political relevance

S.T.Champion (S.T.Champion@SOTON.AC.UK)
Fri, 10 Jun 1994 15:33:29 BST

I didn't read Willard Brooks's post, but have just seen Douglas Hanson's
reference to it. If it implies that archaeology has no political relevance,
then I beg to differ most strongly. While I don't wish to clutter the net with
the content of several volumes in the One World Archaeology series, which you
can all read in your libraries, you only have to think of past and present
political concerns of archaeology, from the determination of aboriginal land
rights, the reburial issue or the development of identities in post-colonial
societies, to the Nazi misuse and manipulation of prehistoric and early
historic European archaeology and the attempts by white regimes in Africa to
deny pre-white history/archaeology in the south and the building of zimbabwes
by 15th/16th century black indigenes in present Zimbabwe.

Current undergraduate courses in archaeology at this university include a
double-semester unit in the social and political contexts of archaeology, and
the new Advanced-Level examination in archaeology (taken in the last year of
school, ie at 17/18, before going to university), includes a compulsory essay
question set from that part of the syllabus similarly concerned with the
political and social contexts of the subject.

If I have misread the implication of political irrelevance for archaeology in
Doug Hanson's reporting of Willard Brooks's post, then I apologise.


* Sara Champion M.A., D. Phil * I have spread *
* Department of Archaeology * my dreams under *
* University of Southampton * your feet; *
* Southampton SO9 5NH, U.K. * Tread softly, *
* email: stc@uk.ac.soton * because you tread *
* Tel: 0703 592247 * on my dreams. *