As it appears in diverse guises – and notably as a founding narrative – the past is at the core of every functioning human society. The idea that the past can be known through scientific research has long been a fundamental challenge for western societies and for European researchers, from all disciplines concerned. Through more than four decades of outward-looking archaeological practice, the scholar, teacher and intellectual Jean-Paul Demoule has elaborated a truly global approach to European cultures and their transformations, spanning from the social inequality in Neolithic times to Indo European research to contemporary links between heritage and politics. His colleagues – British, Bulgarians, Czechs, Danes, Dutch, French, Germans, North-Americans, Spaniards, Swiss and Russians – seek to extend and enrich his vision. With contributions (written in French and in English) spanning from prehistory to the modern world, they bring in this volume new insights and data to such issues as the processes of identity construction at different scales, migratory movements in Europe, the status of gender, the role of prestige objects and megalithic monuments in the emergence of social hierarchy and in the semiology of power… without forgetting the myths and realities surrounding the Indo-European phenomenon.
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