Sie sind auf Seite 1von 9

Annales

The basic aim of any archaeologist is to understand time, space and change. Binford came up with the concept of Archaeology as Anthropology in 1962, which is called as New Archaeology or processual archaeology. The processualist approach emphasized model building, theory formulation and hypothesis testing to establish general laws of human behavior focusing on system theory and cultural process rather than cultural history. North America started treating anthropology as sister discipline of Archaeology. Against this view the western countries think History as a sister discipline of Archaeology. This difference of orientation is due to the fact that in western countries the history plays a dominant role in form of classical archaeology and post-roman archaeology. The vast amount of literature is part of archaeological work for the interpretation and process understanding. This focus on Historic documents lead to the development of various traditional and culture- historical approaches in western countries.

Traditional historian approach can be traced back to 19th century German scholar Ranke. His main aim was to describe history as really it was. The main task of late 19th century historians was to collect information and put it in sequence. This approach can be called as empiricist and inductive approach towards the history. Due to which the history became narrative of political events. This traditional political history approach still continues in most of the countries but during 20th century this view was widened in various directions. One example of widening of approach is Annales School of French Historians. The name of this approach is based on the journal which this group published entitled Annales: Economics, Societies, Civilisations. The most important figures of Annales School are Marc Bloch, Fernand Braudel, Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie and Jacques Le Goff.

The original Annales approach is defined by Stoianovitch as the attempt by French scholars to adapt economic, linguistic, sociological, geographic, anthropological, psychological, and natural-science notions to the study of history and to infuse an historical orientation into the social and human sciences. This meant that Annales school historians turned away from treating history as a chronology of political events, and instead used a much wider, multidisciplinary approach to explain social change over extended periods of time.

Annales School broadened the interest in the history. They advocated a change in the approach to look towards the history. Instead of looking at Political events they included all aspects of human past or societies. They not only focused on the history of elites but also economy, society and cognition.

By adopting different approach towards history they made historical research anthropological and processual. They were more interested in understanding the process behind the event rather than the political events. Another important feature of the Annales historians is the interest in the nature of time. The traditional historians time definition was connected with the battle, birth, death etc. the time is described as events. In contrast to this approach Annales looked at long-term processes which are important to explain the reasons of events such as economic, environmental and demographic trends and cycles. Annales school tried to produce human science by interweaving historical and social-science approaches to the past. The school mostly emphasized holistic rather than segmentalized thought, economy and society rather than politics, log-term patterns rather than shortterm vents, global man rather than fractional man.

The first important example of the Annaliste approach in history also known as structural history or total history was Ferdinand Braudels study of the Mediterranean region in the 16th century AD, published in 1949, which was divided into three sections, each corresponding to a kind of temporal wave-length (1)analysis of the interaction between physical geography and cultural change during what he described as the longue dure (the long term, i.e. very long periods of time such as centuries and perhaps even millennia) (2) the study of the forces (or conjonctures) which affect culture and society in the moyenne dure (medium term, i.e. decades or generations) (3) the study of the world of the venements (events) or incidents within the lifetimes of individuals, i.e. traditional narrative-style political history.

According to Fernand Braudel history is based on three factors That of events Medium term cycles such as economic boom and bust The very long term, such as climatic changes, physical geography etc. According to Braudel the long term level is the most important ones as compared to other two levels but some of the Annales are of the opinion that all three levels are interconnected and all the three are important. Henry Glassies research on vernacular architecture and folk objects stressed long-term cultural continuities in the face of radical social change. Such research stressed the importance of everyday material life as a mechanism to understand broad social collectives.

Braudel tried to emphasis on environmental factor to understand the processes the others gave more importance to the mind of people. Some of the Annales stated that not only climate and physical geography is part of long term level but the public mentality is also one of the important factors. The best example of this work is of Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie on the peasant communities of southern France in which he used quantitative evidence based on nutrition of peasants and daily wages and how it is interrelated with environmental factors. Based on this he tried to understand the population growth and stagnancy. In another book Montaillou he reconstructed peasant mentalities in literature. The Annales approach offers an explanatory mechanism for integrating causative factors operating at different temporal scales, including the long-term ecological scale. The Annaliste perspective provides a more nuanced approach to the environments impact, distinguishing between the conditions of the natural environment and human perception of those conditions. It has proved particularly useful in regional studies and in interpreting survey data, by providing greater temporal control of spatial variables.

This approach is best known for its emphasis upon multiple temporal scales defined by short-term events or sociopolitical time, medium-term cycles or socioeconomic time, and long-term trajectories or environmental time. The Annales school set out by Braudel complements the processual archaeology later championed by Lewis Binford and Colin Renfrew, in that both are concerned with analysis of long-term, anonymous processes of change as opposed to the more particularistic aspects of traditional political history. The Annales style of archaeological analysis and interpretation can be very effective precisely because it combines complementary aspects of both processual and post-processual approaches.