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The Engineering of Genocide: An Archaeology of Dictatorship in Argentina

  • Andrés Zarankin
  • Melisa Salerno
Chapter
Part of the One World Archaeology book series (WORLDARCH)

Abstract

Dictatorships and state terrorism were sociopolitical realities shared by most Latin American countries from 1960 to 1980. These regimes pursued the persecution and extermination of ideas and people considered to be dangerous. The history of political repression in Latin America was frequently silenced by official discourses. Archaeology represents an alternative way to learn more about the 1960–1980 period of violence. In this chapter, we discuss the role played by certain material devices in the identification and punishment of political opponents. We will take the most recent dictatorship in Argentina (1976–1983) as our case study, and we will focus on two different but interrelated expressions of material culture: architecture and dress. Both of these were fundamental in the engineering of genocide, as they were used in the definition and denial of victims’ identities.

Keywords

Material Culture Social Category Political Violence Military Force Military Government 
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.

Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank the National Council for Scientific and Technical Development (Brazil), the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil), and the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (Argentina) for their support. The Argentinean Forensic Anthropology Team gave us the opportunity to study the garments from Lomas de Zamora. We also thank Adrian Myers and Gabriel Moshenska for their invitation to participate in this volume, and for their valuable comments and suggestions on this work. Finally, we thank Bruno Sanches Ranzani da Silva for helping us with the translation. We are solely responsible for the ideas presented here.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Federal University of Minas GeraisBelo HorizonteBrazil
  2. 2.National Council for Scientific and Technical ResearchBuenos AiresArgentina

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