Critical Histories of Archaeological Practice: Latin American and North American Interpretations in a Honduran Context

  • Rosemary A. Joyce

The editors of this volume cite Bruce Trigger’s “Alternative archaeologies” paper as the beginning point of a reconsideration of contemporary Anglo-American calls for increased multivocality in archaeology, situating multivocality as (potentially) yet another imperialist move on the part of a powerful global archaeological elite, and as (again, potentially) leading to an inability on the part of archaeologists to argue against problematic interpretations offered under the guise of “multivocality.” As an advocate of multivocality in archaeology who also insists that we have a standpoint from which to critically examine alternative interpretations, I obviously would like to argue that such an approach has a powerful potential for local archaeological communities, and is not solely a product of the divisive identity politics of Anglo- American societies. But before even attempting to make such a claim for the country which provides my case study, Honduras, where I have worked continuously for 20 years, I think it is necessary to broaden the terms of debate further, to acknowledge other ways of conceiving of the history and sociopolitics of archaeology that have significant effects on shaping the reception of Anglo-American theoretical conceits. For Latin America, histories of nation-making following republican liberation from Spanish colonial power in the early nineteenth century already engaged the material remains of past peoples before Euro-American antiquarians entered the scene.


North Coast Archaeological Research Stylistic Identity UNESCO World Heritage Critical History 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosemary A. Joyce
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

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