This article responds to a growing tide of critique targeting select new materialist and object-oriented approaches in archaeology. Here we take a stand against this critical discourse not so much to counter actual and legitimate differences in how we conceive of archaeology and its role, but to target the exaggerations, excesses, and errors by which it increasingly is articulated and which restrict communication to the impoverishment of the field as whole. While also embracing an opportunity to clarify matters of politics and archaeological theory in light of object-oriented approaches and the material turn at large, we address a number of concerns raised by this critical discourse, which are, we contend, of relevance to all archaeologists: 1) the importance of ontology; 2) working with theory; 3) politics as first philosophy; 4) the concept of the subaltern; 5) binaries and the rhetorical desire for an enemy; and 6) the matter of misrepresentation.Weniger anzeigen
Intrigued by repeated visits of Trump administration officials to the archaeological tunnels at the foot of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, I examine the extraordinary connection between American and Israeli nationalism, “Judeo-Christian values,” and Holy Land archaeology, and propose a “Pompeo premise” that equates Jewish antiquities and settlement with bedrock values of “Western civilization,” promotes a political narrative of redemption (even if accompanied by massive violence) and relegates Palestinian Muslims to an ephemeral existence. The “recovery” of a “true” Jerusalem, purified of any Islamic content, beneath the contested, chaotic surface of Palestinian and Israeli Jerusalem is delegated to archaeologists, who have for the most part accepted their task.Weniger anzeigen
Im vorliegenden Artikel soll in Form von Thesen eine Skizze entworfen werden, wie eine postmoderne, sozialkritische, marxistische Archäologie im 21. Jahrhundert aussehen könnte. Dabei sollen die Thesen – in bester postmoderner Tradition – durch Collagen wörtlicher Zitate Gestalt annehmen.
This article critically reflects upon the relationship between the local workmen (all male) of the Asyut Project and the international scientific team working at the site. There are still noticeable traces of the colonial past within Egyptology. Interactions between local communities and archaeologists have only recently led to projects that focus on community engagement and multivocality. This article argues that community engagement can be a promising way not only to further decolonise Egyptology, and especially archaeological work in Egypt, but also to broaden the horizon of scholars by including other voices, methods and interpretations in their research. The local workmen have been almost invisible in published records of archaeological research. In 2011, together with the Egyptian artist Ammar Abu Bakr, I was able to study the relationship between the scholars of the Asyut Project and the local workmen by using methods from the field of social and cultural anthropology. The research comprises 21 semi-structured interviews and 56 structured questionnaires. Based on an analysis of the interviews, I conclude that the relationship between the workmen and the Asyut Project is mainly capitalistic and the workmen are alienated labourers. This is further manifested by a social distance between the international scholars and the local workmen, the language barrier, and the limited time available during fieldwork. It will be shown that the local workmen are interested in the ancient sites and in more communication concerning their meaning and interpretations.Weniger anzeigen
Aus der Perspektive der Zentralgewalt stellt eine Hauptstadt die wichtigste Stadt eines Staates dar. In den Altertumswissenschaften bestimmt die Frage, ob eine Stadt „Haupt“stadt war oder nicht die Forschungsfragen und lenkt damit oft das Interesse an subalternen Räumen. Dieser Beitrag widmet sich der Hauptstadt des hethitischen Reiches und stellt dar, wie zum einen die moderne Erforschung der antiken Hauptstadt marginale Räume geschaffen hat, zum anderen wissenschaftliche Traditionen „subalterne Räume“ verfestigt haben. Die Untersuchung von Archivquellen aus der „Hauptstadt der Hethiter“ zeigt, dass bewusst oder unbewusst bestimmte handelnde Personen unsichtbar gemacht wurden. Ich zeige anhand einiger Beispiele, wie Subalterne, ihre Räume und Geschichten mittels quantitativer und räumlicher Analysen sichtbar gemacht werden können.Weniger anzeigen
At play within Lewis Borck’s “Constructing the Future History: Prefiguration as Historical Epistemology and the Chronopolitics of Archaeology” (2019) and Cornelius Holtorf’s response, “Heritage Futures, Prefiguration and World Heritage” (2020) are ways to understand the future through our actions in the present. A response to these articles that considers heritage, climate change and the future should probably begin with impending doom, rising tides, shattering storms, a recent, heartfelt loss of cultural heritage. How do we understand a future that extends from this excruciating present without incorporating mechanisms for mourning?Weniger anzeigen