New PDF release: Archaeology as Political Action (California Series in Public

By Randall H. McGuire

ISBN-10: 0520254902

ISBN-13: 9780520254909

ISBN-10: 0520254910

ISBN-13: 9780520254916

ISBN-10: 1435653793

ISBN-13: 9781435653795

This e-book develops a concept and framework to explain how archaeology can give a contribution to a extra humane international. spotting that archaeology is an inherently political task, Randall H. McGuire builds at the background of archaeological idea and Marxist dialectical concept to indicate how archaeologists can use their craft to guage interpretations of the true international, build significant histories for groups, and problem the continual legacies of colonialism and sophistication fight. McGuire bases his dialogue on his personal wide fieldwork within the usa and Mexico, mentioning attention-grabbing case reports to enhance the belief of archaeology as a class-based pastime.

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Extra info for Archaeology as Political Action (California Series in Public Anthropology)

Sample text

Positions that confront power and challenge the status quo must read secret writings aloud in order to question what they have made unalterable, given, and natural. Emancipatory praxis in archaeology seeks to recover memory and to confront the powerful with nonmythic histories of events placed firmly in time and space. Such histories reveal injustice rather than mythologizing or hiding it. The excavations of mass graves of the Spanish Civil War by Foro por la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica are one example of such efforts (Gassiot 2005).

Entire dissertations were written on the classification and description of a style of brooch. Detailed description and classification of the archaeological record can be important and useful if it is done with specific interpretive and theoretical goals. But as the critique of science in archaeology has shown, such goals necessarily imply a political content. In the absence of such goals, archaeologists risk becoming like Chattus Calvensis II in Herman Hesse’s novel The Glass Bead Game (1969:65).

Paradoxically, the significance of archaeology for political action springs from its triviality. Archaeology by and large does not directly engage in the key political struggles of the modern world. Archaeologists do not in any noteworthy way direct armies, shape economies, write laws, or imprison or free people from bondage. Nonetheless, a handful of archaeologists have become individuals of significant political importance. In 1917, the British government appointed the archaeologist Gertrude Bell as Oriental secretary to the British High Commission in Iraq.

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

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