Archaeology as Political Action (California Series in Public by Randall H. McGuire

By Randall H. McGuire

This e-book develops a idea and framework to explain how archaeology can give a contribution to a extra humane international. spotting that archaeology is an inherently political job, Randall H. McGuire builds at the background of archaeological thought and Marxist dialectical idea to show how archaeologists can use their craft to judge interpretations of the genuine international, build significant histories for groups, and problem the power legacies of colonialism and sophistication fight. McGuire bases his dialogue on his personal vast fieldwork within the usa and Mexico, mentioning attention-grabbing case experiences to enhance the assumption of archaeology as a class-based recreation.

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Nationalists’ projects use archaeology to reinforce and validate mythic histories. In the struggle of nationalistic movements, archaeology may be wielded to confront inequities, but with the success of such movements nationalist archaeologies inevitably become embedded in the status quo (Thomas 2004:108–116). The ideology of the nation-state is grounded in an essentialist notion of a people (a nation) who share a common language and culture, heritage, and territory, which define the nation (Hamilakis 1996:977; Thomas 2004:109–110).

German prehistorians elaborated Gustav Kossinna’s notion that archaeological cultures equate with ethnic groups, and they turned this into a propaganda tool for German ideas of racial superiority. ” This archaeological practice did not wage war, bomb cities, or exterminate Jews, Gypsies, communists, homosexuals, and the disabled. It did, however, contribute to the legitimation of a genocidal regime. Unfortunately, we can call up many additional examples of the use of archaeology in the service of totalitarian dictatorships (Galaty and Watkinson 2004).

But, instead, How do archaeologists link science and politics in our practice? An honest, emancipatory political archaeology challenges the secret writings that hide and justify injustice. Such archaeology is truthful about its political content and confronts power and oppression. Neil Faulkner (2000) and Yvonne Marshall (2002, 2004) have proposed that intellectuals can build an honest, emancipatory scholarship with a community archaeology that is politically self-conscious and collaborative with local groups of people.

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