By Yannis Hamilakis, Philip Duke

The editors and individuals to this quantity concentrate on 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 expert stance and develop into extra brazenly energetic brokers of switch. The self-discipline isn't approximately an summary “archaeological list” yet approximately dwelling members and groups, whose lives and history be afflicted by the abuse of strength relationships with states and their brokers. basically 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 instantaneous problem to the self-discipline, this quantity will galvanize dialogue, confrontation, and suggestion for plenty of within the box.

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Extra info for Archaeology and Capitalism: From Ethics to Politics (One World Archaeology)

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The subsequent debate that this scrutiny has engendered will continue to evolve, as contemporary mores change and as new academic, social and political factors take stage. And it will remain incumbent upon archaeologists to engage in a constant and continuing interrogation of the assumptions that underlie how best to make archaeology a truly ethical and emancipatory practice. The papers in this section introduce the reader to the multi-faceted nature of this interrogation and thus adumbrate the papers that follow.

In cases where repatriation is supported on moral or legal grounds, should supporters of repatriation not use the opportunity to push for greater justice? In the case of Machu Picchu, for example, it is worth asking what kind of rights or economic benefits might be forthcoming to neighboring communities upon the objects’ return, and pushing for such policies in exchange for archaeologists’ support. Peru is not alone in claiming national ownership of cultural objects within its borders, and actively seeking the return of those outside.

It will mean the alliance with like-minded archaeologists against others, as it will also mean the alliance with some broader groups and collectivities against others. As for the definition of social justice, the concept as I employ it here, while relying on the 19th- and 20th-century major social liberation movements with Marxism being the most prominent, also relates to more recent movements fighting for freedom from all forms of exploitation, based on the constant resistance to hegemonic structures and ideologies, from patriarchy, racism and xenophobia to ruthless neo-liberal capitalism.

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