Conflict in the Archaeology of Living Traditions (One World Archaeology)
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The first text to address the contentious issues raised by the pursuit of anthropology and archaeology in the world today. Calls into question the traditional, sometimes difficult relationship between western scholars and the contemporary cultures and peoples they study and can easily disturb.
situationally relevant. He exemplified his point through an analogy with British culture: if asked where he belonged his answer would depend on who posed the question. To another resident of Oxford he would give the name of his street; elsewhere in Britain he would reply ‘Oxford’; if abroad, and asked by a INTRODUCTION: CONFLICT IN THE ARCHAEOLOGY 17 foreigner, the appropriate reply would be Britain. In the same way Nuer identify themselves as members of a hamlet, lineage or tribe according to
marked by sporadic exploration, trade, and offshore fishing, with contacts increasing in frequency from approximately 1580 onwards, when the English and French crowns began a spirited competition for the resources of this region (Brasser 1978, p. 80). Following the death of Philip II of Spain in 1603 and coincident with the decline of Spain’s sea power, the number of colonies placed in the New World increased markedly as European powers sought to take advantage of new opportunities to exploit the
as there are today in our Indian communities. Even a chronicler openly hostile to our forms of social organization was forced to register the indigenous means of recording history: In addition there used to be, and still are, particular historians in these nations whose craft is inherited from father to son. We must also mention the great diligence of Pachacuti Inca who called together all the old historians from each of the provinces subjugated by him and of many 52 CONFLICT IN THE ARCHAEOLOGY
their own accord. This independent historical development, representing a progressive ordering and differentiation of human society, was violently brought to an end when foreign forces burst onto our civilization and invaded Tawantinsuyu. The Inka was killed by the Spanish and order was broken and eroded. This event is also recounted in myths: the Inka used his control over natural forces to order the sea to enclose the Spanish. The Spanish were saved by the treachery of an Indian; this enabled
favour of the doctrines and practices of universalism. The point we are making here is that Africans cannot continue to see themselves only through the mirror of European languages and forsake their own languages. Neither should they continue to have confidence in the make-believe that the writing of these languages or the policies which would uphold African languages will be better understood when they come from Europeans or from using European languages. Underpinning some of the assumptions of