The Social and Political Sculpting of Archaeology (and Vice Versa)

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    This article reflects on how archaeology globally has been sculpted by its social and political uses and how archaeology itself has shaped the various worlds in which it is situated. The thematic areas that are analysed are decolonising archaeology; community and engaged archaeology; archaeology for social justice; archaeology of the contemporary past; film, television and serious games; the internet and social media; and monuments as commemoration and heritage erasure. Drawing these analyses together, this paper offers a new definition of contemporary archaeology as 'the study of human behaviour, past and present, through the analysis of material culture, both real and virtual, as situated within cultural landscapes'.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)7-44
    Number of pages38
    JournalPyrenae: Revista de Prehistoria i Antiguitat de la Mediterrania Occidental
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • Cultural heritage
    • Decolonization
    • Globalization
    • Indigenous
    • Social archaeology
    • Social justice


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