An engaged archaeology field school with a remote Aboriginal community: Successes, failures, and challenges

Claire Smith, Gary Jackson, Jordan Ralph, Nell Brown, Guy Rankin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of the longest-running archaeological field school in Australia, the Barunga Community Archaeology Field School, which has been operating annually for over 20 years, since 1998. The overarching aim of this field school is for students to learn about Aboriginal culture from Aboriginal people and to experience the cultural protocols that apply when conducting archaeological research in a remote Aboriginal community. This article frankly identifies the long-term successes, failures, and challenges of this field school. The successes are less in the field of archaeology and more in the areas of growing cross-cultural understandings through the development of relationships between different peoples. The failures are largely to do with the physical challenges of the remote area location of the field school. The challenges are primarily due to understanding and reconciling the differences between Aboriginal and European epistemological and ontological ways of knowing and being.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Community Archaeology and Heritage
Early online date8 Dec 2020
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • community archaeology
  • field school
  • Indigenous archaeology
  • social justice

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