (cf. Parker Pearson and Ramilisonina, 1998b). 1 In the latter case, any credibility claimed for a hypothesis must come solely from its capacity to fit the evidence collected about the target system -just as the myriad of alternative hypotheses that may fit the evidence equally well. On the contrary, when an analogy is used in the material mode, the study of the source domain serves not merely to generate or illustrate a given hypothesis, but also as a defeasible basis for supporting an inference to an unobserved feature of the target civilization. ...
... As archaeologists, usually engaged in describing and interpreting ancient archaeological sites, we wanted to first explore this pseudo ancient site through an archaeological lens. We know from archaeological studies of ancient stone circles and megalithic monuments that sites such as Stonehenge have been interpreted as places for commemoration, seasonal gatherings and ritual (Parker Pearson 2013;Parker Pearson and Ramilisonina 1998) traditions that persist in some form or another today. Stonehenge draws people annually to observe the midsummer and midwinter sunrises to marvel at the solar alignment of the monument and experience a sense of connection with the ancestors. ...