By Yannis Hamilakis, Philip Duke
The editors and participants to this quantity specialise in the inherent political nature of archaeology and its effect at the perform of the self-discipline. Pointing to the discipline’s heritage of advancing imperialist, colonialist, and racist goals, they insist that archaeology needs to reconsider its muted specialist stance and develop into extra openly lively brokers of switch. The self-discipline isn't approximately an summary “archaeological list” yet approximately residing members and groups, whose lives and historical past be afflicted by the abuse of strength relationships with states and their brokers. in basic terms by way of spotting this energy disparity, and adopting a political ethic for the self-discipline, can archaeology justify its actions. Chapters variety from a critique of conventional moral codes, to examinations of the capitalist motivations and constructions in the self-discipline, to demands an engaged, emancipatory archaeology that improves the lives of the folk with whom archaeologists paintings. an immediate problem to the self-discipline, this quantity will galvanize dialogue, confrontation, and proposal for plenty of within the box.
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Additional resources for Archaeology and Capitalism: From Ethics to Politics (One World Archaeology)
But this fundamental principle – that we deal with living animate and inanimate entities, not dead people – puts a different light on the notion of stewardship of the record, and brings us much closer to the ethical position of anthropologists and others who have long accepted this principle. A look at a recent event will help put these ideas into perspective. I refer to the archaeological reactions to the looting of the Baghdad museum and the looting and destruction of archaeological sites following the 2003 US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq.
If race and gender were the key issues a few decades ago, today class (despite the changes in the industrial structures in the developed world) is emerging yet again as key (cf Duke and Saitta 1998), often in close articulation with race, ethnicity or gender; as noted earlier, it is these intersections and articulations that we need to examine urgently today, rather than continuing to treat specific identity quests in isolation and identify politics as a fragmented field (cf Conkey 2005). Archaeologists may also wish to consider their ethical and political response to the militarisation of society everywhere, whether it is the bombing of non-western countries or the panoptic surveillance and the imposition of draconian anti-democratic ‘terrorism’ laws ‘at home’.
AGENDAS OF THE POLITICAL ETHIC: EPILOGUE In this chapter, I have argued that the debate on ethics in archaeology should adopt an explicitly political approach, what I call the political ethic. It is an approach that not only acknowledges the power dynamics, asymmetries and inequalities both within archaeology and in the broader world, but also takes a political stance in today’s battlegrounds and conflicts. It is an approach that is in tune with current theoretical discussion; it recognises that what we call archaeology is only the modernist, western official archaeology, and that a range of alternative archaeologies exist both within and especially outside western modernity.
Archaeology and Capitalism: From Ethics to Politics (One World Archaeology) by Yannis Hamilakis, Philip Duke