Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Activism and Archaeology

  • Larry J. ZimmermanEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_1076


For most people, including many archaeologists, archaeology is about the more distant past. Archaeology is more interesting and esoteric than actually being useful. After all, the “archaeo” part of the word means “ancient”! Thus, the past is over and done with, and while it may be intrinsically interesting or provide us with perspective on our lives and cultural changes through time, the past does not seem to be of much use in dealing with contemporary issues. Other archaeologists, however, have called on archaeology to become more action oriented and for archaeologists to explore more ways to use archaeology to address contemporary problems (Kleindienst & Watson 1956). They want archaeology to matter (Sabloff 2008) arguing that archaeologists “…have responsibilities towards the communities, individuals, and institutions directly implicated by archaeological work into the recent past in helping them come to terms with the obscured and often painful circumstances of...

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Further Reading

  1. Dawdy, S. L. 2010. Clockpunk anthropology and the ruins of modernity. Current Anthropology 51(6):761–93.Google Scholar
  2. Harrison, R. & J. Schofield. 2010. After modernity: archaeological approaches to the contemporary past. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis/Eiteljorg MuseumIndianapolisUSA