I have a lengthy article (16,500 words) that I submitted to an anthology several years ago. I highly doubt that this anthology ever will emerge so I have decided to expand the article, reincorporate 4,500 words of “killed darlings” and add a greater empirical section of the text that will discuss various features from the Cochuah region. This will therefore result in a short book instead. I may also adapt the theoretical frame to better suit my current object-oriented perspective as the text mainly is based on DeLanda’s assemblage theory. So here is the tentative title and summary of this book:
Archaeology without culture: Assembling the Maya Lowlands
Archaeological cultures, such as the Maya culture, rely on tree-like or arborescent models where objects are ordered by essential, hierarchical, and transcendent principles. The overarching culture determines and signifies the identity and capacities of every single object. Other approaches that emphasize structuration between agent and society rely on similar arborescent models where emergence is reduced to the human agent acting in a seamless whole. Instead, an approach where the human agent becomes only one of several interacting components that form concrete assemblages of various scales is proposed. Deleuze’s ontology and DeLanda’s assemblage theory are used to outline a multi-scalar perspective that bridges the human and the non-human, heterogeneity and homogeneity, structure and agent. Objects are not defined by subordinate relations to humans or culture but by their capacities to exercise their properties in various assemblages in the Cochuah region of the Northern Maya Lowlands in Mexico.