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Modernity and Politics in Colombian Archaeology

  • Cristóbal Gnecco

The history of professional archaeology in Colombia began at the onset of the twentieth century with foreigners of different academic backgrounds (such as the German, Konrad Preuss, the North American, Alden Mason, and the Spaniard, José Pérez de Barradas), but soon after national researchers took over. With few exceptions, over the last six decades foreign archaeologists have avoided fieldwork in Colombia both because the country never experienced the development of social and political complexity characteristic of the Central Andes and Mesoamerica (and, thus, was academically less attractive), and because of the dangers created by the chronic violence that has swept the country since the 1950s. As a result, archaeology in Colombia has been carried out mostly by Colombians. This apparent “independence,” however, must be understood and situated by a description of the problems dominating Colombian archaeology, and that is the purpose of this paper. I have divided the exposition into three parts: the first deals with the relationship between archaeology and modernity, whose imprint is still felt, no matter how anachronistic it may seem; the second deals with the scientific phase of that relationship; and the third with the way it has been challenged and, to certain extent, superseded.

Keywords

Indigenous People National Identity Archaeological Research Historical Narrative Metropolitan Center 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristóbal Gnecco
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de AntropologíaUniversidad del CaucaColombia

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