Download e-book for iPad: Archaeology as Political Action by Randall H. McGuire

By Randall H. McGuire

ISBN-10: 0520254910

ISBN-13: 9780520254916

This ebook develops a idea and framework to explain how archaeology can give a contribution to a extra humane global. spotting that archaeology is an inherently political task, Randall H. McGuire builds at the heritage of archaeological conception and Marxist dialectical idea to show how archaeologists can use their craft to guage interpretations of the genuine global, build significant histories for groups, and problem the chronic legacies of colonialism and sophistication fight. McGuire bases his dialogue on his personal broad fieldwork within the usa and Mexico, mentioning attention-grabbing case stories to strengthen the assumption of archaeology as a class-based undertaking.

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All of this unrest resulted in the British courts awarding damages of twenty-three thousand (pounds) to twenty-four travelers in 1991 for assault and damage to their vehicles during the Battle of the Bean Field (Bender 1998:115). In 1994, the Tory government passed a criminal justice act that greatly restricted travelers’ mobility and rights. In 2001, British Heritage reopened Stonehenge for solstice visitation under heavily controlled conditions. In the battle over Stonehenge, which focused on who has rights to the past, British Heritage defeated the travelers’ claim to Stonehenge as a site of counterheritage (Bender 1998).

Politics 13 obviously an economic struggle, but it is also a struggle about heritage and identity. The state wishes to project a pleasing image of México and of the Maya to tourists so that these visitors will return and recommend their experience to others. The Mayan Indians contest this expropriation of their culture, heritage, and identity by invading the park. The local Maya and the state are, however, not the only groups claiming the heritage of Chichén Itzá. The setting sun on the days of the vernal and autumnal equinoxes projects a shadow on the main pyramid that looks like a serpent.

In both these cases, Mayan Indians contested the expropriation of their culture, heritage, and identity by reclaiming that heritage to try to advance their contemporary interests Cultural heritage has been the focus of similar but even more violent political confrontations in Egypt (Meskell 2003, 2005). Western scholars in Egypt have a long history of seeing the Egyptian people as divorced from their pharaonic past and as active impediments to archaeological research (Meskell 2003). Since the eighteenth century, Egyptian villagers have confronted archaeologists as foreign intruders who have treated them as beasts of labor.

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Archaeology as Political Action by Randall H. McGuire

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