Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Advertising and the Appropriation of Culture

  • Traci ArdrenEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_1184


The growth of cultural tourism and the spread of global information have both contributed to an increase in the commercialization of the past. Ancient cultures are used for marketing everything from vacation destinations to a wide range of products that draw upon stereotypes of the past as mysterious or idyllic. The pervasive use of ancient sites and artifacts by advertisers may simultaneously increase awareness of the past as well as put sites in danger as a result of over-visitation or mismanagement.


Certain sites such as Stonehenge and Chichen Itza have both iconic status within modern Western marketing and clear brand name recognition. Unfortunately, the field of advertising is largely unaware of the impact upon archaeological sites and descendant communities of a campaign designed around stereotypes of the past.

Key Issues/Current Debates/Future Directions/Examples

Advertising is ubiquitous in our world today. Given the seemingly endless opportunities to...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of MiamiCoral GablesUSA