Archaeology as Political Action (California Series in Public by Randall H. McGuire

By Randall H. McGuire

This booklet develops a idea and framework to explain how archaeology can give a contribution to a extra humane global. spotting that archaeology is an inherently political task, Randall H. McGuire builds at the historical past of archaeological concept and Marxist dialectical conception to show how archaeologists can use their craft to guage interpretations of the genuine global, build significant histories for groups, and problem the continual legacies of colonialism and sophistication fight. McGuire bases his dialogue on his personal huge fieldwork within the usa and Mexico, bringing up attention-grabbing case experiences to increase the belief of archaeology as a class-based pastime.

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In South Africa, destination resorts with casinos have tried to enhance Africa as an exotic destination through new architecture and design (Hall and Bombardella 2005:10). The tourist can experience the grandeurs of the Dutch East India Company in Johannesburg and a full-scale Tuscan town on the highveld, all improved like Main Street (but without the dancing cartoon characters). These obviously commercial manipulations of heritage invoke authenticity, but they do not claim to be authentic. “The visitor is a knowing participant in the illusion” (Hall and Bombardella 2005:22).

From 1949 to 1952, the archaeologist Yigael Yadin served as the second chief of staff for the Israeli Defense Forces (Silberman 1993). But, in no case has an individual risen to political prominence through or because of their his or her practice of archaeology. Archaeology has been put to overt political use. In 1914, Leonard Woolley and T. E. Lawrence provided “innocent” archaeological camouflage for a British military survey of the Turkish-controlled Sinai Peninsula (Wilson 1989:137). S. interests (Casteñeda 1996:118).

The setting sun on the days of the vernal and autumnal equinoxes projects a shadow on the main pyramid that looks like a serpent. This phenomenon has attracted enormous international attention and interest. The INAH puts on a big show, with dancers, music, and theater to attract and entertain the tourists. In the spring of 1989, the equinox also attracted four other groups of people who laid claim to the spirituality of the monument—and indeed to the identity of the ancient Maya: a group of New Age neo-Aztecs, the Fraternidad Blanca de Quetzalcótal (White Brotherhood of Quetzalcótal), made up primarily of urban mestizos from México City; a tour group of North American New Agers led by a Mayan spiritualist; a group of Mexican followers of the Mexican American New Age prophet José Arguelles; and the Rainbow Family, a loose group of North American spiritualists who gather each year.

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